Internet Hoaxes

The Internet hoax that wasn't!


TOURBUS -- 20 FEBRUARY 1997 -- ANAGRAMS / YET ANOTHER INTERNET SCAM
(Patrick Douglas Crispen)
TOURBUS@LISTSERV.AOL.COM

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YET ANOTHER INTERNET SCAM

If you are new to the bus, the following my be a little confusing because I am about to refer to some sites that we have visited in the past. Don't panic, though ... all of the old TOURBUS posts can be found in TOURBUS' new archives at www.InternetTourbus.com

I have received several letters recently asking me if the following story is true:

Consumers who visited a pornographic website (www.sexygirls.com) last month got a big surprise on their phone bills. After a few teaser pictures, [surfers were told that they] needed to download a special program to view the archived images. That program was actually a viewer with an entire communications suite hidden deep inside (a non-self propagating Trojan Horse). The program disconnected user from his/her ISPs, shut off the volume on the modem if it was computer controlled, and dialed a number in Moldova -- a small, former republic of the Soviet Union wedged in between the Ukraine and Romania. All the while the consumer was on the website, and even if he/she then browsed other sites on the World Wide Web, the Internet access was being provided through the Moldova number, resulting in huge international phone charges.
(quoted from www.fraud.org/ (Feb97))

Well, unfortunately, the story is indeed true (and, yes, the calls really went to Moldova). According to a report published yesterday at cnet's news.com site.

The Federal Trade Commission today won a court order to shut down "free adult entertainment" Internet sites that it alleges illegally billed Net surfers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The report goes on to state:

CNET reported that at least two pornographic Web sites--"sexygirls.com" and "erotic2000.com"--used the program to make international calls. Along with "sexygirls.com," which was inaccessible earlier this month, the FTC is targeting "beavisbutthead.com" and "1adult.com." (quotes from a news.com article)

One of the best ways to protect yourself from Internet scams and hoaxes is to keep yourself informed. Fortunately, there are 3 ways that you can do this:

  1. Keep reading TOURBUS. Unless I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that y'all want me to keep telling you about the latest Internet scams and hoaxes as I hear of them.
  2. Visit cnet's news.com site. on a DAILY basis... click on "The Net," you will find the latest news about EVERYTHING that is happening on the Net. I try stay up to date with the Internet's current events, and a good portion of the information that I have learned about these current events came from cnet and news.com.
  3. Read the National Fraud Information Center's Internet Fraud Watch daily reports at http://www.fraud.org/report.htm

We'll talk more about the National Fraud Information Center next week. For now, let's just say that the Internet Fraud Watch daily reports give you advanced warning of Net scams before almost *anyone* else knows about them. That's it for this week. Have a safe an happy weekend! :)

TODAY'S ADDRESSES: http://netsquirrel.com/crispen/word.html/word.html
http://www.genius2000.com/anagram.html
http://www.InternetTourbus.com/
http://news.com/
http://www.fraud.org/report.htm

TODAY'S SOUTHERN WORD OF THE DAY

PRIOR - noun. A talk with God.
Usage: "As long as teachers continue to give their students tests, there will be prior in school!"

(Special thanks goes to Dave Zubal for today's word)

YOU CAN FIND ALL OF THE OLD SOUTHERN WORDS OF THE DAY ON THE SOUTHERN WORD HOMEPAGE AT netsquirrel.com/crispen/word.html


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   (\__/)  .~    ~. ))
   /O O  ./      .'        Patrick Douglas Crispen
  {O__,   \    {          The University of Alabama
    / .  . )    \          crispen@campus.mci.net
    |-| '-' \    }      http://netsquirrel.com/crispen
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