This post may be a bit different from the posts here in the blog but I do feel that this is still in keeping with our purpose of informing people about what’s out there in our fair city (or the world wide web as this case may be). I promised to blog about what happened to me and my husband to warn everyone of the current modus operandi of hackers using Yahoo Messenger (YM).
Just this Tuesday, my husband was scammed by a hacker posing as his cousin via YM. His “cousin” asked for 50 pcs of 500 peso Globe Prepaid Cards. My hubby did not think too much of this request since he helped his cousin with her wedding planning this year. He paid for and contacted suppliers for her wedding here in Manila as she was based in the US. He thought that this was just one of those requests. His “cousin” said that she will be selling the cards to friends in the US and will give my husband his money back with a small profit. With the help of another cousin, my husband bought the cards scratched the numbers and encoded them in excel.

As he was doing that, I was on facebook and my hubby’s cousin has just updated her status saying that her YM account was hacked and that the person responsible is asking for Php 25,000 load. Apparently my husband was not the only cousin the hacker was hoping to fool that day. I told my hubby about this and it’s only then that everything made sense to him. He then started asking personal questions that only his real cousin knew about. The hacker would log in and then log off, blaming his/her internet connection. In short the hacker never answered any of the questions.

My husband lost Php 500 that day but he could have lost a lot more, Php25,000 more to be exact. Facebook saved the day whereas YM failed.

We finally got to chat with the real cousin who promptly changed her account, her username and password. When she buzzed my husband she told him of a childhood prank they played on their neighbor involving a very large jackfruit as proof of ID. My hubby knew right away that his cousin was the real deal.
How was the real cousin’s account hacked you may ask? She remembered that she was once buzzed by a friend who was based in Dubai. The friend gave her a link, asking her to check “kung ok ba webcam nya”. Our cousin clicked the link and it took her to a site which she said most likely phished her account details. The hacker now had access to our cousin’s profile and email addresses which the hacker could use for his/her scheme. The hacker also had access to emails, information from which he could use to strike up a conversation with the victim.
If you have YM and you’ve received messages about acai berry supplements and some other weird stuff, don’t click the link. The link would either be a phishing site or a virus-laden website.

So we’re now left with a lotta load to spare. We’ve alerted our officemates about this so that they’d be forewarned. Now, I’m blogging about this so that you’d also be alerted to this modus operandi.

It’s very easy to let your guard down now given the many messaging sytems out there. But, like I’ve told my husband, there will always be scam artists out there no matter the time and medium.

Be careful out there!

Here’s another blog entry of the YM Prepaid Card Scam

image sources: here and here

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About The Author

EJ is an IT manager by day, and Plants vs Zombies addict by night. Oh and he blogs too. Through, EJ wants to help the Pinoy create and maintain his own blog. The Pinoy blogging community is a very friendly one and this is his contribution! He's also the main technical person behind the ManilaReviews, ManilaFitness, and ManilaBlogs. Geek? Di naman masyado.

2 Responses

    • ej

      kinney, this is around 1 year ago. haha! but i hear a lot of people still being scammed so best to keep your guard up. :)


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