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Some never learn.

Recent reports warning people to ignore phishing attempts by supposedly Batelco email broadcasts have been extremely useful, despite many wondering how anyone could fall for such scams.

Be warned about local banks as well and I mean local rather than the zillions of corporate broadcasts.

Not too long ago, I was in touch with HSBC in Bahrain over some targeted and localised attack. Nobody was arrested, but I am sure the authorities could trace the source.

Nobody will bother to go after the Batelco scammers either. But next comes Zain, Mena and others, as more subscribe.

I am convinced that at least one Batelco scam is local rather than from somewhere in Russia. Making matters worse, apart from some obvious typing errors, the English appears to be good and a lot better than what we read on some of the billboards here.

Of course, not all of us are net savvy and quite a few obviously still fall for non-existent lotteries, or heart-wrenching stories of terminal illnesses, or stories about cruel brethren now born-again believers suddenly seeing the light of God and wanting to share their millions with you!

I can vouch for this because I still get ecstatic calls from friends asking me if something they received is genuine. No matter how many times I tell them to simply bin it and under no circumstances reply, amazingly some still do.

Naive with a tinge of greed rather than stupidity. Maybe more apt when describing some of these sad souls and some never learn.

But let's face it; these scams come in so many forms - from the absolute ridiculous to the quite convincing.

During the past 12 years, I have made an archive consisting of thousands of scam emails, with the intension of posting them, but thankfully some concerned citizens are doing this already.

Among others, the well-known is always entertaining, but for emails has an excellent data base and the site is extremely informative if not a tad technical in parts.

Little trojans may hit you while you do this because these scammers like to attack similar sites and some are scams themselves just waiting for you.

I am now planning to collect all those scam numbers we keep getting missed calls from, to which the even sad and lonely among us just cannot resist calling back at grossly inflated rates, in case it is someone from far off who love us too much and might have died leaving a fortune.


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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Dec 14, 2008
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