Monday, March 27, 2017

Yet another email scam--this one with a .dot file attached

With several email accounts and having the same ones for more than 10 years each, I pretty much get every email scam attempt known to mankind. Today, I got one that looked nothing like the thousands of scams in the past. I have copy/pasted it below.

The big difference with this one is it is not asking me to log into a fake PayPal, bank or any other account. It's not asking me for a reply (yet) or asking me for more information.

The big difference with this one is the alleged Vasbinder.doc that is supposedly attached except it's not a Vasbinder.doc, it's a Vasbinder.dot (with a T) and in the email, the scammer says there is a password that has to be entered.

I Googled the entire email and various parts of it looking for anyone else that has written about this scam but I haven't found anyone else.

Being the curious type, I tried to open the word.dot file in Google Docs (so I didn't have to download or open it on my computer) and Google Docs would not open it.

Once again, being the curious type, I think I'm going to reply to the sender acting like I'm falling for their scam, just to see what their next step is going to be.

I left the typos and obvious foreign language syntax in the below email. The P. O. Box is from many, many years ago but was legit at one time.

I'll update as I learn more from this scammer--but in the meantime, do NOT open an alleged word document with .dot as the ending. I did find this website explaining how .dot files are used to then take over your computer as ransomware, where the scammers will release your computer after you pay their "fee" (a/k/a ransom).

https://howtoremove.guide/dot-file-extension-ransomware-virus-removal/

Elvia Carles
Attachments 3:36 PM (4 hours ago)

to me

Greetings!

I have a quite delicate question, which deals directly to you. Don't be surprised how do I know you! The matter is that I have received already a second message from the person, I do not know which claims that you are engaged in fraud. He says, that you forced him transfer funds on your PayPal account under fictional reason. Andwith this information he specified your private information up to address:

Leonard Vasbinder
Post Office Box 850888
New Orleans
La
70185

Now he is collecting data and planing to go to the police. I suggest you to view the information that he is sending to me. I have attached Vasbinder.doc with a copy of all of his messages.
Document was encrypted - 4807

Please explain to me what's happening. I think that all of this was a absurd mistake.

Sincerely,
Elvia Carles
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