The OpenDNS Phishing QuizIf you're a Purportal regular you probably have a pretty good eye for scams -- or think you do! Try this quiz from OpenDNS that shows you screen shots of 14 sites that may look real at first... but it's up to you to say whether they are or not. Looking at the URLs is the way to tell for sure. If those were hidden I might not have done so well!
January 4th, 2012
US Postal Inspection Service: Scheme AlertsThe USPS publishes a handy page of information about active scams relating to the Postal Service. Interesting that all the scams seem to use the internet as their delivery channel... I guess only real old-school scammers use plain paper mail.
December 7th, 2011
Some hoaxes are just for fun"On March 13, 2010 ... the world's largest Twitter hoax. The idea of the hoax was to trick people into thinking Conan O'Brien had joined Internet television company Revision 3. 525 tweets containing the hashtag '#omgconan' were sent in next three hours, making it a Trending Topic on Twitter."
August 24th, 2011
Scam and repeatWhen scammers find something that works, they'll use it over and over and over again. We see this in the Purportal collection. Not only do similar-to-identical messages often come in on the same day, sometimes they arrive months or even years apart. I analyzed the 8000+ messages in the Purportal collection for similarity, and found hundreds of separated-at-birth pairs like this one and, months later, this one.
August 23rd, 2011
Clickjacking, LikejackingSophos presents a detailed look at a Facebook-based scam in which, needless to say, all is not as it appears. Especially the stuff you click on.
June 23rd, 2011
New page: "Research"The Purportal home page has changed. It now is focused on easier access to our major resource: the scammy spam collection. The off-site search boxes are on a new page -- click the "research" link in the navigation bar in the upper right to get there. Let me know what you think!
April 25th, 2011
Twitter feed is backPurportal's Twitter feed -- which announces each new piece of scammy spam as it hits the database -- has been down for a while due to a change on Twitter's end. That's all fixed now, so you can get your up-to-the-hour spam fix again.
April 23rd, 2011
Announcing smarter searchI've made a long overdue improvement to Purportal's scammy-spam search. You can now type multiple words into the search box and it will find all messages that contain all those words. Simple, right? Wasn't that way until now. A great way to use this: copy a line from a suspicious email you received, and paste it into the search box (don't worry if it doesn't fit). The results page will show the entries in the database that match your search. It will show up to 50, with the newest ones always at the top.
February 28th, 2011
So-called "one-click fraud""After the boy enters the Web site, it flashes notifications that demand a registration fee. The boy is also threatened with legal actions and told his family will be contacted if a payment is not made. Although the threats are meaningless, without any legal backing, the victims of one-click fraud are led to believe the single click they made to enter the Web site puts them at fault. They often pay the fee."
January 28th, 2011
Scams aimed at job huntersOne of the new populations that scammers have started to target is job hunters. I think the scammers' calculation is: they might be desperate for money, and that might impair their judgement.
In my recent job search I received some of these "offers". Familiar stuff to a scam buff like me, but often with an extra touch -- my full name, which they had gotten from my resume. For some reason, hotjobs.yahoo.com was the source of the majority of scammers -- maybe they make it easier for non-employers to see candidate info, or maybe that's just the the current flavor of the month in scamming circles.
Monster.com has run a series of articles on these scams. If you or someone you know is job-seeking, check it out.
December 24th, 2010