I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Scary AFP Scam

This is my third article about Internet scams.  The previous two (on 2011-09-12 and on 2012-03-07) were about email scams.  This time, I want to talk about a web scam.  Somebody must have highjacked a URL.  As a result, while attempting to access a web site, I was confronted with the following page (if you cannot read the text, right-click it and select View Image):

Scary, isn't it?

  1. The Australian Federal Police would never issue a fine via a web page.  And, if they wanted to seize your computer[s], they would come to your place in force and without notice, wake you up early in the morning, and take your computers to their labs.

  2. The domain name, although it starts with "aft.gov.au", is in fact the domain k318843.com, which was registered in China through http://www.bizcn.com/.  No way that the AFP would operate via a Chinese registrar.

  3. If any part of the Australian Government wanted to fine you, you would receive a letter through the mail, and they would not ask you to pay via Ucash within 12 hours!
My advice is therefore always the same: even if the graphic presentation is impressive and at first sight convincing, before taking any request seriously, regardless of whether it is for money or for personal information, check the originating email address or web domain very carefully.  Then, if you are still unsure, seek confirmation from the requesting organisation via a contact number or address that you have obtained via a public and independent source (e.g., telephone directory or their public web site).

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