This story was first published on August 28, 2012
Emails purporting to be from video sharing website Vimeo claim that you have an unread message or an email has been delayed.
The messages are not from Vimeo. Links in the emails open a spammy online drug store website that tries to trick visitors into purchasing dodgy pharmaceutical products.
VimeoYou have delayed e-mail.
With many thanks
You have an unread message:
Your video has been approved.
If you want to reply:
These emails, which are designed to look like they have been sent by video sharing website Vimeo, supposedly inform you that you have unread messages. Other versions claim that you have delayed emails. The emails invite you to click a link to view your unread or delayed messages.
However, the messages are not from Vimeo. They are nothing more than an attempt by online spammers to trick people into visiting a dodgy “Canadian Drugstore” website. The spammers rely on the likelihood that even people who are not Vimeo users may be inclined to click the message links out of simple curiosity. Those who fall for the ruse and click any one of the links in the email will be taken, not to the Vimeo website as they might expect, but rather to a website that tries to peddle a range of pharmaceutical products.
Buying products from one of these spam websites is very unwise. Those who purchase medicine from these sites have no way of knowing if it is the real thing or some potentially harmful substitute. And, because the medicine has not been properly prescribed by a doctor, it may interfere with other medications that users are taking or be unsuitable – or even downright dangerous – due to other health conditions that the buyer may have. That is if they actually receive the product they ordered at all.
Moreover, such sites often use unsecure pages to process credit card transactions, which could certainly put credit card details at risk. Any outfit unscrupulous enough to use such deliberately deceptive spam tactics is not someone you would want to trust with your credit card or other personal details.
Spam websites like this have also been known to contain malware that users may inadvertently download and install on their computers.
This message is in fact just one more incarnation of a long line of such spam attacks. Previous versions have falsely claimed to be from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. As in the Vimeo variant, all links in the messages open bogus pharmacy websites.
The spammers responsible for such campaigns apparently bank on the fact that at least a few people who click on the links will linger and buy products even after they realise they have been taken to the drugstore website under false pretenses.
If you receive one of these emails, just delete it. Do not click on any links that the messages contain.
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!