back to article US watchdog: Scam scammers scamming scammed in scam scam

America's trade regulator the FTC has issued a warning over reports of a new data-harvesting operation that is targeting the victims of a previous scam. The federal watchdog says someone is emailing people, claiming to be from the FTC and soliciting claim forms from the $586m Western Union settlement payout. In this case, the …

  1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    I'll take the scam eggs scam bacon scam potatos scam & scam...

    It's got the least amount of scam in it.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: I'll take the scam eggs scam bacon scam potatos scam & scam...

      Scam scam scam scam

      (with apologies to Monty Python)

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "The thing to know is that you cannot apply for a refund by email."

    Wrong. The thing to know is that you should never, ever trust anything coming into your Inbox without checking first.

    Your bank sends you a mail and a link to some great opportunity ? Phone your banker and ask why in hell is he sending you spam. If the bank really did send you that mail, he'll be able to justify it.

    You get a note telling you that your PayPal account has been suspended and use this link to get it reinstated ? Log onto your account yourself and check it out - you already have the link, don't you ?

    I'm beginning to think that our society is not going to die because zombies, or aliens, or anything awesome like that. No, it'll die of convenience.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The thing to know is that you cannot apply for a refund by email."

      The thing they fail to note, is these scams exist in phone, letter, fax and pager versions too.

      For those who wish to know the best way to apply for a refund, please send me all your private details via recorded carrier pigeon.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: "The thing to know is that you cannot apply for a refund by email."

        Probably the next step will be for the letters and so on to cite US and state laws that (when viewed a certain way) require banks and the like to offer refunds for instances of fraud (sort of like chargeback requests for fraudulent credit card transactions). Adding the stain of legality may make more people take the bait in spite of countermoves by the firms because the customers will think the companies are trying to scam them and that if all else fails they can consult a lawyer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The thing to know is...

      unfortunately, the "marks"

      a) don't read past your "Wrong...", anything

      b) live in a la-la land

      c) don't learn from (their own) mistakes

      (there's no malice in my observation, just resignation)

    3. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: "The thing to know is that you cannot apply for a refund by email."

      I know an old aged pensioner who was having a problem with their Internet banking. They then coincidentally received an email from their 'bank' asking them to log in and provided a link. Given the problem they were experiencing this email seemed legit. So filled everything in on the website they had been sent to and then had second thoughts. In a panic phoned the bank who were very sympathetic and took her login details account number and sort code to check. She was very relieved when they said those weren't her details and there was little chance of anyone being able to break in using them. She said there are some benefits to becoming a senile old fool.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: "The thing to know is that you cannot apply for a refund by email."

      "No, it'll die of convenience."

      And an inadequately sanitised telephone.

  3. J. Cook Silver badge

    Not a new scam.

    This has been around for a quite a few years, usually run by the same bottom-feeding scum bums that scammed the victims the first time around.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Not a new scam.

      Of course,. If you're stupid enough to fall for it once, you're usually stupid enough to fall for it multiple times.

      Remember: Half the population has an IQ below 100.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ha! I can't believe people still fall for this!

    I make sure this can never happen to me because I have an ongoing paid subscription to a security suite where a Microsoft Support Specialist checks my PC remotely through LogMeIn for any viruses or phishing emails.

    This service also protects me against identity theft by accepting my monthly subscription payments with iTunes and STEAM cards that I purchase with cash at my local Wal Mart.

    You can never be too careful!

  5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge


    I thought scammers targetting previous scam victims was common. They've already proven their gullibility, and you know they're probably even more desperate now.

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    No matter how many times government agencies issue reminders to the public that they don't send official notifications out via unsolicited emails, such scams have long been a reliable way for scammers to net victims.

    And people still fall for the phone call from Microsoft... <sigh>

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "And people still fall for the phone call from Microsoft... <sigh>"

      When those calls hit $orkplace, people forward them to the helldesk.

      We have fun stringing them along for a while, whilst reading back responses from a VMS console.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Self Selecting

    The typical scam email I receive with obligatory mention of Nigeria, misspellings, poor grammar and unbelievable scenario and payoff seems designed to weed out all but the stupidest people. It really must be pretty efficient: if someone actually replies, you know you've got a live one.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Self Selecting

      Not always, I love reading 419eaterdotcom

  8. Oengus Silver badge

    Natural selection

    The list of respondents would be enormously valuable because these people are the ones who didn't learn from their first experience so the likelihood of being able to extract money from them is very high. Some people just never learn.

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