Warnings and Hoaxes

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Bender got hisself a bunch of different tertiary bank accounts. All with Overdrafts. Good-oh. ;)

Interesting though that ASB cold-called him to 'ask what they'd done wrong' after he joined up with some other banks. Very interesting indeed....

Either one hell of a fluke, or theres stuff happening behind the scenes...

Have seen numerous reports online of people receiving the following email...

Above is how it looked in Xtra Webmail.

Heres the headers:

Lately we've been discussing at home these TV ads that've been showing - esp on Prime TV - with this text message based competition type mechanism, usually of late for a flatscreen TV. The frontwoman is a pretty, blonde Australian (by accent) and the deal is to identify a word from a wordfinder puzzle displayed on the TV, and then text the answer to 8555.

Of course, theres always a 'catch' so we've pretty much ignored the ad, except to notice that its an unconventionally long ad (up to a full minute) and that the initial competition (to find the word) is stupidly easy.

Then lately, the media has picked up on people who've been apparently taken for a ride.

Yesterday, Stuff reported A Hamilton Woman being 'stuck on' the system and the cellular provider doing nothing to help her unsubscribe.

Then in todays Herald I noted that the issue has been further picked up - Text Message Scams on a rise in NZ.

The example reported above has SMS at $3 per time, plus another $3 just for unsubscribing for the damn thing.

I think the Consumers Institute got it right: "Don't".
Its a bit like responding to email spam, or mass-forward-SMS/email notices. 'If its too good to be true, it probably is'.


All I can say is 'don't go to hoverspot.com'.

A guy I know signed up and now i'm being bombarded with invites I don't want...

I started aggressively blocking them - but theyre clever enough to change their inbound mail relay for each run. That on its own tells me theyre dodgy.

They fit into the sms.ac / wayn / hi5 club. :(

Orkut was an 'in thing' a few years ago. Everyone signed up.

Yet today its another story. Its overrun by people from Brazil - Whilst Googling (oh the irony! Orkut are a 'Google thing'.) to see what others thought about Orkut I was confronted by many other hits that point to Orkut as being a Spam Source - and not particularly useful anymore.

Even found one on Slashdot which explained it in as many words as being a side effect of the 'Brazillian Invasion'.

So not only do I have to resist the urge to deny all of South America at the IP level, but I get spam from a web service dominated by them too? No thanks.

To detail it: The 'spam' is people doing things like adding 'Scrapbook Entries' or 'Adding me as a Friend'.... people who I don't know.... people who don't even speak English..!

I havn't had any contact with a genuine friend or colleague via Orkut in well over a year - and that was fairly minor. Sites like Oldfriends tend to do the job nicely - and are at least locally accountable.

Would encourage anyone that I know who's on Orkut to consider whether its worthwhile. Sounds like if the Brazilians want it - they can have it. Plenty of other social-networking sites out there!!

Stuff.co.nz carries an article about the vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 release reported by Secunia.

All I can think of is 'won't they ever learn!' Especially given this sentence:

Last year Secunia found the same flaw in Internet Explorer 6, but it remains unpatched by Microsoft.

Yet another reason to Get Firefox. Or Linux for that matter.

My partner recently had to replace her cellphone and chose the Sharp GX17.
In an effort to help preserve its condition I located a Leather Cover on TradeMe.

The TradeMe ad contained the following text:

RRP $ 59.99
Its Original Krusell and its a Genuine Leather Case.

AVAILABLE for Following Model


And this was the image posted.

I duly paid the buy-now figure of $14.99 and sent an email off to the trader with the phone model type - and asking for an Account Number.

ez1969 came back with confirmation of postage ($5 from Auckland, Courierpost) and asked for Address, which I supplied. Account number was also supplied. I paid via Internet Banking (We're on the same bank; it was basically instant) and I confirmed ....

This was all pretty normal, and the guy got back to me pretty quickly. All good so far.

Cellphone Case made it to Wellington by the next day, delivered to me at work. Problem was... it was not a 'Krusell' type at all.

As you can see its a typical cellphone cover. Its hard to tell from the photo placed in the ad, but you can recognise the 'Access' brand with context. And for comparison, Google Image Search reveals what the cover should look like:

So in terms of the cover itself:

- It doesn't cover the whole phone. Front and back, yes. The sides get naff all coverage.

Yet another Trademe Scam distributed via email - fairly accurately done too. Proports to be from 'mailer@trademe.co.nz'.

http://www.blakjak.net/images/trademescam.html <--- This is is the fake as it would render in an HTML capable email client.

http://www.blakjak.net/images/trademescam.txt <-- heres the source code. Look carefully at where the key link points.


The host resolves to which is an IP used in Romania. Not New Zealand!

Don't get caught out, folks..

[edit] Heres the mail headers of a copy I got direct:

Delivered-To: [my email address]
Received: (qmail 30184 invoked from network); 5 Aug 2006 12:38:40 +1200
Received: from unknown (HELO manchester.micfo.com) (
by maverick.blakjak.net with SMTP; 5 Aug 2006 12:38:40 +1200
Received: from nobody by manchester.micfo.com with local (Exim 4.52)
id 1G9ABH-0005ur-Qz
for [my email address]; Fri, 04 Aug 2006 19:38:19 -0500
To: [my email address]
Subject: Trade Me - a message from maori_with_guns
X-PHP-Script: manchester.micfo.com/~nufardel/info/send.php for,
From: Trade Me
Content-Type: text/html
X-Priority: 3
Date: Fri, 04 Aug 2006 19:38:19 -0500
X-AntiAbuse: This header was added to track abuse, please include it with any abuse report
X-AntiAbuse: Primary Hostname - manchester.micfo.com
X-AntiAbuse: Original Domain - [my domain]
X-AntiAbuse: Originator/Caller UID/GID - [99 500] / [47 12]
X-AntiAbuse: Sender Address Domain - manchester.micfo.com
X-Source-Args: /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -DSSL
X-Source-Dir: nufardelta.ro:/public_html/info
[anti-spam headers from blakjak.net removed]

Followup 6 Aug: I am advised that the ISP hosting the mailout-source is being required to take appropriate action by their upstream host, and that the servehttp.com host has been terminated. A good result.

Now if only the perp's could be brought to justice... :|


The stories on that page are pretty much self supporting.

See also http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=81652

http://www.wayn.com does the same thing but they don't just stick to hotmail.
They also ask for Gmail passwords too (I think they also give you the option to import Yahoo mail addresses.

Once they have your contacts list they spam everyone who's ever e-mailed you. I got 3 WAYN invites on 3 different addresses from a friend of mine who did this.

People really have to be educated about stuff like this. These sites are just full of ads and a "legal" way of harvesting valid e-mail addresses.

For godsake. Why don't people learn???

/me adds them to my RBL... getting rather sick of multiple and repeat notices 'apparently' instigated by someone I know. More likely that the stupid someone filled in their passwords to their mail accounts and are now at the mercy of WAYN.

Just like birthdayalarm.com eh. And all the rest!!! Came across another one this week thanks to my Cousin in the UK - http://www.zorpia.com/ - another to KEEP AWAY from!!

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