Sharks in the phishing hole: Two emails, two warnings, one scam

This guy just keeps turning up.
This guy just keeps turning up.

If you’re an average joe you probably have your fill of email scams and attempts to mine your information. I mean the Nigerian princess and fake-package schticks can only go so far.

If you own a web site, you’ll get hit up with some new things. Unfortunately it’s hard to tell the fake from the real stuff, and sometimes the real stuff isn’t too well worded either.

Last week I got a pair of emails; one supposedly from Amazon and one allegedly from my web host.

Here’s the one from Amazon:



Our records show that you have not completed the declaration confirming that none of your websites are directed at children under the age of 13. This declaration is a mandatory requirement for participation in the Amazon Associates Program, and as such, your payments have been placed on hold as of August 31, 2015. On October 31, 2015, your account will be closed if your declaration has not been completed. Any final funds payable will be issued via the payment method we have on file. Once your account is closed it cannot be reopened.

What the … what? It’s a little scary, and it did require my attention. Did they have to word it like that?

Got this one from Amazon. Scary, but legit. Still, exercise caution.
Got this one from Amazon. Scary, but legit. Still, exercise caution.

Backgrounder. I have an Amazon Associates account, which nets me a commission on stuff I sell through the site. It’s tiny income, and Amazon wanted to make sure I’m not one of those cheesy sites that markets strictly to kids.

That one’s legit, so I went ahead and took care of it through the front door. I didn’t use the link provided, but instead slammed open Amazon’s swinging doors and ordered everyone to make a hole as I took care of business. Later with that provided link.


Now here’s the other one, from my Web host. Or something.

1&1 Internet AG via

7:00 PM (0 minutes ago)

to me

Dear Sir/Madam,

The following domain names have been suspended for violation of the 1&1 Internet AG Abuse Policy:

Domain Name: Registrar: 1&1 Internet AG Registrant Name: Eric Pulsifer

Multiple warnings were sent by 1&1 Internet AG Spam and Abuse Department to give you an opportunity to address the complaints we have received.

We did not receive a reply from you to these email warnings so we then attempted to contact you via telephone.

We had no choice but to suspend your domain name when you did not respond to our attempts to contact you.

Click here and download a copy of complaints we have received.

Please contact us for additional information regarding this notification.

Sincerely, 1&1 Internet AG Spam and Abuse Department Abuse Department Hotline: 480-320-3579


This one smells like scam. McAfee agrees.
This one smells like scam. McAfee agrees.

Notice the request to “click here and download a copy of complaints we have received.” Uh, yeah. I’ll get right on it.

I did check on the link, and it led to some outfit McAfee didn’t like. Here’s what I got from them:

Warning: Trouble ahead Whoa!

Are you sure you want to go there?… may try to steal your information.

Why were you redirected to this page?

When we visited this site, we found it may be designed to trick you into submitting your financial or personal information to online scammers. This is a serious security threat which could lead to identity theft, financial losses or unauthorized use of your personal information.

Accept the Risk


View Site Report

The site report gives it a high risk rating. Taking it further:

rm-webrep-highWeb Category: Malicious Sites, Marketing/Merchandising

Activation: 2011-11-21

Last Seen: 2011-09-29


A couple of dead giveaways, besides McAfee. Like there’s no Type it in and I get nowhere.

Then there’s the phone number, 480-320-3579. It’s some urgent-care outfit, and I should be happy to know my call will be recorded for quality assurance. I didn’t pursue this further.

Understand, these emails/warnings/phishing attempts are aimed at someone who’s been around the Web a time or two. Someone who has an affiliate marketing account and his own website. Not that these mean anything, but still …

Okay. You know the drill. Enjoy your computer. Use it for all the things you ordinarily would use it for — online banking, making an online living, keeping in touch with friends, making phone calls, the whole smash. But be careful out there.