ProZ Mail used for phishing
Thread poster: William Pairman

William Pairman  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:23
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Jul 28, 2009

Not sure this is the right place for this, or if it should be included in the "Illegal Use of Data from ProZ Profile" thread below but I've just received this


I am SAM AKINDELE, a solicitor at law, personal attorney to Engr. J.P Pairman, a national Of your country,who used to work as a contractor in Lome Togo. Here in after shall be referred
to as my client. On the 30th of April 2007, my client, were involved in a car accident along Kpalime express Road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost there lives. Since then I have made several enquiries here to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to search through with his name which motivated me to contact you, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.I have contacted you to assist in repartrating the fund valued at US$17 Million left behind by my client before it gets confisicated or declared unserviceable by the Security Finance Firm (bank) where this huge amount were deposited.
The said Security Finance Company has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confisicated within the next twenty one official working days Since I have been unsuccesfull in locating the relatives for over 2 years now, I seek the consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since you have the same last names, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you.
Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer. I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim. All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction goes through and for more details.
BEST REGARD
SAM AKINDELE. (ESQ)


So either I'm a very lucky chap or ProZ mail is being tapped into to send these scams. Funny thing is I hadn't seen one for ages in my Spam (on my webmail it gets deleted automatically but theres a log of whats been found, on gmail it goes into its own folder where you can check it)

Theres a website that is dedicated to exposing these shystersd, its called 401 fraud or something, I'll try to find it.

I'm pretty sure all of you are well aware this is a scam, I was just curious how ProZ had been used this time round


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 00:23
SITE STAFF
Report this through the support system Jul 28, 2009

Hello William,

The best place to report this would be via support request, where staff can take the appropriate action. In fact, at the bottom of the email you received, you should have a link to "Report spam"; click this link will generate a support request automatically, which contains the information needed to take action (sender, message, profile if any, etc.).

Best regards,

Jared


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:23
French to English
+ ...
Not phishing Jul 28, 2009

This isn't phishing, this is a(n attempted) 419 scam - http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/phishing

If the mail came from a user here at Proz (you don't make this clear), you need to submit a support request and the profile will be removed.

Anyone can click on "send this user an email" in your profile, so it hardly counts as illegal use of data.

Also, "extended relatives" made me laugh.


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William Pairman  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:23
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Jared / Angela Jul 28, 2009

Thanks Jared, I have indeed clicked on the link you mention. I should have poited out that this was clearly stated

"The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message"

I should make it clear that I'm not suggesting that there was any wrongdoing on anyone's part (other than Sam Akindele's of course), just that this is (a) the first time this has happened to me, maybe its commonplace for others, I don't know (b) Its the first of these sort of mails Ive seen in over a year and (c) I posted it on the slimmest of of chances that someone might be taken in or had forgotted about this type of scam.

This is the website I mentioned, they are dedicated to going ofter 419ers - you should check out "The Trophy Room", theres some very funny stuff there

http://www.419eater.com/


[Edited at 2009-07-28 13:00 GMT]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:23
English to French
+ ...
Not logged in when sending this message Jul 28, 2009

Over the past few years, sending spam and scam mail through the ProZ mail system seems to have become trendy.

I think the key here is that anyone can use the ProZ mail system without even registering with the site. This has always bothered me.

Why not block messaging through the mail system for those who are not logged in? Other portals are doing it... Sure, it would take a few more clicks of the mouse to be able to send a message, but if someone is serious about finding a translator, they surely wouldn't mind spending two kilocalories to achieve that... While we're at it, it shouldn't be possible to send batch mail (100 recipients per click) unless the user's ID is verified.

In any case, such spam and scam mails are on the rise. It would be easier for everybody, ProZ Support included, to make it harder to annoy users.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:23
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
You can set your profile message preferences yourself Jul 28, 2009


ViKtoriaG wrote:
I think the key here is that anyone can use the ProZ mail system without even registering with the site. This has always bothered me.

Why not block messaging through the mail system for those who are not logged in?


You can set that block in your own profile.
Go to your profile, then to the Settings tab, and click on Email preferences (under Notification settings). You will see the following options:

Profile message preferences

Allow anyone to send me messages via my profile page
Allow only ProZ.com users who are logged in to send me messages via my profile
Allow only logged-in ProZ.com members to send me email via my profile page
Allow no one to send me messages via my profile page
Vetting options:
Do not vet any messages sent to me via my profile
I want staff to vet all messages sent to me via my profile (for members only)


I hope this helps.
Katalin


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 00:23
SITE STAFF
Options to customize who contacts you, and why reporting spam is important Jul 28, 2009

Hi Viktoria,

As Katalin indicates, you have a set of options to control who may contact you via your profile. Wherever possible, the site provides options for managing or customizing the tools available to you. Forcing the limit to those who have a profile only (not providing the option to choose) would prevent potential clients who do not have a profile and do not wish to create one from contacting translators.

Reporting spam issues promptly through the support system will not only help to reduce the spam you receive, but help prevent other translators from receiving spam as well. There are some very reliable spam reporters out there (thanks!), who report as soon as they receive a spam email, and this allows staff to take the actions at their disposal and keep others from receiving the same email that would continue to go out if unchecked.

Best regards,

Jared


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:23
English to French
+ ...
Blocking 'not logged in' messages Aug 1, 2009

I know I can set my profile so it blocks messages coming from people who are not logged in. The reason why I am not really happy is that, on the whole, only part of the ProZ community blocks such messages, as many of us are unaware that this can be done. So, mine was not a request for me personally, but for the community at large.

Like I said recently in another thread, I don't think that potential clients who are serious about finding a translator would mind creating a profile and using it.

But this matter is becoming increasingly irrelevant since some people have recently been spamming ProZ users by sending messages while they were logged in. I am afraid the worse is yet to come...


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 05:23
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
To block or not to block ;) - your decision Aug 1, 2009

Yeah, I believe the bellow statement is correct, however, not only in regard of ProZ, but of all Internet as a whole.

As to me - I'm allowing mails from unregistered users to me (as well as contacting anybody me on Skype). Yes there are some spams, not hard to delete them, however I have to say that this way the amount of jobs I receive (I mean from unregistered users or people not in my contact list) manifold exceed the amount of spam.

Uldis

ViktoriaG wrote:
I am afraid the worse is yet to come...


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