Scam with all the trimmings
Thread poster: Richard Bartholomew

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:29
Member (2007)
German to English
Jan 4, 2010

Check out this one:

-----------
You have been sent a message via ProZ.com.
Author: gift200
Author's Profile: http://www.proz.com/profile/1161070
Author's IP address: 120.28.64.94
-----------

Hello My name is Gift, a girl, I hope you do well there, I
just want you to know that I came across your profile, here
in (www.proz.com) and after going on through it I found you
interesting, color and language does not matter where there
is love, hope you do not mind. If you are interested to know
more about me and for me to send you my photo, just email me
at my private address (giftofor95@yahoo.com), and for me to
discuss with you. remember send your email to me or you
reply me here (giftofor95@yahoo.com) THANKS GIFT


-----------
Your profile: http://www.proz.com/profile/108723
Login at: http://www.proz.com/profile/
Edit your profile mail preferences: http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&show_mode=profmail
Block profile messages from this sender: http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&add_ip_block=120.28.64.94&add_email_block=grace.johnson54@yahoo.com&add_eid_block=1161070
Unsolicited advertising? Spam? click here: http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&report_spam=3629782
-----------

I tracked the IP address to:

Allan Abarquez
12/F Valero Telepark
Valero St.
Makati City

and

Juvert Vinluan
12 Flr. Valero Telepark.
111 Valero St.
Makati City

You can see their smilin' faces at http://www.facebook.com/masterjericho and http://www.facebook.com/people/Allan-Abarquez/100000147289988. I wonder which one of them is the girl? I'll bet the Makati City police would just love to know (hint to Henry).


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You can't link an IP address to a person Jan 4, 2010

Richard Bartholomew wrote:
I tracked the IP address to...


You can't link an IP address to a person.


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 00:29
English to Czech
+ ...
Keep getting them too... Jan 4, 2010

...and I report them every time. However, the scammers cancel their profiles on ProZ immediately after sending their spam, so the only way to get rid of them is to allow receiving IM from full ProZ members only, I'm afraid.

 

Marijke Mayer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:29
Dutch to English
+ ...
How do I track an P address? Jan 4, 2010

I would be interested to find out . . . . I'd appreciate it if you let me know.
TIA
Marijke Mayer


 

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:29
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Scammers, scammers everywhere Jan 4, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

Richard Bartholomew wrote:
I tracked the IP address to...


You can't link an IP address to a person.


You mean these guys are scammers too:

http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools/whois/?ip=120.28.64.94

? You're destroying my faith in humanity.


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:29
French to English
+ ...
I would just press delete and not worry about it... Jan 4, 2010

I wouldn't loose too much sleep over this one -- whatever the underlying intentions, it really doesn't look like a message so cunningly crafted that it will con grannies the world over out of their nesteggs.

If you're going to spend any time on this, you might want to find out why your spam filter didn't recognise it as wpam.

I wouldn't worry too much about the IP address either -- remember:
- sometimes scammers are clever enough to use Internet cafes or other people's wireless connections...
- sometimes scammers are clever enough to put false information in their DNS records...


 

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:29
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
It's a hobby. Jan 4, 2010

Neil Coffey wrote:

I wouldn't loose too much sleep over this one ...


Some people read detective novels, others like to watch CSI (or the local equivalent). People who are screwed up enough to even attempt these ham-fisted scams kind of fascinate me. I know, I know, I have better things to do with my time, but everyone needs a hobby. But the fact that the scammers might have used other people's wireless connection or false information in their DNS records just adds to the intrigue.

Some folks, like Ann Rule, even make a living out of researching and writing true crime stories. According to Ms. Rule's Web site:

"She tries to go back to the killers' early childhood, and even back into their family histories to find some of the genesis of their behavior."


 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
How to report any email abuse via the support system Jan 4, 2010

Hello all,

Remember you can report any abuse or email spam/scams/phishing through your ProZ.com mail service by submitting a support request. Just remember to add a copy of the message received, including headers, to help support staff handle the problem more efficiently.

You can also report any form of abuse through ProZ.com mail by clicking on the link next to "Unsolicited advertising? Spam? click here line at the bottom of the email you received in your email inbox. If you are receiving Spam as an instant message you simply have to click on the "Report Spam" button at the bottom of the message. In both cases a support request will be automatically generated containing all the necessary information ProZ.com support staff needs to take appropriate action.

Hope this helps.

Have an excellent week!

Regards,

Lucia


 

Jake Estrada FCIL CL  Identity Verified
Philippines
Local time: 06:29
Member (2003)
English to Tagalog
+ ...
Sucks to be Mr. Juvert Vinluan (but possibly for the wrong reasons) Jan 6, 2010

Hello, I'm from the Philippines and hold offices in Makati. I've been a member of ProZ since its inception (and served as Moderator for 9 years).

I was scamming (er, scanning) the forums when I stumbled upon this one.

A few things, if you would please may:

1) Thank you thread starter for posting this, at the very least it makes the site aware that that particular profile (among many proz profiles) has been scamming people.

2) Scammers may and do originate from everywhere--name whatever wired location and you'll find one--including Makati City which happens to be the business center of my small country. Needless to say, not all scammers originate from Makati; and not all Makati users are scammers. (No one here expressed or implied otherwise, but I just thought of saying that just to get it out of the way).

3) I traced my IP using http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools/whois/?ip=XXX.XX.XX.XX (substitute the X's for my IP) and found out that it associates to the ff people:

Henry Marcelino
Nelson Sibal
Nonilon Topacio
Sigfred Saliendra


...none of whom bear any semblance to my name and (presumably) my identity as a person (or my inclination or non-inclination to spam). Nevertheless, I'm not sure if Nelson or Sigfried or any of the other guys would violently object to being mistaken as someone as good-looking (?) as myself (that's an attempt at humor or sarcasm in case you missed it)


However they'll feel, it wouldn't change the fact that they happen to be working for a telco, or specifically an internet service provider--(you guessed it) the one that I use.


Colleagues, what does this mean? Not that I'm defending "Mr Juvert Vinluan" whoever he is but would it be possible that we might be barking up the wrong tree here?

Intentions were clearly good but it's just that if I happened to be Mr. Juvert Vinluan and I just happened to be the "chaiwalla" (cf. the movie, "Outsourcing") they asked to sign the papers for the company's DNS registration....I would not be very pleased to see my name and my facebook pictures being presented in this light.

Caveat: what I could confirm is that the company that Mr. Vinluan's works for, is notorious for having lots of spammers among its subscribers. (One of the reasons why I don't use it...anymore.)


Final word: Guard against spammers (yes, including the ones from Makati), and let's also guard our index (pointing) fingericon_smile.gif

Cheers!

[Edited at 2010-01-06 11:18 GMT]


 

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:29
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Well written, Mr. Estrada Jan 6, 2010

1) My pleasure.

2) If there is one activity common to humanity in all places and at all times, it's crime. It took this as axiomatic. It never occured to me that I might be implying Makati has cornered the market on e-mail scams.

3) Maybe someone will mistakenly trace my IP address to a scammer. In that case, I would simply point out the result of the experiment you carried out with your own IP address and deny the charge.

It certainly is possible that I have the wrong guys here. As I wrote, internet crime investigation is just an avocation of mine, not a profession. That's also why I recommended that the case be placed into the capable hands of the Makati City Police within whose jurisdiction it presumably falls.

However, like you, I did a little more research on Mr. Vinluan. Such illustrious Web sites as the Deutsches Anti-scam Forum (http://anti-scam.de/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1261412693/4), PhishBucket.org (http://www.phishbucket.org/main/content/view/4440/), and, oddly, the Simple Machines Foum http://forum.gorthwogh.net/index.php?action=printpage;topic=489.0, among others, feature his name in a less than flattering light.

I'm sure that internet scammers' brazenness has irritated many of us. What they do is fraud, pure and simple. It may be inept, transparent fraud, but it is nonetheless fraud. I would like to see some of these folks hauled up on charges and made examples of.


 

Jake Estrada FCIL CL  Identity Verified
Philippines
Local time: 06:29
Member (2003)
English to Tagalog
+ ...
Herzlichen dank, Herr Bartholomew Jan 6, 2010

I robustly agree with your reply.

Just a little note, though, with regards to this:

Richard Bartholomew wrote:

However, like you, I did a little more research on Mr. Vinluan. Such illustrious Web sites as the Deutsches Anti-scam Forum (http://anti-scam.de/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1261412693/4), PhishBucket.org (http://www.phishbucket.org/main/content/view/4440/), and, oddly, the Simple Machines Foum http://forum.gorthwogh.net/index.php?action=printpage;topic=489.0, among others, feature his name in a less than flattering light.




1) Those references, along with your original post here in ProZ.com, again points to the fact that Mr. Vinluan works for a Philippine-based ISP called Innove Communications a.k.a. Globe Telecom (globenet.com.ph).

2) As mentioned before, Globe Telecom is indeed notorious for having more than the usual number of spammers, hackers and other internet baddies among its pool of subscribers.

3) Unlike some Internet Service Providers, Globe Telecom tends to give *dynamic IP addresses* to its subscribers--which means a Globe Telecom subscriber named John Doe may have (e.g.) 123.45.67.89 as his IP today, then get a different IP from Globe (say, 123.45.67.12) the next day when he restarts his modem...and so on and so forth. Subscribers practically can't do anything about all this constant IP reshuffling.

3) If, on one fine day, with all these IP switching and reswitching, John Doe happens to get an IP used by another Globe Telecom subscriber named Mr. Scammer (e.g. say, 123.45.67.66)--any and all internet activities that John Doe performs while he uses that IP will be identified and traced as belonging a baddie. He then will reap any and all the "bad karma" that is intended for Mr. Scammer.

The only way out, then, for John Doe would be:
a) to identify the cause of the problem (i.e. to be aware that Globe gives out dynamic IPs, and that there are a lot of baddies on Globe);
b) to report the matter to Globe and ask them to give him a different IP and permanently "retire" that notorious IP (e.g. 123.45.67.66).
c) OR switch to a different ISP altogether that gives out static IPs or doesn't have that much baddies among its subscribers (which is what I, myself, did).

What does this mean?
i) names of actual end-subscribers could not be easily identified using simple, easily-accessible tools. For example, a WHOIS search will only give you the company name of the ISP (in this case, Globe Telecom) and the names of that ISP's administrators (in this case, Mr. Vinluan and Mr. Abarquez), but not the names of Mr. John Doe or Mr. Scammer. This actually makes sense especially if the ISP gives out Dynamic IPs.

ii) Sorry to say, Mr Vinluan's name appearing here and on many other lists only has to do with Mr. Vinluan being employed with Globe Telecom. Sorry to say, this does not necessarily because he's doing all the scamming himself. (However, we could say that he may be accountable to some extent as as an official of Globe, as far as command responsibility is concerned).

iii) The actual, guilty culprits are at large--and sorry to say, they appear not to be Mr. Vinluan or Mr. Abarquez. Finding the baddies is not easy as that--but is possible. When I was still using Globe, I myself have fallen victim to the "John Doe" episode I illustrated above (my emails were being returned because I was identified as a "spammer").

I appreciate Mr. Bartholomew's efforts and zeal in pursuing this matter. But as a local I have to tell you that while this has been going on for years, the Makati Police have done zilch to address the multitude of complaints they may have received about this particular matter.

To help with your advocacy, Mr. Bartholomew, it might be more helpful to refer you to the following:

National Telecommunications Commission (the Philippines' governing body on telcos and ISPs): [ospac@ntc.gov.ph] (this is the email for their One Stop Public Assistance Center)

or to:

Commision on Information and Communications Technology (the Philippines' governing body on IT matters and internet security): [osec@cict.gov.ph]

Good luck and keep up the good work.icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2010-01-06 23:53 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-01-06 23:54 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-01-06 23:54 GMT]


 

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:29
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
I have written to Mr. Jamias. Jan 7, 2010

Thank you for pointing me toward the National Telecommunications Commission. I have just sent a message to Mr. Jamias detailing the situation. No doubt his organisation will be able to sort out what's what and who's who.

I'm surprised to learn that the Makati PD has shown so little interest in the problem. I suppose they are probably already stretched too thin chasing more serious criminals.

You could well be correct regarding dynamic IP address assignment. Anyway, once again, I'm sure that God created the NTC to address just these issues.


 

Aleksandar Gasic
Montenegro
Local time: 00:29
English to Serbo-Croat
+ ...
about IP tracking Jan 7, 2010

Actually, it is not that difficult to change one's IP address. If your provider does not monitor you carefully, you do not have to be some great hacker to flush your address and randomly pick one available.
Moreover, you have to differentiate between the owner of the address, and the actual user. IP addresses are linked to the machines connected to them, not to the people using those machines.


 


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Scam with all the trimmings

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