August 05, 2005Watching a Train Wreck
A lot of people are going to be ripped off today, and there's not a damned thing I can do about it.
I'm sure I wasn't the only one to receive the following message (phone number blocked out):
Please be aware that your refund which totals $1,742.63 is available and ready for you to either pick up or we can send it to you.
Call me anytime at ***-***-**** for more info.
Please email me back and let me know how to proceed.
The return email address is from a yahoo.com account, although the message originated from a server (or hijacked computer-turned-server) in Sudan.
I don't know for sure what kind of scam this is, but I suspect it's either identity theft (you have to supply all kinds of personal info to obtain your refund—not) or a telephone redirect that lands a hefty (and irreversible) charge on your next phone bill. My money's on the former.
The phone number is in the Reno, Nevada area, and I'll give a call to law enforcement there. I may sound defeatest, but I don't expect much help in tracking down what this is all about.
I want to shout from a global rooftop to warn all recipients about these kinds of messages. What looks to be manna from heaven will probably lead to identity-theft hell.Posted on August 05, 2005 at 09:10 AM