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Lutha Mahtin
Oct 10, 2010

Your brokebrain sin is absolved...go and shitpost no more!


i got an email from my state tax department once. it was because i emailed them first though. also my question wasn't specific to any issue in my personal files, it was just a general "hey what would a person do in this situation" general thing

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Griefor
Jun 11, 2009


If you get an email from Official Institute about something, and the email has a link in it, and the link preview does not show officialinstitute.com (or the actual official site)(best to play it safe and not actually click it) then it is fake. Usually there's a bunch of other red flags with that. They really shoot for the bottom rung with that poo poo, usually.

If you get an email about something and you're not immediately 100% sure it is a scam it is best to go to the official website by typing its address in to your browser's address bar, logging in, and seeing if there's any alerts or messages on the site itself.

Namarrgon
Dec 23, 2008

Congratulations on not getting fit in 2011!

Several (government) institutions here take phishing scams seriously so now they send out emails without links. The result is that you occasionally get a plaintext mail (no logos, no links, only a paragraph of text) that immediately rings the 'scam' alarm only to notify you to please login to the institution at your own convenience and that they'd never send you a link.

Scammers ruin it for everyone.

bulletsponge13
Apr 28, 2010


I keep getting scam phone calls from the same area code as my old home town, where I have a ton of family still. They all have same area code then first three digits, with the last four changing with each blocked number. Yesterday, I got a weird one. Number I don't recognize from old familial area, so I answer in case it is a family emergency type thing.
"Uh, is [first name] available?"
"This is he."
"Uhhhhhh, wrong number." :click:

I am sure it was a scam of some sort, but I just can't figure out how the gently caress that is supposed to work. I called the number back and was given a prompt to be removed from their calling list.

Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



bulletsponge13 posted:

I keep getting scam phone calls from the same area code as my old home town, where I have a ton of family still. They all have same area code then first three digits, with the last four changing with each blocked number. Yesterday, I got a weird one. Number I don't recognize from old familial area, so I answer in case it is a family emergency type thing.
"Uh, is [first name] available?"
"This is he."
"Uhhhhhh, wrong number." :click:

I am sure it was a scam of some sort, but I just can't figure out how the gently caress that is supposed to work. I called the number back and was given a prompt to be removed from their calling list.

I've read that stuff like that is done to confirm that the number is legit and the owner picks up.

Maerlyn
Jun 29, 2003

Peering deep into a mirror untrue

These people aren't trying very hard:

quote:

Martins Foundation has donated US900,000 to you.

details: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-35297396


Provide your name, address, cell for claims to their private e-mail; davecarol@foxmail.com

EKDS5k
Feb 22, 2012

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET YOUR BEER FREEZE, DAMNIT


Has anyone gotten those survey things after viewing certain websites? I've had two over the course of a few years. I don't think it's technically a scam, but it's definitely scummy.

You go to a website, and a window pops up asking you to complete a survey in exchange for whatever electronic device. The first time I saw it, every "SCAM!" alarm went off in my head, and literally the only reason I gave it a second look is because it was Best Buy's website. It was late, and I wanted to see what would happen.

So I fill out the 3 meaningless question survey and am directed to a website who's purpose seems to be: you sign up, at a cost of something like $150 per month, in order to play lovely browser games, for a chance to win expensive electronics. You can play the games as many times as you want, as long as you hold the fastest time when a given game closes, you win the thing. Prizes ranged from like top of the line iPads all the way down to cheap bluetooth headphones.

I looked through a little bit, and found actual terms and conditions, outlining exactly what I had to do to get my free Android tablet:

1. Sign up for a trial account at a cost of $1 (a bait-and-switch from the "free" tablet I was promised).
2. Enter a mailing address, to which they will mail a confirmation PIN.
3. Play at least 10 games to completion (didn't have to win anything, just make 10 complete attempts)
4. Keep the account active for at least 48 hours.
5. Oh yeah and if you don't cancel after 3 days the account is automatically upgraded to the monthly deal, and my card will immediately be billed for the full $150.

I was a little put out by the $1 but by now I was interested to see what happens. I figured it my credit card does get hit with a bunch of fraudulent charges I can just contest them with Mastercard. And $1 for a tablet is still a good deal. So I paid, entered my address, played the 10 games, cancelled my subscription within the required window, waited a week for the PIN to be mailed, entered the PIN...

...and then 4-6 weeks later, the cheapest, slowest, Danish off-brand Android tablet arrived at my doorstep. It didn't even have a North American wall plug in the box. But it worked, and it was technically a free (well, $1) Android tablet, as promised, for completing a survey.

A couple years later, the exact same thing happened, only the name of the website changed, exact same games, same terms and conditions, only this time instead of the promised iPhone I was sent a 2GB iPod shuffle.

Sooo...not technically a scam, I guess, because it basically delivered what it promised. But like I said it was scummy: With all the arbitrary hoops to jump through, I feel like most people would either a)give up right at the beginning, or b)not read everything, sign up, and then get automatically "upgraded" to the full subscription, without any recourse because technically they agreed to the terms and therefore the charges wouldn't be fraudulent.

But does anyone know about the other side, the "play fun games to win fabulous prizes!" side of it? Can you actually win the prizes advertised? The terms said you could play as many games as you wanted, but could only win 1 prize per month, so the main problem I saw was that nobody would go for the cheaper prizes, because you'd lose money if it wasn't worth more than your subscription fee. And the top prizes had ridiculous completion times, which were either a)fake or b)achieved through cheating. I feel like cheating is more likely, because like I said, the whole thing was technically on the up-and-up, and so why would the organisers risk committing actual fraud at that point? As long as they rope a handful of people into the full subscription, they should make more than enough to cover the monthly prize costs, even if some of them are cheating.

I wasn't dumb enough to think I could actually win a prize, and I'm not smart enough to figure out how to cheat, so I guess I'll never know if it was "legit" the whole way through. I tried googling the websites' names, but I only got a handful of news articles and MB posts telling me to beware, the odd shill talking about all the prizes they've won, but nothing substantial. One was https://www.funkyclock.com which I notice is still active, and I don't remember the other one, only that I'm pretty sure it was bee-themed (but I may be mixing that up with SwarmJam, which is a legit thing).

EKDS5k fucked around with this message at 06:23 on Nov 3, 2016

Phantasium
Dec 27, 2012



I remember Microsoft used to do something like that, only I never got charged for anything. I just remember playing (or maybe cheating) a bunch of cheap browser games for points and eventually having enough for some usb headphones and never bothering with it again. I feel like that got shut down shortly after I got that prize.

I think it had something to do with inflating ad view counts that would be on each game?

The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

cluck cluck

Phantasium posted:

I remember Microsoft used to do something like that, only I never got charged for anything. I just remember playing (or maybe cheating) a bunch of cheap browser games for points and eventually having enough for some usb headphones and never bothering with it again. I feel like that got shut down shortly after I got that prize.

I think it had something to do with inflating ad view counts that would be on each game?

It was when they were launching Bing. They were all word games and every single answer you entered would search Bing for that word in a small window next to the game.

Someone wrote a script that solved the puzzles super quickly and you could accumulate shitloads of points. I got 4 Xbox 360 controllers, Windows XP(I think) Pro, and Flight Sim X. Was pretty sweet.

Teriyaki Hairpiece
Dec 29, 2006

Ask me about my dream Frasier episode where Frasier and Bulldog oil their heads and then rub them together. It's definitely not a fetish of mine, I swear!

Aren't those things just scams to get people's personal data to sell to marketers and stuff?

Inspector 34
Mar 9, 2009

DOES NOT RESPECT THE RUN

BUT THEY WILL


In the late 90's maybe early 00's there was a survey site where you got points for filling out whatever questionnaire's they had and could spend the points on random crap. I got a couple of cd's and other random junk after I set up a macro to click through the surveys and rack up points. I don't think it lasted long and I don't remember what it was called, but the last few posts just reminded me of it.

Haifisch
Nov 12, 2010

Objection! I object! That was... objectionable!



Taco Defender

There's still a bunch of sites where you can sell marketing data for pennies fill out surveys and cash in points for crap, although most of them have checks for random answering now.

Snow Cone Capone
Jul 30, 2003




Haifisch posted:

There's still a bunch of sites where you can sell marketing data for pennies fill out surveys and cash in points for crap, although most of them have checks for random answering now.

The Google Surveys one is pretty sweet, it's usually only 10-20 cents per survey and it's Google Play credit but 99% of the time the surveys are literally "did you go to this store, did you make a purchase, did you use a credit card" and that's it.

sleppy
Dec 25, 2008



It's called Google Opinion Rewards now but it is indeed sweet. I was telling a friend about it and guessed that I had maybe made around $20 over two years, but I checked my history and it was $50. The quick $0.29 cent surveys add up and you get the occasional $1. I have never spent real money for an app.

Pharmaskittle
Dec 17, 2007

arf arf put the money in the fuckin bag


Yeah, I don't like phone games so I've never spent real money on the few apps and movies I've purchased with survey money.

Gobbeldygook
May 13, 2009
Hates Native American people and tries to justify their genocides.

Put this racist on ignore immediately!


Teriyaki Hairpiece posted:

Aren't those things just scams to get people's personal data to sell to marketers and stuff?
I really don't think you can call it a scam when they actually send people stuff, although in the OP's case they did not send what was promised.

EKDS5k
Feb 22, 2012

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET YOUR BEER FREEZE, DAMNIT


Gobbeldygook posted:

I really don't think you can call it a scam when they actually send people stuff, although in the OP's case they did not send what was promised.

That was the thing. They didn't send what was promised, but they also didn't send nothing and run off with my personal information, and they didn't charge anything more to my credit card than they said they would. It's still kind of a grey area, though, because it's obvious their intent is to trick people into subscribing. I'm just wondering if you actually sign up, then is it possible to win the prizes, or are the games just rigged?

Peztopiary
Mar 16, 2009

by exmarx


sleppy posted:

It's called Google Opinion Rewards now but it is indeed sweet. I was telling a friend about it and guessed that I had maybe made around $20 over two years, but I checked my history and it was $50. The quick $0.29 cent surveys add up and you get the occasional $1. I have never spent real money for an app.

They also don't care if you lie. For a while I was a 20 year old grandma of seven. You get weird ads. I'm not sure what I am currently, but the surveys have mostly been about luxury brands I've never heard of.

Blue Footed Booby
Oct 4, 2006

got those happy feet




Slippery Tilde

Peztopiary posted:

They also don't care if you lie. For a while I was a 20 year old grandma of seven. You get weird ads. I'm not sure what I am currently, but the surveys have mostly been about luxury brands I've never heard of.

A of folks say lying or picking their fictional honeypot brands dramatically decreases the number of surveys you get.

sleppy
Dec 25, 2008



Yeah, there are sometimes some funny made up brands that they ask if you've heard of, I need to start writing them down. When you first sign up they ask about your demographic, which I haven't been able to change. Maybe look into who is the most targeted first.

peanut
Sep 9, 2007




Bing is a parasite.

Lutha Mahtin
Oct 10, 2010

Your brokebrain sin is absolved...go and shitpost no more!


the polling firm YouGov is a legit "get points for doing surveys" outfit. but back when i did them, it was almost always really dull corporate research stuff they would ask about. like "here is a list of 20 brands, which of them have you heard of? which ones do you like?". it was pretty easy when they would ask me about things i don't buy, though. designer fashion labels? heh time to vote straight ticket on the idgaf column baby! *earns a nickel in funbux*

Dream Attack
Feb 12, 2008

nothing in this world


I had an odd marketing scam recently. I was calling my insurance company but before I got on their line, I heard a spiel that told me to take a quick phone survey to possibly win a cruise.

There wasn't an option not to, so I thought whatever and did the survey. The few questions were really dumb, like "do you like getting the best value on a trip?". After I did the survey, surprise I won a cruise!

It connected me to some guy who said "congratulations" in the most boring possible way, so I figured he does this hundreds of times a week. I just hung up, called again and actually got my insurance company.

I'd never had bothered if they had called me, but it was the first time i'd had that happen when I called a reputable company. That or I just tossed away a free cruise, haha.

Remulak
Jun 8, 2001

The four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics. Oh, and that stupid children's book 'The Little Prince,' ugh.
:krad:


Yams Fan

Dream Attack posted:

I had an odd marketing scam recently. I was calling my insurance company but before I got on their line, I heard a spiel that told me to take a quick phone survey to possibly win a cruise.

There wasn't an option not to, so I thought whatever and did the survey. The few questions were really dumb, like "do you like getting the best value on a trip?". After I did the survey, surprise I won a cruise!

It connected me to some guy who said "congratulations" in the most boring possible way, so I figured he does this hundreds of times a week. I just hung up, called again and actually got my insurance company.

I'd never had bothered if they had called me, but it was the first time i'd had that happen when I called a reputable company. That or I just tossed away a free cruise, haha.

You dialed a digit off and you have Cigna. I did the same thing.

Collateral Damage
Jun 13, 2009



Dream Attack posted:

That or I just tossed away a free cruise, haha.
There's no such thing as a free cruise. Cruises in general kind of go in this thread as well because of their nickle-and-dime pricing model.

The lowest cost cruise tickets (which are the ones you "win") are none-inclusive. You get to go aboard and have a spot where to sleep (in a cupboard with no windows just above the engine room), nothing more. Then you're a literally captive audience for a week while you build up a tab of food, drink, entertainment, services and gratuity. Everything costs extra.

http://experience.usatoday.com/cruise/story/cruise-101/2013/05/06/cruise-costs/2139067/

Kase Im Licht
Jan 26, 2001


Collateral Damage posted:

There's no such thing as a free cruise. Cruises in general kind of go in this thread as well because of their nickle-and-dime pricing model.

The lowest cost cruise tickets (which are the ones you "win") are none-inclusive. You get to go aboard and have a spot where to sleep (in a cupboard with no windows just above the engine room), nothing more. Then you're a literally captive audience for a week while you build up a tab of food, drink, entertainment, services and gratuity. Everything costs extra.

http://experience.usatoday.com/cruise/story/cruise-101/2013/05/06/cruise-costs/2139067/

And you generally also have to pay the taxes and port fees or whatever as well. That can be $150 per person.

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

Collateral Damage posted:

There's no such thing as a free cruise. Cruises in general kind of go in this thread as well because of their nickle-and-dime pricing model.

Same goes for "free" Caribbean vacations, too. You win one that entitles you to two nights in a leaky shack in the bad part of town but they'll generously let you upgrade to a real hotel room for $X.

Imaduck
Apr 16, 2007

the magnetorotational instability turns me on

I actually had a pretty inexpensive vacation on a week-long Carnival cruise awhile back. Yeah, there are fees and non-inclusive things to be aware of, but as long as you know what you're getting into up front, you can still have a pretty cheap vacation.

But yeah, you should know what you're getting into if you ever win one as a prize. You usually have to pay the taxes on the value of the prize, and they typically value the prize at something much, much bigger than what you'd actually pay for a ticket. Plus you have to pay all the other fees and whatnot. It's not going to be a free vacation.

bulletsponge13
Apr 28, 2010


I once won a three day "vacation" to Grand Bahama island with my then wife from a local radio station. Before we went, we did all this research about our hotel, the area, and what to expect. Reviews all said a time share presentation, a lovely hotel room in a crappy hotel, and in a poo poo hole part of town that hates tourists. Instead, we got a private cabana, no one bugged us for anything, locals were awesome, hotel staff was friendly with no sales, and the hotel leased a private beach that it shared with a 5 star resort. The beach was a ten minute drive, and we had a free shuttle. The shuttle driver even took us to get pizza and refused both a tip and lunch. We got him pizza anyway. It was an awesome weekend.
No real bearing on the thread, but you guys did make me remember a really nice memory of my wife. :-) So thanks.

peanut
Sep 9, 2007




Oh boy not only has my old college roommate has gotten deep into a health prodcuts MLM called ARIIX, but they were #soexcited to see Tony Robbins - Unleash the Power Within in a huge stadium.

Das Butterbrot
Dec 2, 2005
Lecker.

has anyone ever tried sending a cryptolocker back to one of those tax refund scammers? thatd be hilarious.

something like "dear soandso, please find my account details in the attached file" etc.

many johnnys
May 17, 2015



Das Butterbrot posted:

has anyone ever tried sending a cryptolocker back to one of those tax refund scammers? thatd be hilarious.

something like "dear soandso, please find my account details in the attached file" etc.

I want to start doing this

504
Feb 2, 2016

by R. Guyovich


My brand new staff member (night shift) gave me the best present ever.

504: Hello new worker, how was the night shift? Completely eventless and no problems at all, just like it always is?
New Guy: Yes, except the computer caught a virus, but its ok, I called the number and fixed it
504: A virus? how odd, what did IT say?
New Guy: Oh I didn't call them, I called the number in the box that popped up 0900 something.
504: (Stomach dropping) What did the "technician" tell you to do?
New Guy: He got me to go to a google page and download a file to fix it.


504: Hello IT? I'm afraid my new staff member has downloaded and installed a remote access program to the hospitals network. Also I cant make the firewall do anything.

Good times.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006
I am an autistic asshole that is incapable of understanding anything that isn't face value. Please consider my disability when reading my posts.

I don't know what "technology" classes are like in school these days but if they're like mine were, maybe they ought to focus less on Microsoft Word and touch typing, and more on how not to get your (and your employer's) poo poo pushed in by obvious scams.

Captain Monkey
Aug 23, 2007



PT6A posted:

I don't know what "technology" classes are like in school these days but if they're like mine were, maybe they ought to focus less on Microsoft Word and touch typing, and more on how not to get your (and your employer's) poo poo pushed in by obvious scams.

What incentive would the corporations that create the curriculum for our school systems have to train us not to fall for scams?

Anticheese
Feb 13, 2008

$60,000,000 sexbot
:rodimus:



Save money on wasted IT hours?

Lutha Mahtin
Oct 10, 2010

Your brokebrain sin is absolved...go and shitpost no more!


i think that was a failed "texbooks are scams" joke

FrozenVent
May 1, 2009

The Boeing 737-200QC is the undisputed workhorse of the skies.

If high school computer classes today are similar to what I got, they'd be five years behind on the scams anyway.

We were loving around with 5" floppies in the late nineties for gently caress's sake. The teacher thought a "hard drive" was a 3 1/4" floppy.

teh winnar!
Apr 16, 2003


FrozenVent posted:

If high school computer classes today are similar to what I got, they'd be five years behind on the scams anyway.

We were loving around with 5" floppies in the late nineties for gently caress's sake. The teacher thought a "hard drive" was a 3 1/4" floppy.

Only if you're in Iowa or something. A friend of mine actually teaches a HS computer class in San Francisco, and they're doing coding for Android.

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Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





teh winnar! posted:

Only if you're in Iowa or something. A friend of mine actually teaches a HS computer class in San Francisco, and they're doing coding for Android.
Iowa and Nebraska both have computers one iteration behind the current version of windows for teaching computer classes with, except for underfunded lab sciences which use ancient machines for testing.

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