Prattle Me A Scam, Scumbag

October 9, 2019

douch-canoe

Apropos of probably the fact that I recently opened a new line of credit, I’ve been phished not once but twice in as many days.

If you’re not up on your InfoSec terminology, phishing is a fraudulent attempt to obtain confidential information. It is a cybercrime perpetrated by someone posing as an authorized entity for the purpose of luring unwary individuals into disclosing sensitive data such as usernames and passwords which the scammer can then use illicitly.

The target is typically contacted via email, telephone or text message disguised as legitimate communication. Save reporting it to the institution that was spoofed–in my case, Wells Fargo bank–there’s not a whole lot can be done about it. (Assuming you did not fall for the con, that is, in which case that is an entirely new level of misery) I’m writing about it as a public service to alert readers that phishing scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated. It’s not enough just to be aware phishing exists. In fact, in order to protect yourself, you have to dig a little deeper than obvious red flags that bludgeon you with comical errors.

At first glance, the two phishing attempts that targeted me looked absolutely legit. Even the telephone numbers checked out but then I’m quite sure the criminal counted on the fact that most people would rather use their shiny eight hundred dollars worth of smartphone technology rather than placing a tired old, antiquated phone call.

Further, there was none of the usual grammar and spelling errors which are part and parcel of a phish attempted by a criminal who does not speak English.

For example, a typical phishing expedition would have included something along the lines of:

If you havent recieve you card call us at 800-WE-GOODE.

Or some other obvious grammatical and/or spelling error.

And a less discerning person may have taken the bait simply by virtue of the fact that not only was his name included in the greeting but it was also spelled correctly rather than the generic Dear Valued Customer which is SOP for scams of this nature. You may be wondering how a scammer would know your name and that you have accounts at Wells Fargo bank but hold that thought.

Behold the Scumbaggery

scumbagger1

Exhibit Alpha – Activate Your Card

scumbaggery2

Exhibit Bravo – Deposit Your Check with a Smartphone

Given my natural state of vigilance and suspicion combined with a heaping helping of information security as a side gig, I don’t want to say that it is impossible to scam me but, in reality, it will be quite the frosty day in Hell when I’d be dumb enough to click on a link contained within an unsolicited message especially from a high profile bank that encouraged me to activate a credit card and another link in another message to deposit a check with a smartphone. Ain’t happenin’, Jimmy. And any bank that sends such correspondence to you should be reported to the state and federal Attorneys General offices accordingly.

Returning to the question of how a scammer would know your personal details such as name and accounts, the answer is they don’t. At least, not usually, unless, of course, your identity has been compromised. But Wells Fargo has a significant presence in financial markets sufficient for scumbags to gamble (and usually guess correctly) that a satisfying portion of their target audience probably would. And even if you did not, there are those out there who may still click on the links anyway because they mistakenly believe that they have hit the FICO jackpot–

Hey, I don’t even have an account at Wells Fargo and I never applied for credit but they want to give me free money, woo hoo! Let me click on that link right now and give my social security number, username, password AND mother’s maiden name! What could possibly go wrong?

Even the return address domain seemed kosher but still smelled like unadulterated dog shit to me.

phish-header

Always check the headers

A quick trace and peek into the WHOIS database yielded that connect.wellsfargoemail.com resolves back to Cheetahmail which appears to be a legitimate business entity. And presumably, the Cheetahmail domain has been spoofed/hijacked for the purpose of scamming unsuspecting consumers, but I have no way of knowing for sure. Maybe the administrative contact named below in the public record spends his free time perpetrating cybercrime?

cheetahmail

Suffice to say, after having forwarded both phishing attempts to Wells, I have not received a response nor do I expect to mostly because the fraud department does not inspire confidence. While I was researching the connect.wellsfargoemail.com domain I found a previous thread in @Ask_WellsFargo twitter feed and its operator either could not or would not answer the question whether connect.wellsfargoemail.com even belonged to the bank. Shouldn’t an account named “Ask Wells Fargo” possess fundamental knowledge about the organization it purports to speak for on social media?

A logical person would assume that Ask Wells Fargo would at least be peripherally aware as to what domains Wells Fargo actually owns, but you’d be mistaken if you thought the official twitter feed served any other purpose than mindless, happy, shiny marketing drivel which is exactly why you have to possess a working knowledge of what are and where to find email headers. In fact, stay tuned for an upcoming tutorial on that particular subject matter. Until next time, don’t click on any links from within your email, especially for special deals and services from financial and banking entities.


Fleebin-Flobbin

October 9, 2019

jargon

Greetings and Salutations Prattle Ppl:

So it has been about a year since I last posted to convey having removed Prattle from an increasingly totalitarian liberal loon social media platform and now it’s time for another update.

Throughout the past year, I’ve been practicing my front-end web dev endeavors and otherwise pursuing software-related minutiae but paused to include for you some software developer jargon that can just as easily crossover into the mainstream vocab of the decidedly non-developer vernacular. See how many terms you can identify and then incorporate into your daily communications.  Impress your friends and vie for that promotion today!

Deprecate

Code that is still part of the overall application and remains in place for the sake of  backwards-compatibility.  e.g. a deprecated relationship

Rubber Ducking

A method of debugging code taken from The Pragmatic Programmer (1999).  The act of carrying around a rubber duck (or some other object) and explaining your code line-by-line to it in order to understand it better.  This sometimes happens in personal relationships when one side refuses to communicate and the other has to constantly second-guess the other side’s increasingly fucked up behaviors.

Reality 101 Failure

The program, or more likely a feature of a program, does exactly what was expected but when deployed becomes annoyingly obvious that the problem was misunderstood and is basically useless.

Happy Path

A default scenario that experiences no exceptions or error conditions and leads to successful execution thereby generating a positive response.  Contrasted with an exception path that results in reality 101 failure.

Nopping

Taken from assembler language NOP  meaning no-operation. Similar to a nap but doesn’t imply sleep, just zoning out.

Copypasta

Code which contains direct or nearly direct copy-and-paste.  As in a copypasta Dear John letter.

Yoda Notation

Two parts of an expression are reversed from the typical order in a conditional statement. A Yoda condition places the constant portion of the expression on the left side of the conditional statement. The name for this programming style is derived from the Star Wars character named Yoda who speaks English with a non-standard syntax. As in,  Let the door hit you on the ass on the way out, do not.

Egosurfing

Scanning the web for one’s own name.  May be to monitor personal brand but is typically for narcissistic purposes.

Jimmy

A generalized name for a clueless n00b.

Bikeshedding

A futile investment of time and energy in a discussion of marginal technical issues such as worrying about where the bike shed will go on a property that doesn’t exist.

Unicorny

An adjective to describe a feature that’s so early in the planning stages that it might as well be imaginary.

Stress Puppy

One who requires stress in order to function well yet voices dissatisfaction with it.


F–k Off, Facebook

October 22, 2018

2018-10-21-174735_684x503_scrot

Greetings Prattle Followers:

Please be advised that effective immediately, the social media pages for Prattle On Boyo on Facebook have been deactivated due to the current anti-free expression stance of social media giants such as Facebook have recently undertaken to quash any and all expression that does not puke up MSM/Leftist talking points.

In its blind, fanatical zeal to aid its globalist overlords in destroying the United States, many of the brand name tech companies, such as Facebook, have rigged its platform algorithms to feature content only from those sources who regurgitate the rigid, authoritarian orthodoxy of the Left.  I cannot, in good faith, or as an American citizen, continue to patronize such a platform, particularly since its claims of free expression have become vividly clear to apply only to Left leaning viewpoints, meanwhile it labels by default any opinions to the contrary as racist or whatever the MSM outrage of the day happens to be.

You can still follow PoB on Twitter and Gab.

Thanks for your prompt attention to this matter and thanks for following my pages.

PoB


Heeeeeere’s Nigel

August 27, 2018

2018-08-24-185619_1920x1080_scrot

Yes, after a long hiatus (cough cough cough) I have returned.  I’m sure you’re happy to see me, again, eh?   Go grab more of whatever you’re deliriously eating/drinking/rolling around in because you’ll probably enjoy what I’m about to write.  Well, I enjoyed it and that’s really the only thing that matters, after all.  The fact that you’re accessing this site really only proves one thing…that you like to lurk!  This is the only reasonable deduction since very few of you ever bother to comment.  Or follow me on social media.  Or say, Hey, PF, dude, where the hell you been?

I wrote the follow apropos of a little thought experiment.  Basically, I created a character and inserted him into a well known movie. (Kubrick would be proud.) But before you read about it, you really ought to head out to YT and watch the following clip as it sets up the scene I wrote.  The audio is really craptacular so be sure to crank your speaker.

The Shining – Bar Scene

Now on to what you really came here for.

2018-08-24-172225_924x717_scrot

Jack Torrance sat at the empty bar and took a slug from the 2-fingers worth of bourbon that Lloyd, the red-jacketed bartender, had just poured into a small highball glass for him.  He held it up, lovingly, eyes twinkling, and made a toast, Here’s to five months on the wagon and all the irreparable harm it caused me.  As he set down his drink, he admired how the ambient lighting in the ballroom glinted off the crystal.  Just then, Wendy, his wife, scampered into the room, carrying a wooden bat and whimpering.  Her blubbering snapped his reverie and he was suddenly plunged back into the present –the bartender, his glass and bottle of bourbon all having vanished from sight.  His glee had been swiftly transformed into annoyance, and when she put her hand on his shoulder, to force him to listen to her, there was no escaping.  The silly bitch was always pestering him with what he considered inanities, and was forever sobbing about Danny, their seven year old.  The poor kid couldn’t make a move without the old sperm bank wailing about it.  And then, as predicted, she launched into an agitated account about a crazy woman in one of the rooms of the hotel having attempted to strangle his son.

At a table located far from the bar, he watched them, Jack Torrance, the new caretaker of the hotel, and his delirious wife, Wendy, as she described a woman in a bathtub going after their child. He chuckled, softly, to himself, when Jack asked Wendy if she was out of her mind. He had finished his own drink as he patiently waited for Jack to tell her to go back to their quarters before he made his presence known. Excuse me, Mr. Torrance… His tone was as balmy as his mint julep cocktail had been. A word before you speak to Mrs. Abernathy? He asked, affably.

Startled at the sound of the stranger’s voice, Jack spun around, nearly losing balance. The bartender and his bourbon had both reappeared the moment Wendy had departed the ballroom. As his perception settled back into his alternate reality, the intruder strode towards Jack and held out his hand. My name is Thorpe. Nigel, to my friends. Jack shook his hand, enthusiastically, while Lloyd replenished his glass and poured another for the newcomer.

Thorpe reached for his drink and apologized, Pardon me, for saying so, but Agnes didn’t mean to alarm your son. He was picking off imaginary particles of dust from his sharply starched lapels and continued, It’s just that it has been so long since her own son has visited, well, the poor woman was positively delighted for the company! Her, uh, exuberance, was a bit much, admittedly, but she meant no harm. He said, sheepishly.

Jack considered his explanation, briefly, eying the man’s monocle and crisply tailored jacket. The two then clinked their glasses together, amicably, before downing their drinks. That’s quite alright, Nigel, my friend, Jack’s tone was mollifying. Wendy has an over-active imagination and often creates drama where absolutely none was intended.

Happy to hear it, old chum, Nigel’s tone was as superficially magnanimous as Jack’s. What say we both pay Aggie a visit? He suggested, with a wink. She absolutely adores entertaining guests from the comfort of a hot bath!

Nigel, my boy, I think I’m in the mood for a bath, myself, Jack announced, as his face broke into a wide, lewd grin.

 

 

 

 


It Will Be Fun They Said

September 19, 2016

For those who follow this blog, I sincerely regret the rather extended hiatus.  No, that’s not entirely accurate.  As evidenced by the POB Twitter feed embedded on this page,  I haven’t been gone at all, but rather, just active on other channels.

So what has POB been up to this whole time?

A variety of things, most prominently, learning front-end web development which as it turns out doesn’t really involve what you’re thinking it does –

front-end

Not quite.

Here, take a look for yourself.

2016-09-19-15_50_19-1-responsive-website-r

The glory of JavaScript

2016-09-19-15_53_12_1-greenshot

Learn front-end web development.  It will be fun, they said.

That’s nice, POB.  I don’t know what I’m looking at but it is quite colorful.

And now for the $64 thousand dollar question on everyone’s mind…

So when will I write my own original content again?

That’s a really good question.  I’m always good for a retina-searing diatribe against state and federal agencies that are allegedly consumer-oriented in nature, most notably, California’s own ironically named Employment Development Department whose main job (as far as I can tell) is to determine exactly how many levels it can take Dante’s Hell to while proclaiming (with a straight face) that it is helping the state’s unemployed workers.  For those who missed it the first time, and for those who want to relive the fun, follow the link to the article in question – EDD Tenth Circle of Hell.

I don’t have a target date of my next piece.  All I can say is follow me on Twitter so you won’t miss a beat.

Thanks for your continuing support and encouragement.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Not Dead Yet

December 11, 2014

bring out your dead

Greetings PoB followers:

Just a quick hello to let you know that yes, it has been awhile since I published anything here, however, I am still very much alive.  If you want a PoB fix follow me on Twitter @prattleonboyo or on the PoB Facebook Page.  Best bet is Twitter if you don’t want to miss anything since Facebook seems to only post about 10% of what I actually post.


Temp Worker Nation USA

August 12, 2013

According to the BLS, the total number of temp workers surged by 7.5% in the past year to 2,279,800 in May.  That’s the highest it has been since it reached 2,767,300 in October 2006.  And if you have been looking for a full-time, permanent job lately, you know exactly what the situation is like  despite the smokescreen of sunshine and roses as portrayed by the mainstream media.

Getting on board with the official meme that temp work = wonderfully liberating, amazingly awesome, and, gives you lots and lots of time for stopping by the corner corporately owned coffee monopoly (because as we know, paying $6 bucks for a thimble full of burnt joe is what all Americans should aspire to) , various and sunder across the web have chimed in with opinions that weren’t just rendered while wearing rose-colored glasses, but those shades were absolutely embedded to the writer’s eyeballs permanently with a blow-torch.

Futurist Speaker blogger, Thomas Frey, writing about The Great Freelancer Movement is chock full of figures to make you all warm and fuzzy, not to mention, hot for, the world of temporary work, particularly as it concerns the Millennial Generation, or Gen Y, those who were born between 1980 – 2000.

Frey is positively brimming with the gospel according to the corporatocracy, and, hits us with eight (8) pie-in-the-sky bullet points of temporary serf goodliness.  Get a load of this load.

Frey writes:

The freelancer benefit package No, being a freelancer doesn’t come with health insuranc,vacation time, or a 401k plan. But what it does offer is far greater.
 
You’re in control so you get to decide who you want as a client, when you’re available for work, and most often, how much you’ll get paid. Yes sometimes you’ll get fired from a project, but you can also fire your client.
 
Freelancing done right will give you a far higher salary,a far more influential circle of friends, and an ability to make a difference.

Wow,  Frey makes it sound as if being a temp does everything except solve world hunger.  Rest assured, however, after reading his assessments, temp work  will eventually yield  exactly that result, as well, I just know it.

Hey, maybe if we work at it hard enough, we can also ride a flying white unicorn while sprinkling magic pixie dust to save the planet from the oil companies and create wage equality for all while we’re at it.

Well, first things first -working as a temp, specifically, one who freelances electronically using portals such as oDesk, will in fact, put you on equal footing with the rest of the undeveloped world, that is for sure.  Yours truly has been workin’ the ol’ freelancer gig long enough to know what is and is not kosher on that count.

Not to pick on oDesk (it just happens to be the one freelancing site that I am most familiar with at the present time) but taking a long look around its neck of the ethernet will typically yield a gig as follows:

oDesk1

Click to enlarge

The employer wants you, the freelancer, to put in 35 hours of the week preferably for  less than $1.50/hr  Sweet!  That oughta get you that brand new , 27- inch widescreen flat-panel IPS LED HD monitor in no time, sparky!

You mean I, too, can experience the thrill of working for Third World wages in a digital sweat shop of my own choosing?

Yes, you can, little American worker! Thanks to the miracle of the global labor pool, you can be just as poverty stricken as Apu over in Bangladesh who earns $0.10 per day!  Except in Bangladesh, Apu can still afford food and lodging.  You, on the other hand, will have to move in with your parents or into your car or whatever makeshift shelter your freelancing salary will afford you.  Perhaps a cardboard box under the bridge just outside town?

It’s a glorious worker’s paradise, dont’cha know? Hey, and don’t forget, if you’re not satisfied with the luxurious salary of less than a buck fifty per hour, remember that you can always fire your client!

Doesn’t that sound awesome?

You know it, baby!  Temp work is soooooooo incredibly liberating, character building and altruistic, that the only generations being exhorted and encouraged to take advantage of it are those born after Boomers like Frey have already golden parachuted out of the workforce and have otherwise stockpiled their six digit pensions and 401(k) retirements and are now telling you that you don’t need to have any of the benefits and security his generation had.  Don’t you just love how that works?


%d bloggers like this: