Talking about the Internet scams
July 27, 2006
If you use email, then you run the risk of getting scammed. Now more
than ever, it seems, people are getting ripped off merely by clicking
on a link. To find out how bad things really are, I recently spoke by
phone with Steve McCrank, the executive director of the Seattle-based
Council on Internet Security and Protection (COISAP):
MAUI TIME WEEKLY: Hello, Mr. McCrank?
STEVE MCCRANK: Yes? What is
it now? Is this about that little incident on the rooftop last week?
Because if it is, I tell you I was bird watching. Bird watching!
Um, no. This is Mick E. Finn from Maui Time. Remember, we spoke earlier about an interview on Internet security?
Oh, um, yes, well… Sure, why not? What do you want to know?
Well, it just seems that nowadays Internet and email scams are everywhere-
That's nonsense. Email scammers are a dying breed.
Really? I get email scams everyday—usually three or four, at least.
You do? Wow, that surprises me.
Could it be that your email protection software just filters them out?
Protection software? That's for sissies. See, I'm a professional. I
rely on my wits to tell me the difference between a completely bogus
scam and an ad for slutty midget virgins from Moldova.
Riiiight… I just find it remarkable that you don't get any scam emails.
I suppose. Let me just hop on my computer right now and check my email. Okay, 37 new messages. Uh huh… uh huh…
Uh huh… I mean, no… Uh huh… Wait, this looks like a scam—oh, no,
it's just another message from that really nice Nigerian prince I've
been corresponding with.
What? Nigerian prince? Um, Mr. McCrank, I think that's one of the more notorious scams out there.
Impossible. The prince is a very nice man with great problems. Seems
he just came into a lot of money that he needs to move out of the
country, and I've been offering a little advice and assistance now and
then. He is somewhat peculiar, I'll give you that—you'd think a prince
would be able to spell his own name right.
That is odd, sure. What else is there?
Let me check… yeah, all this seems pretty routine… Oh, here's a
message from Pacific West Bank. Oooh, this looks bad—it seems there's
been an unauthorized ATM-based transaction on my account and they've
had to shut it down. Let me just click on the website link here and
type in my credit card number so they can reactivate the account-
Mr. McCrank, don't! I'm sure that's a scam!
What? Why would Pacific West Bank send out scam emails? They're a
bank! They already have lots of money. You know, there is something odd
about this, though. I don't recall ever opening an account at Pacific
Yeah, that is strange. Anyway, thanks
for chatting with us. I'm sure you've given our readers lots of great
suggestions on how to protect themselves.
Glad to help. Hey, check this out! Premium watches! MTW
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