Select Page

We would love to hear your feedback

THE DAILY SCAM NEWSLETTER  |  MAY 1, 2024

Co-Founder/Content: Doug Fodeman  |  Co-Founder/Creative: David Deutsch  |  V04N12

Could You Tell That This Store is a Scam?

My partner David enjoys a good quality whiskey. While searching for some deals on specialty whiskeys last week, he came upon a website called SwiftWhiskeySupply.com in a Google search. The site offered lots of good whiskeys and other products on sale, some for an incredibly discounted price! For example, he was looking for a particular whiskey for his collection. Other websites listed it for $350-$1,000 but Swift Whiskey Supply had it for $100, with free shipping! But David also spotted lots of red flags that led him to conclude that this entire business was a scam! And yet, the domain swiftwhiskeysupply.com was registered more than 2 years ago! It is highly unusual for a scammer’s website to stay online for this length of time. How did they manage to stick around this long and be a scam? Join us as we point out the red flag warnings showing you WHY this website is a scammer’s business! 

A visit to swiftwhiskeysupply.com show us a fairly robust website, filled with a great selection of specialty whiskeys to add to the online cart. The site included a blog with two articles posted in February of this year. Their domain was registered on December 5, 2021, making it old enough to have a Google presence. The website owners have also created a Facebook page, showing more than 7,900 followers!  And yet, this website also shows up on VirusTotal.com as malicious!

We found lies on the Swift Whiskey Supply website and many inconsistencies and oddities. Let’s start with the address they list for their business on their website: 12330 E 46th Ave #500, Denver, CO 80239

According to Google, this #500 address is occupied by an HVAC Contractor and NOT this liquor store. (There happens to be a different liquor store located at #300. Perhaps these scammers chose the wrong number? Perhaps they had hoped that people would think that the real liquor store at #300 was somehow connected to their scam site?)

There were many oddities on the SwiftWhiskeySupply.com website, including the fact that on their “Quick Links” section they list “Frequently Asked Question.”  Wait, just one?  It doesn’t matter because there are none! The link just points back to the top webpage of their site. Also, their website says that they have 55 reviews on it.  We didn’t find this many reviews. Also, LOTS of them appeared to be written by the same person identified as “Jenny .D” (A few other reviews were also written by other people using the same name.) Some of the reviews made no sense at all, or were oddly written using uncommon words.

Swift Whiskey Supply also has a Facebook page showing 12 reviews and 7,900 followers!  It’s hard to believe these 7.900 followers are legitimate because the 4 latest reviews (posted mid-April, 2024) claim that this company is a scam. We also noticed that their Facebook page lists their website as whiskeyhabor.com, rather than swiftwhiskeysupply.comWhiskeyHabor.com was registered on January 8, 2024 and is a fairly new website. (See additional information below about this other fake whiskey-selling scam site.)

Not only have people on the “company” Facebook page reported that this website is a scam but Swift Whiskey Supply has been identified as suspicious or a reported scam site by several other credible sources….

As if to confirm what we’ve been saying, SwiftWhiskeySupply.com was suddenly taken down sometime late on Saturday night/Sunday morning, this past weekend, just a day after we reviewed it. However, WhiskeyHabor.com is live and a robust scammer’s website! It displays 2 phone numbers and one of them is the same phone number that was used on Swift Whiskey Supply:  +1 904 339 5649.  Here are just a few red flags spotted on the Whiskey Habor website….

  1. WhiskeyHabor.com claims to have been in business for over 12 years, and yet their domain was only registered in January, 2024!
  2. The WhiskeyHabor.com website shows 2 different addresses for their business, one in Florida and one in Utah. Neither address includes a street location. The Google map link on their site simply points to Salt Lake City.
  3. The Contact Form on the “contact us” page doesn’t work. It isn’t even displaying on their website as functional.
  4. The footers on their website show a domain for their email address that is different than the WhiskeyHabor.com domain!  It is TheWhiskeyQuasar.com. As of April 28, this domain has never been registered, according to this WHOIS tool: https://whois.domaintools.com/thewhiskeyquasar.com

NONE of the social media links on the WhiskeyHabor.com website function and lead to any social media presence, as of April 28.

We routinely tell our readers…. Verify, verify, verify! It is sooooo easy to lie online! Read information carefully and don’t assume that everything you read online is true! To read about many more scam specialty liquor stores, check out our feature article about Fake Liquor Stores.

Bogus Toll Service Texts Across the USA & Scary Use of AI

Last week we reported on a bogus text sent to residents living in Florida that claimed to be from the Florida Toll Service.  As we predicted, we’ve learned that these threats have targeted Americans in other states as well. For example, a resident from New York state sent us an example of the Florida text fraud! Then the Massachusetts Department of Transportation also stated that residents are reporting fraudulent texts claiming to represent tolling agencies around the USA. The scammers are requesting payment for unpaid tolls and provide fake websites for you to enter your credit card information. Another long-time reader and resident from Ohio sent us an email he received from the Ohio Turnpike Authorities. It notified Ohio residents about E-ZPass notification fraudulent texts sent to residents in the state of Ohio! Finally, the FBI posted a warning on the IC3.gov website about this scam targeting Americans across the US. Below is an excerpt from the Ohio Turnpike authority’s email about this scam…

Ohio Turnpike Alerts Customers of Text ‘Smishing’ Scam Targeting Multiple Tolling Agencies

BEREA, Ohio (April 22, 2024) – The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission has learned that an SMS/text message scam, also known as “smishing,” is fraudulently claiming to represent tolling agencies from across the country. The scammers are requesting payment for unpaid tolls.  The targeted phone numbers seem to be chosen at random and are not uniquely associated with an account or usage of toll roads.

The Ohio Turnpike does not request payments from its E-ZPass customers by text. Collections of unpaid toll and/or toll violations does not occur by text.

All links associated with Ohio Turnpike E-ZPass will include www.ezpassoh.com and www.ohioturnpike.org.

We have expressed concerns many times about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by criminals as a tool to perpetrate fraud.  These concerns about AI are growing, and in unexpected ways that can result in significant harm to people!  Though this is not a scam in the traditional sense, check out this article describing the use of AI in a fraudulent way to target the Principal of a school. It’s a shocker to see who was behind this fraud. Not someone we would have suspected!

https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/26/us/pikesville-principal-maryland-deepfake-cec/index.html

According to reports from the Better Business Bureau, these businesses were impersonated the most by scammers in 2023. The only one that surprised us was PCH…

  • United States Postal Service (USPS) 
  • Amazon
  • Publishers Clearing House
  • Geek Squad
  • Norton Antivirus

This is a truly sad story about a 57-year old woman who fell for a romance scam. What is perhaps shocking about this fraud is that she had video chats with this man. These videos were manipulated and the victim didn’t realize it! Questions still remain about the death of this woman…

https://www.yahoo.com/news/moms-disappearance-draws-daughter-probe-233819118.html

Daughter’s interview:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ4XRSO5WVk&t=11s

Remember to check out our Podcast series! https://www.securewon.com/resources/podcasts/

Rob Strikes Back Again, Netflix Account & Geeksquad Purchase

Listen to this 4 and one-half minute phone call when a scammer tried to manipulate professional scam baiter Rob into downloading and using software that would give the scammer full control of his Windows computer. The scammer asked Rob to install software called UltraViewer. Rob plays the scammer during this phone call to waste his time and reveal how this scam manipulates people. Once Rob called him out on his scam, the man hung up! NEVER install software on your computer that someone tells you to install without verifying it with someone who KNOWS what it is and what it does! This is especially true if you consider that Rob was told he was to receive a credit for a payment against his account. (This wasn’t true, of course.) Getting a credit from a company WILL NEVER REQUIRE that you install software on your device! This scam started when Rob received the following email…

Millions of people across the world use Netflix! So imagine how you might respond if this email landed in your inbox.  Details matter! Notice how these scammers didn’t even capitalize the name “netflix.” Also, this smelly phish came from a server in the European Union and not from Netflix.com!  The link points to a newly registered domain called BillingProblem[.]link. Gee, that sounds just like neflix.com, right?  When we visited that link we found a nasty phishing page. (See screenshot below.)

“Your order is now being processed” says this bogus email sent from a University server in Peru! It is obviously not from Best Buy or GeekSquad! These scammers are hoping you’ll call their scam number at 888-724-5657. Deeeeleeeete!  Remember to report your smelly phish to us and Google:  https://safebrowsing.google.com/safebrowsing/report_phish/

Costco Membership and JC Penney

Millions of Amerians across the US have a Costco membership and purchase lots of consumer products through them at their discounted rates. So it’s no surprise that scammers used the Costco name to try to fool you into clicking nasty emails like this one. It’s pretty obvious that this email didn’t come from costco.com. Also the links point to the link-shortening service at TinyURL.com.  (They disguise their links by entering a useless # symbol followed by a random set of characters.  The only characters that matter to TinyURL are the 8 that immediately follow the first single forward slash /.

JC Penney is also a well known American retail store. However, until now, we’ve never seen this brand’s name used by scammers to create malicious clickbait. The SAME cybercriminal gang that created the above Costco email also created this malicious clickbait disguised as a JC Penney email. Please don’t get excited. You are NOT a winner of a $1000 gift card! Just like the bogus Costco email, the links in this point to TinyURL and when we unshortened them, they pointed to the same malicious domain as the above scam.  Lunge for the delete key!

Sign and Revert

For several months now, we’ve seen very malicious clickbait that pretends to be from Docusign requesting your digital signature. However, the attached pdf contains a very dangerous QR code that will send your browser to a website where malware lies in wait. The email below was shared with us from a US Company that is targeted a lot by these threats!  This email did NOT come from Docusign.com and Docusign will not send you a QR code to scan. The reason is simple…. It would mean that you will need to use a phone camera to scan and read the document. That’s NOT how Docusign works. With Docusign you are supposed to be able to open your documents on a desktop or laptop computer.  If you get clickbait like this, deeeeeeeleeeeeete!

How to Start a Pig Butchering Scam…

We hope our readers are now very familiar with the term “pig butchering.” This type of brutal scam, meant to eviserate the victim of every penny she/he owns, has been all over the news for months! And, after months of observing their origins, the vast majority of these scams begin as a text “mistakenly” sent to your phone. The sender then innocently begins a conversation, then a friendship. Over weeks, your new friend builds a relationship with you, hoping to gain your trust. Then the hammer drops as they recommend a financial investment scheme they swear by and say that it has been so profitable for them or their relatives.  Here is the very beginning of such a pig butchering scam.  This text was sent to my phone last week. Trust me, it wasn’t Bailey’s phone number.

Until next week, surf safely!

Copyright © 2024 The Daily Scam. All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to thedailyscam.com

Marblehead, MA 01945

Contact Webmaster