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Tag Archive for 'spam'

Retailer recruits community to spam deal sites

Many of you know that I run a shopping community site. It is something I love doing. I perfected the idea for many months until after several iterations I came out with something that worked. It is a lot of fun. We have a very closely knit and dedicated community of bargain hunters who are eager to share hot deals and money saving tips with everyone, and are doing so daily.

As much as I love being the enabler and a part of Buxr community, the job comes with some responsibilities that are as distant from bargain hunting as they can be. I am talking about fighting spam. So far the incidents have been fairly rare and easily identifiable. Say, what would you think if a member with an account created within the past hour submitted a low value coupon or product linking to an obscure overseas based online store? Naturally these submissions are easy to spot and remove as they are nothing but noise in the eyes of the shopper.
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Pump-and-Dump, Money Mules, and Penis Pills

I hate unsolicited phone calls and email offers I have not signed to. This blog receives over 200 comment submissions daily and some of my email accounts receive even more emails. Thanks to effective spam filtering software I don’t have to read most of them but that doesn’t make me hate spammers less.

All three terms above relate to spam which has become inevitable part of our daily life. I am not going to tell you about Penis Enlargement Pills. I hope you are smart enough to not engage into this type of ripoff. But who are the other two animals?

Pump-and-Dump

You have probably received emails with an embedded image inside selling a penny stock of some small company. That company is real and to make the sale pitch look convincing, the text inside that image often points to real events or a news release.

The economics of this scam is pretty simple. Spammers invest into a penny stock of a small company. Small companies have few outstanding shares and their stock price is relatively easy to sway. People receive email spam, buy the stock, and by doing so raise the stock price short term. Meanwhile the spammers sell the stock profiting from the higher price.

The important part here is “short term”. There is a very good chance the stock will go down the next day or even later the same day. But don’t take my word for it, look at this website that monitors daily stock spam activity. You can see from the charts that buying these stocks is a guaranteed way to lose money!

Money Mules

Another popular type of email spam is aimed at stealing your banking or credit card credentials. This is called phishing. The email sender attempts to obtain your sensitive financial information by impersonating a bank, credit card agency, IRS, or another financial institution. What happens after spammers obtain this data? This is where a Money Mule gets involved.

Have you ever seen ads offering stay-at-home jobs titled “shipping manager” or “regional assistant” and offering lucrative salaries with high commissions? Some of these are attempts to enlist people to transfer illegal funds obtained via above mentioned phishing scam. Many of the spammers operate out of third world countries and don’t have US banking accounts.

Money Mules are spammers’ helpers who represent the last link in the phishing chain. Without a Money Mule, spammers can’t really do anything with the stolen credit card credentials.

You can find a great deal of information about the technology behind spam and other malicious activities from this book: Botnets: The Killer Web Applications




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