Sunday, October 20, 2013

Old MacDonald Had a Like Farm and it's Disguised as a Ford Mustang Giveaway On Facebook.




Summary
This short article will explain to you what "Like Farming" is and why you do not want to be a part of it on Facebook, or anywhere else on the Internet.

Like Farming
Like Farming is the act of fleecing Facebook users for likes, by posting bogus giveaways of expensive items on non-official fan pages, created by scammers, Internet Marketers and or Affiliates. The practice is designed and setup by crooks to increase a Facebook Fan page or profiles rank, activity and value by tricking people into liking and sharing post from them. If the page or profile doesn't get shut down for spam or other infractions of Facebook's TOS, it may rack up millions of fans or followers in a very short time. It will then be placed in cue and sold off by the owner, to the person willing to pay the most for the page. In some cases the pages are simply used to drive traffic to affiliate offers and to collect names, email addresses and other personal information. See the following examples. 

Example: Ford Mustang Giveaway


Example: Chevrolet Camaro Giveaway


Example: iPad 2 Giveaway


Example: Samsung Galaxy S4 Giveaway


Example: PlayStation 4 Giveaway


Don't be a part of it.
Simply put, you do not want to take part in "Like Farming" scams because you will gain nothing by doing so. You will not win anything or get anything free. You will not receive free iPods, iPads, iPhones, iThings, Playstations, Xboxes, Smartphones, Headphones, Macbooks, Hair Straighteners, Expensive Clothes or anything else you can't afford to buy. There is no gadget to giveaway. That's why It's called a SCAM.

If you participate in "Like Farming" scams about the only thing you are doing is spamming nonsense to your friends and adding money to a con mans pocket. The con man will eventually sell his page and buy the thing he fooled you with, for himself.

Avoid Like Farming Scams
It's easy to avoid Like Farming scams if you try to follow these simple rules.
  1. If you see a giveaway in your news feed and it looks to good to be true, IT IS. Avoid it.
  2. Inspect Fan pages before you participate in their giveaways. You can do this by visiting the page in question directly, before you like, share or comment on anything from it. Look for company contact information and good activity on the page. If the page looks new, has no contact info and has little to no post on it, leave the page. 
  3. Pay attention to the comments others leave on fan page giveaway post. If people are calling it a scam, you don't want anything to do with it.
  4. Use Common Sense. Avoid being a like or share Zombie.
  5. Saying the words: "You Never Know", when sharing a giveaway or freebie scam will make you look like a fool. Especially if others have warned you already.
Stay Safe,
~Black Knight


Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Verizon Bill Credit Scam. Avoid Automated Calls Promising Hundreds of Dollars in Bill Credits.




Summary
Over the last week or so people throughout the United States have been receiving automated calls promising them hundreds of dollars in bill credits toward their Verizon accounts.

What Happens
The random or “out-of-the–blue” automated calls state that by logging on to a website, (vzw384.com), $384 will be credited to your Verizon bill. If a Verizon customer falls for the message and goes to the website, they will see what appears to be Verizon’s website and are then prompted to log in. The website they have visited does not belong to Verizon and the request for login information is designed to steal their user name and password. Once the website gathers their login information a crook will then be able to use it to gain access to their real Verizon account and any payment information they have stored in it.

How To Deal With It
Verizon is aware of the scam and is currently investigating it. If you receive a automated call promising bill credits on your Verizon account, simply HANG UP and then call Verizon to report the suspicious message. Once you have reported the call  precede to block the number the suspicious message came from. 

If you have received such a call, preceded to the fraudulent website and provided your login info while on the website, you must call Verizon, 1-800-837-4966, immediately and let them know that your account has been compromised.

Stay Safe,
~Black Knight


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Facebook Privacy Notice Tomfoolery: The Status Message Means Nothing.



The rather lengthy, legal looking Facebook status shown in the example below has been making its way around Facebook, yet again. 

Example: Facebook Privacy Notice Hoax
Example 1
Channel 13 News was just talking about this change in Facebook's privacy policy. Better safe than sorry. As of October 14, 2013 at 5:50pm Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and Paste 

Lets Cut To The Chase
Instead of sitting here typing up a lengthy article explaining the tomfoolery it states, wasting more of your time and mine, I'll just tell you flat out what the message means for you, a Facebook user.

It means positively, absolutely, unequivocally 
NOTHING to you, a Facebook user. 

Meaning What? 
Don't waste your time, or space on your Timeline, copying and pasting it. It will not protect your privacy.

You are welcome to read the "Laws": "UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103" and the "Rome Statute", both sited in the above message. Try to figure out what they have to do with Facebook privacy.

Wait, don't bother. I'll tell you right now. NOTHING!

U.C.C. - ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Rome Statute?
http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/about the court/frequently asked questions/Pages/3.aspx

If you are not happy with my summery of the "Facebook Privacy Notice Hoax", please by all means take the time to visit Hoax-Slayer. Back in June of 2012 they thoroughly busted that hoax. ;)

Completely Pointless and Misleading 'Facebook Privacy Notice'
http://www.hoax-slayer.com/bogus-facebook-privacy-notice.shtml


Stay Safe,
~Black Knight



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Why the Facebook Graph App Hoax Does Nothing But Send You Into Seclusion.



The "Facebook Seclusion Hoax"

What is the Facebook Seclusion Hoax?
The Seclusion Hoax instructs Facebook users to ask the people in their list to unsubscribe from various parts of their Facebook activity. Through its varied messages it tries to trick unsavvy Facebook users into believing the instructions given will help them protect their Facebook privacy by limiting the activity they let their friends see. It implies that when friends complete the actions, the users Facebook information/ activities will be sheltered or hidden from the public’s eye, on Facebook. It also often times makes mention of new and controversial Facebook features, such as: Graph Search, to frighten Facebook users into doing what the hoax instructs. To the untrained eye the message may appear truthful and informative, but in reality it isn't. 

Examples:
Example 1
FOLKS, THIS IS HAPPENING!!! 
Hello to all of you who are on my list of contacts of Facebook I haven't wanted to do this, but after finding all of my photos located on another site, I would like to ask a favor of you…. You may not know that Facebook has changed its privacy configuration once again. Thanks to the new “Graphic app”, any person on FB anywhere in the world can see our photos, our “likes” and our “comments”. During the next two weeks, I am going to keep this message posted and I ask you to do the following and comment “DONE”. Those of my friends who do not maintain my information in private will be eliminated from ...my list of friends, because I want the information I share with you, my friends, to remain among my friends and not be available to the whole world. I want to be able to publish photos of my friends and family without strangers being able to see them, which is what happens now when you choose “like” or “comment”. Unfortunately we cannot change this configuration because FB has made it like this. 1. So, please, place your cursor over my photo that appears in this box (without clicking) and a window will open. 2. Now move the cursor to the word “Friends”, again without clicking and then on “Settings”. 3. Un-check “Life Events” and “Comments and Like”. This way my activity with my family and friends will no longer be made public. 4. Now, copy and paste this text on your own wall (do not “share” it!). Once I see it published on your page, I will un-check the same

Example 2
“To all my FB friends: I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. However, with the recent changes in FB, the “public” can now see activities in ANY wall. This happens when our friend hits “like” or “comment” ~ automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it this way….So I’m asking for your help. …Only you can do this for me. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “Settings”, click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on “COMMENTS & LIKE” and also “PHOTOS” by clicking on each one.

Example 3
Hello to all of you who are on my list of contacts of Facebook. I would like to ask a favor of you.... You may not know that Facebook has changed its privacy configuration once again. Thanks to the new “Graphic app”, any person in Facebook anywhere in the world can see our photos, our “likes” and our “comments”. During the next two weeks, I am going to keep this message posted and I ask you to do the following and comment “DONE”. Those of my friends who do not maintain my information in private will be eliminated from my list of friends, because I want the information I share with you, my friends, to remain among my friends and not be available to the whole world. I want to be able to publish photos of my friends and family without strangers being able to see them which is what happens now when you choose “like” or “comment”. Unfortunately we cannot change this configuration because Facebook has made it like this. So, please, place your cursor over my photo that appears in this box (without clicking) and a window will open. Now move the cursor to the word “Friends”, again without clicking and then on “Settings”. Click "Settings" now and Uncheck “Life Events” and “Comments and Like”. This way my activity with my family and friends will no longer be made public. Now, copy and paste this text on your own wall (do not “share” it!). Once I see it published on your page, I will un-check the same for you. 

Example 4
FACEBOOK HAS CHANGED THEIR PRIVACY SETTINGS ONCE MORE!!! DUE TO THE NEW "GRAPH APP" ANYONE ON FACEBOOK (INCLUDING OTHER COUNTRIES) CAN SEE YOUR PICTURES, LIKES, AND COMMENTS. The next 2 weeks I will be posting this, and please once you have done it please post DONE! Those of you who do not keep my information from going out to the public, I will have to DELETE YOU! I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I don't want strangers to have access to!!! This happens when our friends click "like" or "comment"... automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it that way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on "FRIENDS" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on "LIFE EVENTS" and "COMMENTS & LIKES". By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page, I will do the same 

Why the Facebook Seclusion Hoax Doesn't Make you more Private.
When friends follow the directions given in the hoax they are doing nothing more than instructing Facebook to not show them specific activities from the person in question, the person who posted or reposted the hoax. While they may no longer be able to see those specific activities from the person, in their news feed, the activity remains directly viewable to them and possibly many others. This is especially true if the person in question frequently does things in public places like Fan pages, open or public Groups, public profiles or on websites that allow Facebook comments. 

While friends who completed the actions won’t be able to see these activities in their feed, they will still be able to see them if they directly visit the places the person did the actions. This is also true for ANYONE else who visits those places. Things posted directly to the person Timeline will still be visible on their Timeline based on the selected privacy setting on the item in question.

In a Nutshell.
Telling your Facebook friends to follow the instructions in the hoax and to unsubscribe from things like your Comments, Likes, Life Events, Photos, Statuses and etcetera will only stop that activity from showing up in their news feed. In fact, if you keep falling for this type of hoax you will find yourself Secluded from the people in your Facebook friends list. Why? Because each version of this long running hoax has instructed users to un-check different areas of activity. If your friends have followed the instructions each time you've posted or reposted the hoax, their news feed will likely not show ANYTHING you post on Facebook. Meaning what? Unless they visit your TIMELINE directly or visit the places you visit and have done something on directly, they will think you aren't using Facebook.

Congratulations, you've successfully secluded yourself from the people you have added to your friends list and have at the same time likely not been paying attention to the fact that you've left other parts of your profile open to complete strangers and Internet marketers.

A brutal lesson you won't like, provided by following the instructions in a prank.

To learn how to actually somewhat protect your Facebook privacy, start by going to the link below. Spend some time learning about Facebook privacy settings and how to use them, the right way.

Facebook Help Topic - Privacy
https://www.facebook.com/help/445588775451827/

And while you are at it, you may also want to read about Facebook latest privacy related issue.

Facebook Outs Invisible Users
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/10/10/facebook_eliminates_the_option_to_have_your_profile_be_unsearchable.html

Don’t be fooled by that nice blog post, Facebook’s latest privacy change is a big deal
http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/facebooks-privacy-changes-are-a-big-deal/

Stay Safe,
Black Knight

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scam Alert - Beware Of Scams Using The Publishers Clearing House Name.




Make sure you are on guard for two (2) scams currently making the rounds. These scams involve unsolicited emails and phone calls from people claiming to be with PCH (Publishers Clearing House).

PCH Scam Type 1: Fraudulent Emails In The Name of PCH
Avoid all unsolicited emails that claim your email address has been selected a winner of the "PCH! Finance Bonanza". The emails instruct you to contact a Mr. Paul Anderson and provide personal information such as, Name, Date Of Birth and Social Security Number in your response, to claim your prize. An example of the email has been provided below.

Example - Fraudulent Email and Header. (Click To Enlarge)

It's quite obvious that this email is not from Publishers Clearing House and is an attempt to Phish personal information and money from those who reply to it. The email header shows quite clearly that the email did not come from the PCH domain and the reply email address isn't in that domain either. Publishers Clearing House does not hold contest in which random email addresses belonging people who never entered a contest with them, are selected as winners. They also do NOT send e-mails requesting personal banking, financial information or Social Security numbers in connection with a prize.

PCH Scam Type 2: Fraudulent Phone Calls In The Name of PCH
In the last few days there has been an increase of people receiving unsolicited phone calls from scammers claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House. The callers state that you have won a prize and must provide them with personal information and a payment to receive the prize. Publishers Clearing House does not charge individuals to claim prize awards. If you receive an unsolicited or "Out-Of-The-Blue" phone call claiming to be from PCH and the caller states you have won something but need to pay to receive the prize, hang up immediately.

Avoid These Types of PCH Scams By Remembering These helpful Tips.
  1. Publishers Clearing House does not charge individuals to claim prize awards.
  2. Publishers Clearing House does NOT send e-mails or make unsolicited phone calls requesting personal banking information, other financial information or Social Security numbers in connection with a prize.
  3. If you have not entered a sweepstakes with PCH you will not be selected as a winner by them.
What to Do If You've Fallen Victim to a PCH Scam.
If you believe you have fallen victim to a scam using the Publishers Clearing House name and or logo contact PCH immediately by calling 1-800-645-9242. You are also advised to contact your local consumer protection office or the National Fraud Center at www.fraud.org. If you have made the mistake of handing over a Banking information or a credit card number, you should call your bank or credit provider as soon as possible to have them remove or dispute the charges that have or maybe made to the card. 

Resources:
PCH Learning Center - Fraud Protection
http://info.pch.com/consumer-information/fraud-protection

PCH Blog - Don’t Get Fooled By Sweepstakes Scammers!
http://blog.pch.com/blog/2012/03/30/dont-get-fooled-by-sweepstakes-scammers/

Stay Safe
~Black Knight

Friday, March 29, 2013

Phishing Scam - Visa And Master Card Customers: Avoid the Database Upgrading Email.




Visa and Master Card customers should avoid a Phishing campaign currently targeting them by email. The email bares a subject line of "Credit/Debit Card Users" and tries encourage customers to open a "Database Upgrading" html file that is attached to the message. If the attachment is opened it displays another message that claims the customer is required to update their card details due to a security maintenance upgrade. The link provided transfers intended victims to a Fraudulent website that ask them to provide information such as their name, card number, bank name and other personal information. See Samples below.

Examples - Email, Headers, HTML File & Phishing Website
(Click to Enlarge)

Visa and Master Card do not send out messages asking their customers for personal information, bank names or card numbers and they never send attachments. If you receive any emails that claim to be from either company and are requesting this type of information, forward the messages to phishing@visa.com or consumer_inquiries@mastercard.com. After you have forward the fraudulent messages, mark them as spam and then delete them. 

Safety:
As a general rule of thumb you should never click the links or open attachments found in emails such as these. The links can easily point you to websites that have Malware on them and the attachments can contain Malware. It is also a good idea to get out of the habit of logging into your online accounts through emails. It is always better to open your web browser and navigate to websites directly, before you log into them. If there are problems with your accounts, most websites will generally notify you of them after you have logged in.

Stay Safe
~Black Knight



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Facebook Scam Alert - Subway Surfers is not a Game, it's a Survey Scam.



If you are a Facebook user you will want to make sure you avoid messages, posts or invites that state a family member or friend has recently play a game named Subway Surfers.

Scam Signature:
{User Name} -  Play Subway Surfers : ---Link---

What's Happening.
  1. A users clicks or copies and paste the link provided in the Bait message.
  2. The link takes them to a website setup to look like Facebook and are encouraged to click an image to play the Subway Surfers game.
  3. Once the user clicks the picture, a Facebook dialog appears and request that the user log into the make believe game with their Facebook account.
  4. If the user clicks the "Log In with Facebook" button, a Rogue Application will install and then asks the user to "Allow" some additional permissions, such as wall posting..
  5. When the user clicks to allow these permissions the Rogue Application makes two (2) post to the users Timeline, behind his or her back.
  6. The user is then transferred to another page and told they must verify their Facebook account, before they continue, by completing surveys.
Examples of The Scam - (Click To Enlarge)
 
 
 


What makes this a scam.
There is no Subway Surfer game on Facebook. The entire ruse has been setup to trick Facebook gamers into spreading spam and completing Fake surveys. The Fake Survey pays the con-artist who made this scam a few bucks for you doing it . The scam is simply designed to make money from your actions, you will not receive anything in return.

Avoidance:
It’s very easy to make it appear as though someone you trust has endorsed something on Facebook. Just because it may appear one of your family or friends has posted a message stating they received something awesome or did something cool with their Facebook profile, doesn't mean it really happen. The best thing for you to do is: “Ask First, Click Never.” It is also highly recommended that you never install Facebook applications without reviewing them properly.

Read:
How to Protect Your Facebook Account from Rogue Applications
http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/how-to-protect-your-facebook-account-from-rogue-applications-292.html

Why you should NOT install ‘Fun & Entertaining’ Facebook applications
http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/why-you-should-not-install-fun-entertaining-facebook-applications.html

I fell for the scam, What should I do now?
If you have fallen for any scams on Facebook, the best thing you can do is clean up your account and the mess immediately. You should remove any bad Facebook applications or browser plug-ins you have installed, change your password just in case and delete any content the scam caused you to post. I've compiled this cleanup process into four easy to follow steps. You can find them in the topic shown below.

How to Thoroughly Cleanup Your Facebook Account After You’ve Fallen for a Spam Attack.
http://www.scamsniper.info/2013/03/how-to-thoroughly-cleanup-your-facebook.html

Stay safe
~Black Knight