– As the members of pups4sale are aware, the security of our member information and the integrity of our site is of utmost importance. By being ever-vigilant, we have kept the bad guys from advertising on our site for the past 8 years. They are always trying new angles of course, with the latest being a phishing scam they are trying out on our members.
Fortunately our members are quick to let us know if there is the slightest whiff of something untoward happening. Kelli. R forwarded us a suspicious email response she recently received to a classified ad she has running on pups4sale. (You’ll be pleased to know we immediately liaised with the company hosting the phishing site in question, and they had it shut down within the hour.) The email reads:
“Dear pups4sale.com.au user, We have had a report of fraud concerning your account,We will like you to verify your account for us to know if you are
the right owner of this account by clicking on this lick below http://pups4salefraudwatcher.
As is often the case, the grammar and English is poor – so poor in fact that most people will detect something is not right straight away. But if we know anything about the scammers (and we do!), they will try again down the track with an improved version of this phishing email. With a member list of over 20,000 Australians, the scammers would love to get their grubby hands on your details from pups4sale’s database. (In fact we have even been directly approached by the bad guys, offering us money for access to our client details. Funnily enough when we directed them to place the money being offered with the Australian Federal Police for safe keeping, we didn’t hear from that particular group of scammers again – we can’t imagine why?!)
Phishing is defined by Wikipedia as: “…the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication…”, which sums it up pretty well. In this case once they have your pups4sale details, they will login to your account, change the contact details and place a fake ad. They hope we won’t notice (fat chance there) and they will be able to get victims to pay them via Western Union for puppies that don’t exist.
Scammers spend considerable time and effort setting up and running such scams, which means they must succeed in obtaining the details of unsuspecting netizens from time to time. As a reader of the Daily Dog, the pups4sale team is reminding you to stay vigilant and always ignore emails, SMS messages or even telephone calls asking for your username, password or any other personal details. Do let the team in admin know if you receive such approaches so we can act swiftly to have the scam operation in question shut down.