Sunday, October 26, 2014

Phishing and Online Fraud: from UK Lottery Scams to the online reselling

I remember facing the phishing attacks way back in 2002-2004. We used to get mails from viagra advertisements to UK Lottery to our valuable 10MB inbox in rediff, yahoo and msn. Most famous was UK lottery style ones where the typical body starts with "We happily announce to you the draw of the UK-LOTTO Sweepstake Lottery International programs held on...."  or the 419 scams

Now it seems like it comes in the form of ads like "Smartphone Excellent Condition Never open in box with India Bill".
A simple search in OLX with "lg g3 32GB" price between 10K and 21K will open up lists with same price, with location listing different parts of the country. LG G3 launched a few months back at a price around 50K and the minimum price in Diwali time was around 36K.

I do not have a law degree, but I could see that either they are the scammers with old wine in new bottle or they are doing something illegal.  Contacted the OLX legal asking them an explanation. I really appreciated their quick response, removing the ad I was mentioning as example.  A check on the location of these ads, though the names vary; suggest that all of them maps to 2-3 different areas in big cities. It needs a bit of work from their technical team to detect such illegal business.

Screenshots of these listings and follow up to some of these sellers. 
NB: I actually checked the warranty policies of Sony and LG. Both does not have international warranty policies and it varies from region to region.