…in fact ’tis (always) the season for scams and hoaxes…
While scam-watching has been all too much a part of my professional life (i.e. the blogs and articles I get paid to write) I haven’t been spending much time on chain letters and hoaxes lately. Before I get to that, here’s a scam-ish item that caught my eye today.
Being useless doesn’t necessarily qualify software as malware, but Kaspersky’s Roel Schouwenberg was more than happy to classify as such a couple of Android apps that do nothing very much. And I think he’s right: an app that calls itself ‘Internet Accelerator Speed Up’ but does nothing but tell you that your system has been optimised by [random number between 20-45]% is a hoax if you don’t pay for it, and fraud if you do. Roel’s screenshot shows the cost of the download as $0.00, but even if that’s the cost, he also suggests that it has adware functionality. Claiming non-existent functionality in order to install adware would also suggest fraud to me. Kaspersky flags it as HEUR:Hoax.AndroidOS.FakeBapp.a. (Hat tip to John Leyden for bringing this to my attention.)
Here are a couple of scam-related articles I’ve posted recently on the ESET blog:
- Diamonds are forever, and so are investment scams looks at the murky world of alternative investments. Not always a scam, but too often for comfort.
- Maryam Abacha rides again: yes, Virginia, there IS a Sani-ty Clause!* You can never have too many blogs about 419 scams…
Back on more familiar hoax territory, here are a couple of relevant posts I’ve also put up on the ESET blog:
- A Load of (Red) Bull you may not like energy drinks, but don’t fall for a scaremongering hoax.
- Premium Rate Scams and Hoaxes
- Don’t pay high phone bills: SMS Trojans can trick you via premium-rate numbers is a blog by my colleague Pablo Ramos on a real SMS Trojan with a lot of impact in Latin America.
And a confession: that isn’t a baby reindeer in the photograph (Photoshopping courtesy of Jude Harley). It’s a Mule Deer we encountered in Yosemite on our last visit to the US (and it wasn’t Christmas, either). Well, this is a hoax site.
Compliments of the season to you, and best wishes for the New Year, from Jude, Letitia and myself.
David Harley CITP FBCS CISSP
Small Blue-Green World/Mac Virus
ESET Senior Research Fellow