warning to The West Side Group

By now, most of us recognize those “Nigerian” emails offering a quick way to make a buck, as scams. Well, obviously not as many as one would think, since tonight’s 20/20 did a nice job of outing some of those scammers and interviewing some of the scammees, including one congressman and one heart specialist.
So, tonight, when I got the following scam email, I decided to try to figure out from whence it really came. Here’s the email text:

Dear Amazon® member,
We are contacting you to inform you that our Account Review Team identified some unusual activity in your account. In accordance with Amazon’s User Agreement and to ensure that your account has not been compromised, access to your account was limited. Your account access will remain limited until this issue has been resolved. To secure your account and quickly restore full access, we may require some additional information from you for the following reason: We have been notified that a card associated with your account has been reported as lost or stolen, or that there were additional problems with your card.
This process is mandatory, and if not completed within the nearest time your account or credit card may be subject for temporary suspension.
To securely confirm your Amazon information please click on the link bellow:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/subs/primeclub/account/homepage.html/ref
=ya_hp_sub_1/104-4436503-7329515?ie=UTF8&method=GET
We encourage you to log in and perform the steps necessary to restore your account access as soon as possible. Allowing your account access to remain limited for an extended period of time may result in further limitations on the use of your account and possible account closure.
For more information about how to protect your account please visit Amazon Security Center. We apologize for any incovenience this may cause, and we apriciate your assistance in helping us to maintain the integrity of the entire Amazon system.
Thank you for using Amazon!


Of course, my Norton anti-spam caught the little bugger, and the misspelling of “appreciate” was a good indication of its invalidity anyway. But, as I said, I thought, just for fun, I’d see where there phony Amazon link really went to. (The latest Internet Explorer, which has a phishing filter, caught it too.)
Where it went to was here:
http://thewestsidegroup.com/www.amazon.com/flex/sign-out.html/
2Fhomepage&protocol=httpsaction=sign-out/exec.php?cmd=sign-in

Now, “thewestsidegroup.com” seemed like a legit URL, so I opened a new window, typed it in, and sure enough. There is legitimate automobile company called The West Side Group.
I’m no tech wizard but it seems to me that someone has either hacked into that company’s server or one of their own employees is using it as a base of operations.
So, I forwarded the email I got to the West Side Group, along with the URL to which the phony one actually goes. I don’t know whether it will do any good, but if they can rid the world of one more scammer, the better off this world will be.
Elaine of Kalilily: scourge of the scammers.
Speaking of scammers, not all operate solely online. At this very moment b!X is in Burbank at what was supposed to be a convention of Firefly/Serenity fans (Big Damned Flanvention) organized by something called Booster Events. With the convention sold out, tickets for meals and special events paid, and fans flying in from around the country and some even from Europe, Booster Events cancelled the convention “due to unforseen circumstances” the day before. Of course, most of the convention goers were already there. From what I see on b!X blog, the California Browncoats have organized a “backup bash” and making the best of what seems to me to a Booster Event scam. .