Warning: Old Tactic Getting New Life – Smokescreen

There seems to be some chatter about an old trick that is gaining new life with regards to scams.  It’s called a smokescreen scam and it saw origins back in 2010 and 2011.

The scam is fairly simple and works like this:

1.  An identity thief has managed to gain access to one of your online shopping accounts such as Amazon or Ebay.

2.  Knowing that you will receive a confirmation email of any orders placed, the thief begins registering your email on a number of websites that offer newsletters and other email spam.  This is usually done through an automated script which essentially signs you up for all of them within minutes.

3.  While this is happening, the thief makes a purchase through your online account and has it shipped somewhere convenient to them.

4.  The victim’s email inbox is flooded with confirmations from numerous websites, either with newsletters, confirmations, or other items.  Mixed in with this flood of email will be the confirmation from the shopping account from which the thief has purchased.

5.  The goal is that the victim will become so frustrated and overwhelmed with all of the email pouring into their box that the victim will simply mass delete everything in there, including the confirmation from the shipping account purchase.

6.  By the time the victim realizes a purchase has been made it will probably be too late to stop it.

If something like this happens to you and you start to receive a mass flood of emails take the time to scan through them for this type of attack.  If you find one, log in to that shopping service immediately and (1) change the password, (2) cancel the order, and (3) notify the company.  If you don’t see any sort of purchase confirmation email take the time to check your shopping websites for activity and change the passwords.  The thief may have access and simply hit a roadblock of some sort before completing the order.

Good luck and feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.  Please like and share this post to help me get the word out!




Categories: ID Theft

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