Email purporting to be from a Sales Manager claims that your payment has been declined. It asks that you double check the information in the invoice which is supposedly contained in an attached file.
Subject: FW: Payment Declined PIN-738609Dear [Name derived from email address],Our finance department has processed your payment, unfortunately it has been declined.
Please, double check the information provided in the invoice (attached to this mail) and confirm your details.
Thank you for understanding.
This email purports to be from a sales manager, but does not identify the sending company. The email claims that the unnamed company’s finance department has processed your payment, but the payment was declined. It asks that you open an attached .zip file and double check the information you provided on the invoice.
However, the email is not from any legitimate company and the claim that a payment has been declined is just a ruse to trick you into opening the attached file without due caution.
Once installed, Locky will encrypt all of the important files stored on your computer and rename them with the extension .locky. A message will then appear on your monitor that states that you must pay a fee in online currency Bitcoin to receive a decryption key to unlock your files. There is no quick or easy way to recover your files unless you have recent off-computer backups. If you decide to pay the requested fee, you might receive the promised decryption key. However, since you will be dealing with cybercriminals via the dark web, there is certainly no guarantee that they will honour their promise and give you the key.
If you receive one of these emails, just delete it. Do not open any attachments or click any links that it contains.
Last updated: March 15, 2016
First published: March 15, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!