Re: I Was Cheated By Internet Fraudsters

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I got sent some unidentified flower seeds for being a Maximum Fun backer, maybe there are some geraniums in there. I was a bit surprised they made it through customs, to be honest.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 6:09 AM
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Can that be a viable business model?

Maybe they make more money by hoping people call them directly, instead of Amazon, for a refund and then they ask for a credit card number and PIN.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 6:35 AM
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The work of Cut My Own Throat Gardner?


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 6:58 AM
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I have a similar question about internet scamming. If there's so much to be gained by hacking someone's email account, why alert the victim to the hacking by sending out spammy email to everyone they know? How can the payoff of spammy mass email possibly outweigh the information you can glean by keeping your presence quiet?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:02 AM
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What information would you get from most people's email?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:07 AM
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I mean, what information of value?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:08 AM
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There was this article where they hack people's email accounts for nudie pics. I imagine you could find quite a lot of passwords in people's email accounts, too, which makes me personally totally queasy to contemplate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:12 AM
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Uh, how many people have nudie pics in their email (at least, ones not otherwise available on public sites?) Is there some trend I should be joining?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:14 AM
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You're not on the mailing list for nosflow's weekly self-portrait?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:16 AM
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Uh, how many people have nudie pics in their email

Allow me to introduce you to my father in law, who can add you, unsolicited I might add, to his crony email list for sharing boobies.


Posted by: simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:17 AM
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7: Don't worry about the passwords. When I email passwords to myself, I make the clues so cryptic that even I can't figure them out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:18 AM
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8: I bet it's super common for the kids and the selfie-afflicted who have just enough sense not to put them somewhere public.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:20 AM
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4,7: eh, if you're hacking hundreds of thousands of emails at once you're doing it to get immediate use out of them. You can automatically parse their archived mail but sitting on it and collecting data realtime is too slow. Just own several hundred thousand more, and then come back to the first set and vacuum up their stored mail again.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:23 AM
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There was an amusing thing a few years back where this mildly-famous TV nerd-personality posted a cropped version of a picture of herself but didn't manage to delete/update the included low-res preview that made it clear that in the uncropped image she was nude.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:25 AM
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Many years ago, before LB was born (I think), my HS bio teacher offered extra credit to anyone who could germinate pine tree seeds. Extra credit was always not my thing but it turned out my mother had just received in the mail as part of some promotion a small packet of "pine tree seeds." So put a couple in a pot and brought them in. In time they germinated--the teacher immediately noting they looked nothing like a pine tree would--and soon enough it became apparent that I had successfully grown a common lawn and garden weed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:26 AM
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Likely the seller has found a way to get worthless junk with tolerable packaging in bulk for nothing or nearly nothing. If they have any capacity to plan, they set up many penny-ante seller accounts, each of which then generates beer money every month. About the equivalent of selling tube socks or knit caps on a street corner.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:31 AM
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13: Yeah, but those spammy emails can't possibly yield anything. How on earth does "Try this supplement! http:xxxxyssy.xid.com" get someone to click through and purchase something? I suppose I need to lower my expectations.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:31 AM
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I was expecting LB's plant to be weed. Not to be a weed.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:34 AM
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About the equivalent of selling tube socks or knit caps on a street corner.

It might be more like taking your tube socks or knit sweaters to your office and going door to door, asking if people are busy, because you're getting slammed.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:35 AM
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17: I thought the sales type of spammy emails were replaced with "I'm stuck in London with no money and no passport. Can you wire me $500?".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:35 AM
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Anyway, it was some story like that I was reading when I finally decided to use the two-level super-secret gmail password.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:39 AM
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"Try this supplement! http:xxxxyssy.xid.com" get someone to click through and purchase something?

They aren't trying to purchase anything, they are trying to infect your browser by sending it to a site with malware, so they can take over your email next.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:43 AM
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17. There are people who believe in supplements/hot chicks looking to meet you!/prescriptrion-free X@n@x but who would like to buy at a lower price than they're currently paying. Maybe this is slander, but I imagine a mindset a lot like coupon-clipping or scratch-off lottery buying. The actual product is low-grade hope, depressingly misdirected, I think.

Here's a paper that goes into detail, though not aboput customers' mindset.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:43 AM
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23: Sometimes people are just bored and willing to email most anyone.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:46 AM
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They aren't trying to purchase anything, they are trying to infect your browser by sending it to a site with malware, so they can take over your email next.

This is something I've actually been confused about: can you get infected by just visiting a site? Or do you have to click something once you're there?

But also, perfectly sensible people seem to get hacked, and not by going to a malware site.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:49 AM
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My dad bought printer cartridges from a spammer once. I was so disappointed in him. In retrospect, it may have largely been related to the onset of senility.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:51 AM
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can you get infected by just visiting a site?

Yes, to a first approximation.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:51 AM
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But also, perfectly sensible people seem to get hacked, and not by going to a malware site.

You can be at a malware site and not realize it. Advertizing services get compromised with malware all the time. If you go to a site that includes ads from a third party that have been compromised, you could get infected.

Browsers are getting better at warning people about it these days. Chrome and Firefox at least. But there are a lot of potential victims out there still using old versions of Internet Explorer with unpatched installations of Java or Adobe Reader, because that's what came with their PC, and those people get taken to the cleaners.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 7:56 AM
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This isn't exactly the same as the answer to 17, but I enjoyed this appalling article on how someone made millions of dollars thanks to One Weird Old Trick That Drives The FTC Crazy.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 8:19 AM
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28: so it turns out that there now are malware chrome extensions, where scammers even buy up legitimate addons than pervert them to infect your browser with malware.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 8:23 AM
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I could see that turning into a trend across a whole bunch of different app stores. The Chrome extentions thing was just the softest available target. This will start happening with phones too. It probably already is.

That means app stores will be locked down even tighter than they already are, which is going to make things even more difficult for independent developers.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 8:34 AM
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I think Apple checks (though how thorough that check is I don't know) updates to apps, not just the initial submission, so it probably wouldn't be quite as easy. Google Play is probably considerably more vulnerable - certainly there was a lot of malware on there at one point, though they've cleaned it up somewhat. And at least Android tells you exactly what permissions an app requires before you install it - though of course 99% of people will just click OK regardless, and plenty of legit apps ask for extremely broad permissions, so it's not like people have much reason to be on their guard.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 8:44 AM
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At least Herman Cain only sells penis pills to people who voluntarily get this messages.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 8:46 AM
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Herman Cain supporters are the prime demographic for penis pills.

Not that I don't love penis pills.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 8:54 AM
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On the other hand, Cain seems to be selling herbal penis pills. That just shady.

Bob Dole and Colin Powell have both shilled for penis pills, right? Any democrats?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 8:57 AM
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What's Mike Ditka?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 8:58 AM
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When I was a wee lad living in Zambia my Mom asked the gardner to plant some african marigolds in the planter by the door. Due to language difficulties he ended up planting marijuana, which lead to an interesting conversation when the local chief of police came to the house for a prayer meeting. I may have told this story before.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:00 AM
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According to the Wikipedia, Ditka is 'a self-described "ultra-ultra-ultra conservative"'.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:03 AM
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We used to call those fascists.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:04 AM
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I guess that explains the penis pill ads he did.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:04 AM
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Ditka says the biggest mistake he ever made was not running against Barak Obama for Senate in 2004. Boy, theres an alternate timeline for you.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:07 AM
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Any chance there was a confusion between actual geraniums ("hardy geranium" or "cranesbill") and the tropical/indoor plant commonly known as a geranium (actually pelargonium)?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:13 AM
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If you've been keeping one alive in your office as a potted plant, I have a feeling you're thinking of the latter -- but those aren't going to be either hardy or perennial outdoors in New York.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:15 AM
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But "elongated teardrop" doesn't sound like either one, it's true.

What I apparently really like is unnecessarily spreading my banal contributions out over several comments.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:17 AM
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The window boxes are indoors. By geranium, I meant this (and was relying on not only the word geranium, but pictures of the plant I wanted). When I called it 'hardy', I didn't mean weather resistant, I meant hard to kill as a potted plant. The one in my office has been surviving on the odds and ends of any beverages I've been drinking in my office for five years now, and is thriving on it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:28 AM
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On the veldt, geraniums hunted orange trees in packs.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:42 AM
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What I apparently really like is unnecessarily spreading my banal contributions out over several comments.

New hovertext?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-27-14 9:52 AM
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