Beware of Phishing E-mails from the Swedish Tax Office – (Spam) They never send e-mails

Beware of e-mails from the Swedish Tax Office

A great number of Swedes has the latest days received e-mails (spam) from phishers with “click here to get your tax return immediately”. The aim of the bluffers is of course to obtain your bank account details and thereby get access to your account for fraudulent causes.
The Swedish Tax Authority (STA) released on its website yesterday a sharp warning for fraudulent attempts like this. STA calls for not to click on links in e-mails that seems to be coming from STA. “If it says that you should submit your bank account details och credit card numbers you should not do it. STA never asks for this information via e-mail or SMS. We only do this using our e-services and when you login via e-identification” adds STA on its website.
The fraudulent e-mails could appear differently. In one example, which STA has published on its website, the recipient is guided to “click here to get your tax return straight into your account”
Everyone who has submitted their sensitive information should immediately report to local police, the STA finishes.
Varning för skattebluff
Ett stort antal svenskar har de senaste dagarna fått mejl från nätbedragare med uppmaningar i stil med “klicka här för att få din skatteåterbäring”. Bluffmakarnas mål är att få mottagarna att fylla i kontouppgifter och på så sätt lura dem på pengar. Skatteverket gick under torsdagen ut med en skarp varning för bedragarna på sin hemsida. Myndigheten uppmanar medborgarna att inte klicka på länkar i mejl som ser ut att komma från Skatteverket men som ser misstänkt falska ut.
“Om det står att du ska lämna ifrån dig uppgifter om bankkontonummer eller kreditkortsnummer ska du inte göra det. Skatteverket efterfrågar aldrig dina kontouppgifter i mejl eller sms. Det gör vi endast via våra e-tjänster som du loggar in på med din e-legitimation”, skriver myndigheten på sin sajt.
Bluffmejlen kan se olika ut. I ett exempel på ett mejl som Skatteverket har lagt upp på sin hemsida används uppmaningen “klicka här för att få tillgång till formuläret för din skatteåterbäring”.
Den som har råkat fylla i kontouppgifter eller annan känslig information ges rådet att kontakta polisen.

 

Published Aug 22, 2014 in Dagens Industri – The leading business daily in Sweden, cited by SpamDrain AB (www.spamdrain.net)

Android beta testers wanted – 2.0 is finally on the move

android-beta-teaser-drawerWe know that you all been waiting a looong time for the new Android version of SpamDrain. We made a decision last year to rewrite the app again since we were not happy with our initial efforts to revamp the app. This, along with us working on keeping the filter as great as possible (since we know you all deserve the best :-)), has delayed the new Android app a bit too long.

That said, we now finally reached the point where a first beta is about to be launched. So please help us out and sign up for our Android beta program below. We use the built in beta testing functionality in Google Play Store, so all you need to do is to join our Google+ group for beta testers. Once you’ve joined the group and got accepted, you will find a link to Google Play where you may the SpamDrain beta program. Once we have published the first beta version you will receive an update to your device.

android-beta-teaser-search

New version of SpamDrain for iOS now available in App Store

We have now finished the job with version 1.7 of our SpamDrain app for iOS and got it approved by Apple. In this new version you will be able to update your filtering settings, add new addresses for filtering and see the status of the filtering. For example you may now see if SpamDrain is having trouble logging in or connecting to your provider’s servers. These features have been available for some time on our web site but we also thought we wanted to provide it in our mobile apps, starting with iOS.

Please rate us – again

We also want to thank you all for your great reviews we are receiving, both in App Store and in Android Market. This really motivate us to keep up the work to stop spam from reaching your iPhones, Androids or other phones and computers.

We would like to ask you to rate the new version in App Store – even if you already have done so. Since the rating to some extent are reset when you release a new version we really need your help to keep our great rating up. Thanks!

Help your friends get rid of spam and receive free SpamDrain months

Today we have made it easier for you to share SpamDrain and for you to get something out of it. Well, you probably already know that if everyone was using a great spam filter, sending spam wouldn’t pay off and the internet would be a much better and happier place. Help us making the world spam free by inviting your friends and colleagues to join SpamDrain and we will reward you with free months.

We have added a new Sharing page Share SpamDrain where you can send invites or share SpamDrain in your social networks, blogs, web pages etc. Simply Log in to your SpamDrain account and hit the Share icon in the upper right corner.

For every paying new filtered address you generate, we will add extra months to your subscription – depending on how many addresses you currently filter. For example, if you filter one address today, you will receive three free months for every new paying filtered address you generate. If you filter two addresses you will receive 1.5 free months for every new filtered address.

The more addresses your friends filter the more free months you receive. Isn’t that great?

If you are generating great volumes you will have the opportunity to join our reseller program instead and start earning real money.

So, start sharing today and make the world a bit more spam free.

Other new features in this update

  • Messages that you have retrieved from the archive can now be displayed and re-delivered.
  • Clearer indication when a message is blocked due to blacklisted sender.
  • Remove entries from blacklist.
  • You may now extend your subscription even when there is more than a year left.

New filter blocks newsletters and marketing emails

For some time we have working on a new type of filter which blocks newsletters and marketing emails. We have being testing it for a while we are really happy with the progress. So today we tell you a little bit more about how it works. Really soon we will enable new functionality in our iPhone, Android and web apps, enabling you to control this filter. (We actually updated our web site today already)

First, some background. As you know you can report spam that SpamDrain has failed to block. This is done in our mobile apps or by logging on to our web site. We have noticed that different users have different definitions of spam. The most obvious definition might be “spam is everything I don’t want in my inbox” (even messages you have accepted to receive but don’t take the time to unsubscribe to). However, there is a problem with this definition. Some people want coupon offers from their local store and some do not want them. With viagra mail it’s much simpler – nobody wants that crap.

We have therefore chosen to introduce this new filter which identifies newsletters and marketing emails and put them in your Archive marked as “Newsletters”. These emails are always listed in your daily/weekly/monthly SpamDrain report so you never have to worry about missing important offers. Of course, you will be able to retrieve/release these blocked message as usual. When retrieving blocked messages from the Archive, SpamDrain will learn not to block similar messages again. You can also turn this filter entirely off.

To train our filters to become even more efficient, we appreciate if you our users could give us a little help when retrieving a message: You will now be asked to classify the message. By helping us deciding why you are retrieving a specific message you will help improving the overall filtering accuracy. The choice you will be given is:

You will get the same question when retrieving a message in the mobile apps.

We hope you will like these improvements – and hey, if you don’t – you can always turn the newsletter filter off. We hope you will enjoy receiving even less spam in the future. Please let us know what you think about these updates.

Please let us know what you think about these updates.

More for more information about the newsletter filter and retrieval of messages from the Archive.

Expert warns of insufficient virus protection

There is an interesting article on viruses and filters in a Swedish newspaper today. Experts warn us that some filters are not efficient enough. They claim that some filters only catch 30% of the harmful e-mails. The reason for this being that the virus makers are quick at making new version and varieties of the code so it is hard to keep a traditional filter updated.
At SpamDrain we use artificial intelligence to continually refine the filtering process. This means that the filter can ‘learn’ what is spam and what is valid e-mail. The filter can therefore keep itself updated and quickly learn new tricks used by hackers to get their e-mails through spam filters.
This works quite nicely in Spamdrain when filtering spam and e-mail viruses. It would though be interesting to know if one could do something similar with desktop virus protection. I know that anti-virus companies have done some efforts in trying to “learn” the patterns of viruses and block viruses they don’t know about, but it’s unclear how well these techniques work.

Spam appearing like Twitter e-mail updates

Maybe  you have seen the spam messages that looks just like a normal update from Twitter? The design and texts are identical to the Twitter original, informing you that you have 3 new messages or that someone has started to follow you. However, when you click the link that appears to go to Twitter, you end up at some drug store that sells these famous blue pills – or at least a cheap copy of them. Continue reading “Spam appearing like Twitter e-mail updates” »

Focus on scalability, stability and user experience

Lately we have been working hard on handling the recent growth we have had. As you probably have noticed we have had some stability problems and we apologize for that. The last weeks we have made some changes to our infrastructure and started to migrate to new servers. This work will increase performance and provide better fail over than before. We hope this work will be finished within the next 2 – 3 weeks. We’re expecting to carry out the remaining changes without any disruptions to the service.

As a necessary step we have also moved some of our system to the cloud. This will improve the performance of our database servers and will also let us handle backups more efficiently.

In parallel with this work we have also worked on making minor changes to improve the experience of the overall service, such as improving your SpamDrain reports, adding support for payments in USD and support for payments through Paypal. We have also updated our price lists so they are easier to read. The next step on the web site is to make the sign up and on boarding as easy as in our mobile applications. That will be exciting work and hopefully we will be able to help even more people to get rid of annoying and time consuming spam messages.

Until next time – we wish you e-mail peace of mind and hope that you continue reporting your spam to us. That’s what makes the SpamDrain service so fantastic!

Google accounts sending spam to contacts in address book

Have you experienced that spam messages are sent from your address? I can guarantee you that you’re not alone. This happens to all of us. The reason is that the protocol used for sending e-mail, SMTP, is a fairly simple protocol designed in the very beginning of the internet’s history. Anyone may basically put any e-mail address in the From field when sending a message. Spammers use this a lot to make it appear like a friend or a colleague is sending you an important message. Continue reading “Google accounts sending spam to contacts in address book” »