by Cecile Cinco
Gone are the days of information overload for me. I have suffered that in 1995 when I was first connected to the “information superhighway” back then. Even in those times scammers were proliferating the internet but not as many as they are today. I’ve warned online buddies. Some believed, others did not and fell prey to the scammer and lost so much money in at least 4 digits of US$. I can easily spot a scammer because of the many times they have tried to scam me. There was a time I pretended to fall prey just to know the inner process. Since I was aware I was never a victim. I have experienced having worked for online tasks without being paid but I did it willingly. I knew there was a possibility it was a scam but it was also possible that I could be wrong. There was nothing I paid, though, to join. I was the collecting party.
After 17 years of scam-free internet life, yesterday I was scammed. Again, I knew the possibility was high but I never expected the process. There are thousands of high-yield investment programs (HYIPs) available on the internet and perhaps about 95% of them are scams. The modus operandi is to pay as promised for the first 2 months and when everybody is joining because all their friends got paid, they will fold up and run with the money of those who just joined last. By exponential progression, that means a lot of people.
I saw this site, turn5centsinto5dollars.com. By the look of it, I already have an idea that it is 99% scam but since it is only 3 days old I was thinking it will take awhile before it runs away with my money. Besides, it is only 5 cents.
Also, you can supposedly see the result only after 20 hours! Others take days and even months. This one is fast!
The payment made by the scammer over the investment received, though, is high. With their rate, it is just so. The question remains, where are they getting the money?
I tried to make a deposit anyway… There is no other payment option but through Liberty Reserve. Since my account was empty I had $2 exchanged from Paypal to LR.
I then had it processed…
Then the checkout page appeared…
I did not notice the wrong spelling right away. I was used to buying domain with having similar checkout to Paypal. With this experience, I will be ever more careful with checkouts. The key is the right (or wrong) domain name above. It should be libertyreserve.com, not libertyvreserve.com with that small “v” inserted where it successfully hid. It is truly a phishing scam.
When I got the email from Liberty Reserve…
Notice the account ID is different. U3047704 and the real scammer, U3795481. It actually happened so fast because when I checked out I still had no money in my LR account because my friend was currently doing the transfer and her internet was rather slow. After about 5 minutes she said I can check it already. When I did, I logged into my LR account and was asked to verify with a verification pin that was sent to my email because the last login attempt was from a different place. I thought that odd since I did not change computers. When I got in, though, I was surprised that what amount was left was only 2 cents!
I tried to think back what happened. At first I thought the $1.98 was what was left after my friend sent me $2.03 actually, including the fee. I even told her the fee was 5cents because what remained was $1.98. I did not see right away that the $1.98 was what was paid out instead of received. I went back to the site and tried to repeat the process and check everything more carefully that second time. That was when I saw the phishing tactic used.
I have lots phishing scams that arrive in my email everyday. Here are some of them…
Be warned. Share this to everyone you know.
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