Friday, August 17, 2007

Clever scam

I got a pretty clever scam email the other day, advertising for a website with native art of some sorts. The tone was like a personal invitation, no misspellings, and plausible names for the organisations involved. The only thing that gave it away was that it was not addressed to me.

Today I saw a clever scam website. They pretend to do a competition for amateur photographers, maximum of one photo per contestant. They promise a grand prize and official publication of all winning photos. From the upload page there is nothing strange, other than that there are no links to e.g. winning photos. I knew immediately it was a scam when I saw the root page of the site, where they ask you how much money you want them to send you if you fill in the form(!!!). Of course every contestant is declared a winner, and you can buy (!) a plaque with your name on it and a (bad quality) book containing all winning photos, that is every crappy photo that was uploaded to their site.

Beware of similar scams and when in doubt, just do a few minutes googling the website or organisation name before giving away your email address or even worse: sending them money.

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