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SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Guide: The Difference Between Spam Emails And Phishing Emails

In The World Of ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost., Terms Are Often Confused And Then Shared Incorrectly

This creates confusion over what we mean when we talk about specific scams, such as spam emails and the various types of phishing emails.

First – We Hate Them Both

Although both spam emails and phishing emails are unwanted incoming communications, they are completely different.

SPAM EMAILS

Email spam, also known as junk email, is unsolicited messages sent in bulk by email (spamming).

Spam email is unauthorized marketing or advertising communication sent to your inbox. Most spam is honest – providing an offer or advantage for legitimate product or service. However, not all spam is honest. A significant percentage of spam are scams! Scams as in the garden variety of fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. – misrepresentations or outright cons.

Typical Spam Email

Typical Spam Email

The name comes from Spam luncheon meat by way of a Monty Python sketch in which Spam is ubiquitous, unavoidable and repetitive. Yes, Monty Python names spam!

Email spam has steadily grown since the early 1990s, and by 2014 was estimated that it made up around 90% of email messages sent. Since the expense of the spam is borne mostly by the recipient (in the form of time spent screening, sorting, and disposing of), it is effectively postage due advertising. This makes it an excellent example of a negative externality.

The legal definition and status of spam vary from one jurisdiction to another, but laws and lawsuits have nowhere been particularly successful in stemming spam. Though the SCARS Proposal for Changes to the U.S. CDA Law » may positively impact it.

Most email spam messages are commercial in nature. Whether commercial or not, many are not only annoying but also dangerous because they may contain links that lead to phishing web sites or sites that are hosting malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. – or include malware as file attachments. [see below]

Spammers collect email addresses from chat rooms, websites, customer lists, newsgroups, and viruses that harvest users’ address books. These collected email addresses are sometimes also sold to other spammers.

Spam filters were built to capture these emails. Think of what is currently in your Spam filter. You have people selling you things that you didn’t ask for, or emails that make zero sense. Recipients of spam most likely had their email addresses obtained by spambots. These are automated programs that crawl the internet looking for email addresses. From there, spammers create email distribution lists and send emails to millions of addresses. Some examples of spam emails are weight loss programs, discounted pharmaceuticals, or job opportunities.

419419 An advance fee scam or fraud (419 scam) is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. The 419 comes from the Nigerian law against this type of scam. SCAMScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. EMAIL

You are all familiar with the Nigerian Prince style emails. Offering millions in exchange for a small Advance Fee. Of course, these are scams and easy to recognize. Much harder are some of the more subtle forms of these.

Typical 419 Advance Fee Fraud Scam Email

Typical 419 Advance Fee FraudAdvance Fee Fraud An advance fee scam or fraud is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. Scam Email

An advance-fee scam is a form of fraud and one of the most common types of confidence tricks usually sent via email. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudsterFraudster A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. requires in order to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud.), “An advance fee scheme occurs when the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value—such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift—and then receives little or nothing in return.”

There are many variations of this type of scam, including the 419 scam (also known as the Nigerian Prince scam), the Spanish Prisoner scam, the black money scam, Fifo’s Fraud, and the Detroit-Buffalo scam. The scam has been used with fax and traditional mail and is now prevalent in online communications like emails.

While Nigeria is most often the nation referred to in these scams, they originate in other nations as well. Other nations known to have a high incidence of advance-fee fraud include: Ivory Coast, Togo, South Africa, the Netherlands, and Spain. The number “419” refers to the section of the Nigerian CriminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. Code dealing with fraud, the charges, and penalties for offenders.

PHISHING EMAILS

Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by disguising as a trustworthy entity in electronic communications – usually email. Typically carried out by email spoofingSpoofing Spoofing occurs when a caller maliciously transmits false caller ID information to increase the likelihood that you'll answer. Scammers often spoof local numbers, private companies, government agencies and other institutions. It can also apply to pretending to be an email address, or through other media. or instant messaging, it often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website, the look and feel of which are identical to the legitimate site.

Typical Phishing Email

Typical Phishing Email

Phishing is an example of social engineeringSocial Engineering Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. It is used as a type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional "con" in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme. It has also been defined as "any act that influences a person to take any action that may or may not be in their best interests." techniques being used to deceive users. Users are often lured by communications purporting to be from trusted parties such as social websites, auction sites, banks, online payment processors or IT administrators, etc.

The word itself is based on the metaphor fishing, due to the similarity of using bait in an attempt to catch a victim.

Phishing emails are emails with malicious intent sent from scammers posing as a legitimate source. These emails demand action from the end user. Scammers mimic the emails, forms, and websites of legitimate people or companies in an effort to lure people into providing their private, personal information. For example, credit card numbers, social security information, account logins, and personal identifiers or pins. The victim usually doesn’t realize they’ve been compromised until long after the event. Oftentimes the victim does not realize they have fallen into a trap until their finances are affected.

The three types of phishing attacks are:

  • Spear Phishing – Spear phishing is a targeted phishing attack directed at a specific individual.
  • Clone Phishing – Clone phishing is where a legitimate, and previously delivered, an email containing an attachment or link has had its content and recipient address(es) taken and used to create an almost identical or cloned email.
  • Whaling – Whaling is an attack targeted at a high profile individual.

Not all phishing attacks require an email or a fake website. Messages that claimed to be from a bank told users to dial a phone number regarding problems with their bank accounts. Once the phone number (owned by the phisher, and provided by a voice over IP service) was dialed, prompts told users to enter their account numbers and PIN. VishingVishing What is a vishing attack? Vishing is the social engineering approach that leverages voice communication. This technique can be combined with other forms of social engineering that entice a victim to call a certain number and divulge sensitive information. Advanced vishing attacks can take place completely over voice communications by exploiting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions and broadcasting services. VoIP easily allows caller identity (ID) to be spoofed, which can take advantage of the public’s misplaced trust in the security of phone services, especially landline services. Landline communication cannot be intercepted without physical access to the line; however, this trait is not beneficial when communicating directly with a malicious actor. (voice phishing) sometimes uses fake caller-ID data to give the appearance that calls come from a trusted organization.

Other Techniques

Another attack used successfully is to forward the client to a bank’s legitimate website, then to place a popup window requesting credentials on top of the page in a way that makes many users think the bank is requesting this sensitive information.

Tabnabbing takes advantage of tabbed browsing, with multiple open tabs. This method silently redirects the user to the affected site. This technique operates in reverse to most phishing techniques in that it does not directly take the user to the fraudulent site, but instead loads the fake page in one of the browser’s open tabs.

ENFORCEMENT & CONTROL

Attempts to deal with phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures — because phishing attacks also often exploit weaknesses in current web security.

 

SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

 
SCARS™ Team

A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.

 

TAGS: Spam Email, Scam Email, Phishing Email, Tabnabbing, Clone Phishing, Spear Phishing, Whaling, Vishing, Email Scams, Junk Email,


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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. Your National Police or FBI (www.IC3.gov »)
  3. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network HERE » or on www.Anyscam.com »

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.


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Visit our NEW Main SCARS Facebook page for much more information about scams and online crime: www.facebook.com/SCARS.News.And.Information »

 

To learn more about SCARS visit www.AgainstScams.org

Please be sure to report all scammers HERE » or on www.Anyscam.com »

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