SPAM Messages On MSN

I have been avoiding MSN messenger and Yahoo Messenger when I am working for quite some time now. I find it quite silly to “Appear offline” all the time when I have no intentions to chat. Switching them on can be quite distracting sometimes.

However, after seeing the newest version of MSN messenger in action, I updated mine and leave it on every now and then. Then, I notice I am getting spam messages from the people in my contact list. I used to get them as well in the past but nowadays it seems to be a lot more frequent.

A few days back, a blogger friend sent me a message asking me if the link I sent her contains virus. I was a little confused because I did not send her any link. In fact, I did not send her any messages at all. I wondered if someone could have used my computer while I was away but quickly dropped that idea.

Then, I remembered those spam messages that I have been getting from the people on my MSN messenger contact list in the past. Sure enough, she copied and pasted the message “I sent her” (which I did not) and it looks exactly as those I have read in the past. It was spam.

XXXXXXX said (2:27 PM):
I got so many messages about those acai berry pills that I decided to order them and guess what? I lost 23 pounds so far and its only been two weeks. I am living proof that they work and best part was, they only cost me five dollars to try over at hxxp://bullsea.com

How to stop MSN Spam messages

Apart from updating my MSN messenger to the latest version and possibly clicking on one of those links sent to me in the past (yeah, I know I should not have), I cannot think of any other reason why spam emails are “sent out on my behalf”.

Any ideas?

Scam: You Have Been Warned!

Scam, scam, scam. Will it ever end? I went over to Jee’s blog and read his latest post Scam warning. He said he “almost got cheated by a scam” and asked to “help spread the warning“. After reading his explanation on “what happened”, I realized if I were in his situation, I could have been cheated as well.

Unlike the other examples that I have given in the past that uses “greed” to cheat the victims, this scam reported by Jee uses “fear”. It triggers your fears in hope that you will lose rationality of the situation. Thankfully, he was able to sense something amiss and consulted his sister before taking further actions.

Earlier today, I read a notice posted on Hotlink’s website regarding a scam that was spreading through sms that started only last month. I couldn’t locate that page anymore. I’ll link it here if I can ever find it again.

There are 101 scams out there — online and offline. Consider yourself warned.

Sex: Ridiculous SMS Marketing Strategy

Sex is one of the “most powerful tools of marketing and particularly advertising” (source). It must have been used to sell many things in the past — clothes, magazines, cars, beers etc. If that is not enough, some digg users are even using sex to attract diggs for their submitted posts! What is the world becoming to?

For the past 1 month, I received 3 sms sent through sms push campaigns that used sex to attract consumers to their products. So, what are they selling? Animated wallpapers for mobile phones!

First sms:

FOC:Yes Honeyy..?SO nicee..do U Want CUMming tonight?Lets have fun together..U sure like it!SMS <ON 69> to 32xxx for animation girl;<ON GIRLS> wa/paper.eCe

Second sms:

FOC:Abg tgh buat apa kat situ?Jgn pura2,I tau abg fikir apa.Baiklah,Cepat htr sms<ON HOTC>ke 32xxx, biar Ina tunaikan impian abg sepjang hari.JaminCUN!
RM1/smseC

Third sms:

FOC:Jiwaku gersang?sudikah “AWAK” jadi pghibur 12 tgahmlm?jika ya,SMS<on 36> ke 33xxx utk gmbr gadis ANIMASI; <on cun>gadis W/PAPER

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

eCrm1/sms

Each sms sent will probably cost RM1. The first sms does not include this information in the sms itself (not sure if this is legal). Next, look at how the third sms smartly conceals this information at very bottom of the sms, after many many “new lines”. To say the least, it is very irritating to receive stupid sms like these. To me, their “tactics” of using sex to sell their wallpapers is unethical.

Let’s take things to the extreme; Can any one of the 3 sms be classified as “sexual harassment”? Imagine getting an sms from your colleague asking if you want coffee or tea for lunch that sounded like this:

Yes Honeyy..?SO nicee..do U Want CUMming tonight?Lets have fun together..U sure like it!SMS <ON 69> for coffee; <ON BED> for tea to 012-3456789.

I personally think that the mobile service providers should take initiatives to check messages sent through sms push campaigns like these. I don’t think any parents will be too fond to have their teenagers receiving messages like that.

Initially, my post’s title is “Ridiculous SMS Marketing Strategy“. I added the “Sex: ” in front to hopefully attract a little more attention to this post. Hey, sex does sell, doesn’t it? So, did it work?

Scam Awareness Campaign Post #1

On one sunny afternoon about a week ago, I found a piece of folded paper stuck at my gate. Immediately after unfolding it, I realized what it was an automatically threw it into the bin. I must have seen dozens of “brochures” like that in the past. About 5 seconds later, I picked up the brochure, dust it clean and kept it neatly. No, I’m not about to bet my life away in this scam. I was planning to use it to warn others. :-)

Example Of Scam Brochure

It read, “Keputusan dalam 3 hari. Pasti mengubah kehidupan anda” which translates to “Results in 3 days. Sure to change your life“. It was a typical looking “4D scam brochure” with the following information:

1. Master’s photo (the one who will be giving away the winning numbers)
2. “Past winner’s” testimonials
3. “Winning tickets” that matches the result
4. How/what the “past winner” gave back to the Master as a thank you gesture.

Few days ago, I read an article in the newspaper entitled, “Betting on ‘winning digits’ led deliveryman to lose everything“. The man gambled away all his savings and was left “with only RM14 left to his name“. Has greed taken away the ability to think rationally? Humans do make mistakes, but to fall for the same scam over and over again is ridiculous.

The newspaper also reported that “He also suggested that victims lodge police reports so that action can be taken against unscrupulous syndicates“. This is one thing I have never understood. I am sure the police are well aware of such syndicates/scams. Not to mention the other scams that are lurking out there. The question is, “Why must a police report be lodge before investigation/action is taken?If they blame it on “procedure”, their own personnel could have lodge a police report themselves, no?

To wait for an official “report” or complaint before they start an investigation is ridiculous. Especially if they are already aware that such scams are under operation. Even the telephone number is printed on the brochure. What are they waiting for? Go under cover, pretend to be a “victim” and nab the conman in action!

This post is meant to deter people away from scams. There must be 101 different types of scams out there. It depends on your own wits and rationality to differentiate scams from opportunities. Remember the old saying that goes, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

GMail Spam (Beware Of Conman)

I check GMail for new e-mails daily. I personally feel that GMail provides one of the best spam filters in the industry. Although occasionally, there will be a few junk mails that will find its way into my inbox once in a while. This morning, I got one e-mail with the subject “greeting-not spam“. My instincts immediately label this e-mail as spam. However, my curiosity kicked in and I wanted to know the e-mail’s content. So I opened it up.

GMail Spam Message

A quick check on the e-mail header confirmed my earlier hypothesis. Usually, the “to” section of the header will display the recipient’s e-mail (in this case that should be my e-mail address). In this e-mail, “undisclosed-recipients <>” was displayed instead. This is probably because this e-mail was sent to many other e-mail addresses.

The “sender” is supposed to be a Chinese guy. Sounds like he’s looking to make friends with me. Reading on, “Looking for sincere friendship and future life partner” sent shivers all over my body. The last sentence indicates that “he” got my e-mail address from a friend — probably someone who knows me as well.

This e-mail makes me sick. If this e-mail is not a spam, my reply would be, “Dude, I’m a dude myself, OK!?!? Your friend must be pulling your leg. Or else, I’m not *YOUR TYPE*!

This e-mail reminds me of some news report where some girls met some guys online, made friends and met up with them. The next thing they remember is waking up in a foreign bed or in a deserted forest. I wonder if this e-mail is one of those attempts to cheat naive girls/ladies. Nevertheless, reports on girls being cheated by friends they befriended through Internet, SMS and telephone is on the rise. Therefore, be on the look out! If you notice any of your friends/colleagues mixing with “suspicious friends” like these, WARN THEM!