dvd burning scam

  katedi 20:02 05 Jan 03
  katedi 20:02 05 Jan 03

I have just received a personal email to my work address (which I dont use on internet sites) telling me about a wonderful piece of software that burns dvds to cd-r's, for $19.95. Too good to be true, and not having seen anything in PC Advisor about this type of application, I did some research and found the following:-

Quote from click here

>>This site is being operated by Chinese nationals, and is offering DVD copying software. The site is a scam, in which they require you to pay and then they send an email with your download information. You will never receive an email, and will lose your money. DO NOT PURCHASE FROM XPLATINUM.NET!!!!! >>

I hope this helps someone else who is also tempted to squander $20 or so

  jazzypop 20:38 05 Jan 03

Hmm....thanks for the warning, but have you looked at the rest of their site?

Under their Safety Software link, they recommend the use of Black Ice Defender as a firewall, a whole bunch of strange programs for anti-virus uilities, and a program called Evidence Eliminator ( click here for an opinion of that program!)

Somehow, I don't get the impression that the site is offering impartial advice :)

Nonetheless, I'm sure that the advice about the DVD scam is accurate - strangely, I have never once been tempted by unsolicited spam.

  katedi 21:18 05 Jan 03

I teach human computer interaction at uni level, so tend to investigate most new software and hardware that is offered to my uni address (where this one arrived), I check out demos of about 50% and buy about 15%. I buy very little of what is offered on my hotmail address as this mailbox is the one I use for registering on websites, and it receives the real spam, whereas my uni address normally only gets quality mailings.

The fact this spam email from Xplatinum penetrated the spam filters, firewalls etc of a large UK university makes it more interesting.

I do believe that evidence eliminator was on the cover disk of a quality UK PC magazine within the last year or so, so it would appear to have had some support in the Uk in the past, if not now.
thanks for the response

  Taran 21:45 05 Jan 03

With respect, the email will only be unable to penetrate the Uni defenses as and when it is set to disallow the messages content or point of origin.

Many spammers are now using methods to bypass conventional methods of defense, so specific addresses and URLs must be added to the blocked list at server level to prevent them sneaking through to your Inbox, rather than relying on more traditional methods of stopping the emails.

Forward a copy of the email to the network manager at your Uni and the messages will be stopped.

  Taran 21:53 05 Jan 03

I've also received copies of that particular email; I believe they are using some quite sophisticated software to block mail it.

I've even had copies sent to an address that I established some months ago for the sole purpose of subscribing to an academic newsletter. This particular address is a twenty five character mix of Latin words and numbers with an equally bizarre password.

Either the organisation I am subscribed to have had their database hacked or leaked, or more likely the software being used is simply generating possible combinations of letters, words and numbers and mailing copies to them all. Those returned with errors about no such address will be scratched from their lists. Those messages that do not result in such errors confirm that the address at least exists from which they can start to generate their own contacts database to suppliment those lists that they buy from ISPs.

There's a very great deal more to it than that, but its a simplified version of a series of events that sooner or later seem to affect us all.



  €dstow 08:02 06 Jan 03

Whatever advice you may offer there is always that old adage "a fool and his money are soon parted". People will persist in responding to junk mail. If they didn't, the junk mailers wouldn't bother. Their response rate may be miniscule but it is enough to provide them with quite a reasonable living. For example, a 0.01% uptake on a emailshot for a $30 whatever item (which, of course doesn't exist) would result in an income of $300,000 on every one billion drops made. With the internet, one billion is not an outlandishly large number by any means. Even if my decimal points are out in one direction or the other in my calculation, it is still very worthwhile for them.

Let's face it, the populace is basically greedy. They are also gullible and under the impression that their sex lives (or organs) are inadequate. Look at the Nigerian scam. Even after all the newspaper, television and radio publicity about this, they are still getting responses to their (to me) most obvious rip-off. It isn't just the feeble minded that are taken in. I know a someone myself who is (was) a qualified accountant, company secretary and financial director (i.e someone with legal responsibilities for his company) who was taken in by the Nigerian scam. He doesn't have these responsibilities any longer, of course.

Remember these spammers are doing it all the while, as I would be if I took up all the Viagra offers that come into one of my mailboxes. If I took all the offers of money and debt consolidation, I would have enough money to be able to pay off ALL of the world's debts. Even though the addresses of these people may different, the wording is often so similar, sometimes identical, that they obviously have the same origin.

The tiny uptake would not be very good for a newspaper or snail mail drop in the UK for example. These rely on 2 - 3% response but on the internet the scale is very much grander and of course, unlike the genuine offers of UK newspapers and mail drops, no effort is required by the originators in fulfilling an order or enquiry. They've got your money, all they have to do is laugh all the way to the bank.

I've just checked a Yahoomail box I have. Over the weekend there were almost 150 emails in there ALL of them junk. Most of them offering me items indicated above, one Nigerian, seven DVD burner and 27 doctorate offers which I certainly don't need as I have a real one already.

Of course, I agree with your advice of not to be taken in but it is, unfortunately, mainly wasted for the reasons I have given. I would expect also, like jazzypop, that most on here would not be taken in but, even the 80,000+ membership is a less than miniscule number compared with the potential readership.


  Goldcroft 08:45 06 Jan 03

I've now been on the Internet for 5 months, surfing all over the place and I only get one spam type email a week, if that, and I would like to know the reason some people seem to get hundreds. What are they doing, who are they subscribed to to get targeted in this way? It would be helpful to people like myself who might then be able to avoid falling into the same traps.

  €dstow 09:35 06 Jan 03

I have a number of email addresses both business and private. There doesn't appear to be any difference between them apart from the address but some get spammed, others don't. I Think you may just be lucky, very lucky and long may it stay that way for you!!

As long as you stick to certain rules, your prospect of spam can quite possibly stay low but once to respond to any spam mail AT ALL you lay yourself open to an absolute deluge of things you would most likely rather not have.

Don't think that you are missing out on anything. Almost all spam you will wish you didn't have and certainly don't want.

Enjoy your freedom while you can!!!;-)


  Andsome 12:26 06 Jan 03

I remeber that during and just after the war SPAM made quite a tasty sandwich.

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