Internet hoaxes uncovered

Internet hoaxes are usually false reports about a scam or virus. They exist mostly to scare monger and waste time. Internet hoaxes can emerge in different ways; by email, on Facebook, Twitter and even word of mouth.

If you are suspicious of something, go to Google and search the action followed by ‘hoax’.  Ie. “Donate Money hoax”. Much of the time it has already been exposed by Hoax Slayer or Sophos.

Internet hoaxes 2016

Mitsubishi Mirage Giveaway Facebook Scam

There is aFacebook Page called “Mitsubishi 2016” which claims that you can win a Mitsubishi Mirage by liking the page, sharing the promotion post, and adding a comment specifying what colour car you’d like.

The Facebook Page is fraudulent. It has no connection to Mitsubishi and those who participate have no chance whatsoever of winning a Mirage. The Page is not giving away any cars.

The fake Facebook Page is a scam designed to accumulate large numbers of Facebook likes as quickly as possible. Once the Page has collected a large number of likes, it can then be reused to launch other types of scam. Alternatively, it might be sold on the black market to other scammers.

This version attempts to add some credibility to its claims by linking to a press release about the results of a genuine Mitsubishi promotion in which a customer of the company won a car. And, the post uses an image stolen from this genuine promotion, which took place several years ago and has no connection to the current scam.

Like-farming scams like this one are very common.

Information obtained from Hoax Slayer: https://www.hoax-slayer.net/mitsubishi-mirage-giveaway-facebook-scam/

Hoaxes from 2012

Cash Back Scams

This message warns shoppers to check their receipts before leaving the check-out at Sainsbury’s and other UK stores because many people are being caught out by a scam in which unscrupulous cashiers add unauthorized cash back requests to transactions and pocket the cash rather than give it to customers.

Example

Subject: CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS/THIS IS NOT A JOKE PLEASE READ

CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS BEFORE LEAVING THE CHECK-OUT

I bought a bunch of stuff, over £150, & I glanced at my receipt as the cashier was handing me the bags. I saw a cash-back of £40. I told her I didn’t request a cash back & to delete it. She said I’d have to take the £40 because she couldn’t delete it. I told Her to call a supervisor. Supervisor came & said I’d have to take it.. I said NO! Taking the £40 would be a cash advance against my Credit card & I wasn’t paying interest on a cash advance!!!!! If they couldn’t delete it then they would have to delete the whole order. So the supervisor had the cashier delete the whole order & re-scan everything! The second time I looked at the electronic pad before I signed & a cash-back of £20 popped up. At that point I told the cashier & she deleted it. The total came out right. The cashier agreed that the Electronic Pad must be defective.

Obviously the cashier knew the electronic pad was defective because she NEVER offered me the £40 at the beginning. Can you imagine how many people went through before me & at the end of her shift how much money she pocketed?

Just to alert everyone. My co worker went to Milford , Sainsburys last week. She had her items rung up by the cashier. The cashier hurried her along and didn’t give her a receipt. She asked the cashier for a receipt and the cashier was annoyed and gave it to her. My co worker didn’t look at her receipt until later that night. The receipt showed that she asked for £20 cash back. SHE DID NOT ASK FOR CASH BACK!

My co-worker called Sainsburys who investigated but could not see the cashier pocket the money. She then called her niece who works for the bank and her niece told her this. This is a new scam going on. The cashier will key in that you asked for cash back and then hand it to her friend who is the next person in the queue.

Please, please, please check your receipts right away when using credit or debit cards!

This is NOT limited to Sainsburys; they are one of the largest retailers so they have the most incidents.

I am adding to this. My husband and I were in Sainsburys and paying with credit card when my husband went to sign the credit card signer he just happen to notice there was a £20 cash back added. He told the cashier that he did not ask nor want cash back and she said this machine has been messing up and she canceled it. We really didn’t think anything of it until we read this email.

I wonder how many “seniors” have been, or will be, “stung” by this one????

To make matters worse …THIS SCAM CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE, AT ANY RETAIL OR WHOLESALE LOCATION!!!

BEFORE LEAVING THE CHECK-OUT……..CHECK YOUR RECEIPT!!!!!

THIS COULD HAPPEN ANYWHERE. CHECK YOUR RECEIPT BEFORE LEAVING THE STAND. I’VE SEEN PEOPLE DO JUST THAT. NOW I’LL START! PASS THIS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS, KIDS, LOVED ONES.

Advice: There is no credible evidence to suggest that such scams are currently taking place in the UK. If the scam described was as common and as widespread as implied in this warning email, there would certainly be news and police reports available that discuss the issue. In fact, there is no mention of such scam attempts currently taking place in any credible UK based media outlets.

Information obtained from Hoax Slayer: https://www.hoax-slayer.net/check-receipts-cash-back-scam-warning-email/

Boycott Petrol Stations

The following chain letter was seen being distributed between British email addresses in 2008.

See what you think and pass it on if you agree with it

We are hitting 106.9 p a litre in some areas now, soon we will be faced with paying £1.10 a ltr. Philip Hollsworth offered this good idea:

This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the ‘don’t buy petrol on a certain day campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn’t continue to hurt ourselves by refusing to buy petrol. It was more of >an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT,whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work.

Please read it and join in!

Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a litre is CHEAP, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the market place not sellers. With the price of petrol going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of petrol come down is if we hit someone in the pocket by not purchasing their Petrol! And we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. Here’s the idea:

For the rest of this year DON’T purchase ANY petrol from the two biggest oil companies (which now are one), ESSO and BP.

If they are not selling any petrol, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact we need to reach literally millions of Esso and BP petrol buyers. It’s really simple to do!!

Now, don’t wimp out on me at this point… keep reading and I’ll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!

I am sending this note to a lot of people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)… and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) … and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it… ..

THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!

Again, all You have to do is send this to 10 people. That’s all. (and not buy at ESSO/BP) How long would all that take? If each of us sends this email out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8days!!! Acting together we can make a difference If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on.

PLEASE HOLD OUT UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE 69p a LITRE RANGE

It’s easy to make this happen. Just forward this email, and buy your petrol at Shell, Asda,Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons Jet etc. i.e. boycott BP and Esso

Advice: If you receive this or a similar message, please do not forward it to your friends and colleagues. Forwarding unsolicited chain letters wastes time and bandwidth.

Information found via: www.sophos.com

 

Reeirti

Subject: Fw: Warning new virus – URGENT!

Message body: Tell to all your contacts, not to open mail _ reeirti@ hotmail.com

Because it is an email with virus that formats-erases hard disk (all data on your computer) and if it is received even from one person from your contacts, it will be transferred to you automatically.

Send copies of this message to all your contacts, because it is very important.

Advice: You are urged not to pass on warnings of this kind, as the continued re-forwarding of these hoaxes simply wastes time and email bandwidth.

Information found via: www.sophos.com

Bill Gates is sharing is Fortune

Subject: PLEEEEEEASE REEEEEAD! IT WASON GOOD MORNING AMERICA TODAY SHOW…

Dear Friends,

Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates is sharing his fortune. If you ignore this you will repent later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period. For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00, for every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid $241.00.

Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a cheque.

Advice: This is a hoax, Bill Gates isn’t sharing his fortune via chain letter, why would he? No merger between Microsoft and AOL has been announced. AOL are Microsoft’s main competitor. If they were to merge, you would have seen it in the headlines a thousand times over. Microsoft cannot track the chain letters you forward.

Olympic Torch which “burns” the whole hard disc C of your computer

Subject: Warning READ AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

Get this sent around to your contacts ASAP…we don’t need this spreading around…..

PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS:

You should be alert during the next days:

Do not open any message with an attached filed called “Invitation” regardless of who sent it, It is a virus that opens an Olympic Torch which “burns” the whole hard disc C of your computer. This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list, that is why you should send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.

If you receive a mail called “invitation”, though sent by a friend,do not open it and shut down your computer immediately.

This is the worst virus announced by CNN, it has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever.

This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus.

This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept.

SEND THIS E-MAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW, COPY THIS E-MAIL AND SEND! IT TO YOUR FRIENDS AND REMEMBER: IF YOU SEND IT TO THEM, YOU WILL BENEFIT ALL OF US.

Advice: Ignore any messages regarding this hoax, and please do not forward it to your friends and colleagues. Forwarding unrequested chain letters wastes time and bandwidth.

MSN is closing down

Two examples:

“Hey it is Andy and john the directors of MSN, sorry for the interruption but msn is closing down. this is because too many inconsiderate people are taking up all the name (eg making up lots of different accounts for just one person), we only have 578 names left. If you would like to close your account, DO NOT SEND THIS MESSAGE ON. If you would like to keep your account, then SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST. This is no joke, we will be shutting down the servers. Send it on, thanks. WHO EVER DOES NOT SEND THIS MESSEAGE, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE CLOSED AND YOU WILL COST ?10.00 A MONTH TO USE. SEND THIS TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST. NOW YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO. PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS or REPLAY. COPY THE WHOLE EMAIL. GO BACK TO YOUR INBOX AND CLICK ON NEW. AND PASTE THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION”

“hey everyone, i dont normally send this sort of stuff out but had a look on the internet and its actually true . On the 1st of november , we will have to pay for the use of our MSN and email accounts unless we send this message to at least 18 contacts on your contact list. It’s no joke if you don’t believe me then go to the site (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1189119.stm) (It is an offical BBC News Release) and see for yourself.

Anyways once you’ve sent this message to at least 18 contacts, your msn dude will become blue. please copy and paste don’t forward cos people won’t take notice of it”

This hoax message is one more in a long line of similar hoaxes that warn that MSN is changing its free services. If MSN was considering charging for its standard MSN Messenger and email services, they would certainly not base its decision on how many times a message was sent to others. Such claims are ridiculous. EVEN THE WEB LINK IS NOT GENUINE!

There is nothing on the MSN site that confirms the story. I would advise you to delete messages like these, rather than forward them on.

Advice: Ignore any messages regarding this hoax, and please do not forward it to your friends and colleagues. Forwarding unrequested chain letters wastes time and bandwidth.

www.sophos.com

WTC Survivor

There are several versions of this hoax.

The text of the first version of this hoax reads as follows:

I received this from a reliable family friend this morning. 10/28/01 BIG TROUBLE !!!! DO NOT OPEN “WTC Survivor” It is a virus that will erase your whole “C” drive. It will come to you in the form of an E-Mail from a familiar person. I repeat a friend sent it to me, but called and warned me before I opened it. He was not so lucky and now he can’t even start his computer! Forward this to everyone in your address book. I would rather receive this 25 times than not not all.

If you receive an email called “WTC Survivor” do not open it. Delete it right away! This virus removes all dynamic link libraries (.dll files) from your computer. This is a serious one.

The text of the second version of this hoax reads as follows:

During the next several weeks be VERY cautious about opening or launching any e-mails that refer to the World Trade Centre or 9/11 in any way, regardless of who sent it. PLEASE FORWARD TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW, “WTC” STANDS FOR THE WORLD TRADE CENTRE. REALLY DANGEROUS BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL OPEN IT RIGHT AWAY, THINKING ITS A STORY RELATING TO 9/11!

BIGGGG TROUBLE !!!! DO NOT OPEN “WTC Survivor” It is a virus that will erase your whole “C” drive. It will come to you in the form of an E-Mail from a familiar person. I repeat, a friend sent it to me, but called and warned me before I opened it. He was not so lucky and now he can’t even start his computer!

Forward this to everyone in your address book. I would rather receive this 25 times than not at all. So, if you receive an email called “WTC Survivor”, do not open it. Delete it right away! This virus removes all dynamic link libraries (.dll files) from your computer.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE

Advice: Ignore any messages regarding this hoax, and please do not forward it to your friends and colleagues. Forwarding unrequested chain letters wastes time and bandwidth.

Found via: www.sophos.com

Domain Registry of America Hoax

Subject: Domain Registry of America

I’ve had numerous letters from this company calling themselves “Domain Registry of America” asking me to renew domains that I know are not registered with them.

“As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification of the domain name registration that is due to expire in the next few months. When you switch today to the Domain Registry of America, you can take advantage of our best savings. Your registration for: domainname.com will expire on March 31, 2006. Act today!”

They are apparently also sending out emails asking you to renew your domain.

Advice: DO NOT SEND THIS COMPANY ANY MONEY!

Life is beautiful Hoax

Subject: URGENT! VIRUS!

This information arrived this morning, from Microsoft and Norton. Please send it to everybody you know who accesses the Internet.

You may receive an apparently harmless email with a PowerPoint presentation called “Life is beautiful.pps.”

Advice: Ignore any messages regarding this hoax, and please do not forward it to your friends and colleagues. Forwarding unrequested chain letters wastes time and bandwidth.

Jamie Bulger Hoax

This chain letter has been circulating since January 2001 – and refers to a real crime. It started when UK courts decided to grant the murderers anonymity for the rest of their lives.

Do you recall this incident – it had national news coverage:

On February 12, 1993 a small boy who was to turn three in March was taken from a shopping mall in Liverpool by two 10 year old boys. Jamie Bulger walked away from his mother for only a second and Jon Venables took his hand and led him out of the mall with his friend Robert Thompson.

Advice: Ignore any messages regarding this hoax, and please do not forward it to your friends and colleagues. Forwarding unrequested chain letters wastes time and bandwidth.

Share and Enjoy !

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