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Would YOU pay $18 for a Waves plug-in?

If an offer seems too good to be true, then it's probably a scam. Would you fall for this one?

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If I had a dollar, or better still a UK pound, for every time I've won the Nigerian National Lottery, then I would have as much money as if I had won a real lottery. Weight loss, hair loss, loss of sexual function - there's a cheap cure for just about every medical condition there is. According to my e-mail inbox!

And then there are the phishing attacks. There's not a day goes by without some bank that I've never dealt with inviting me to 'update my account details'. Occasionally I get one from what seems to be my bank, but of course it isn't. It's just someone who wants to trick me into giving them my password.

But I was shocked the other day to receive a phishing attack email in the name of Waves, the renowned developers of high quality, but expensive, plug-ins. Apparently I could buy Waves plug-ins for as little as $18. Wow, if that were true it would be amazing!

What shocked me was that I thought that phishing attacks only involved banks and other institutions where account information could be valuable to a criminal. But Waves? How could anyone make much money from knowing people's Waves account details? Well I'm not a criminal mastermind so I wouldn't know. (We don't need ideas, thank you.)

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(It did occur to me that it might be fake software, but I never seem to get e-mails for any kind of fake software, so I guess there isn't much of a profit in it.)

What worried me further was the thought that this kind of attack could spread through other audio manufacturers and software developers. Since this is an area I need to keep in touch with, it would make my life a nightmare.

Since I am hardened, through experience, to phishing attacks I know what to look for. One key piece of information is shown in the status bar below the message when I hover on a link - does the status bar show the correct website? If it doesn't, then to me that could suggest that the email is a phishing attack.

And lo and behold... the links in the Waves email go to trailer.web-view.net

So I typed in trailer.web-view.net into my browser, which got me, "403 - Forbidden: Access is denied". This was not looking good and I felt even more strongly that this is a scam, and clicking any link would invite trouble of all kinds.

Except...

It isn't a scam at all. It is a genuine offer from Waves. I didn't click on the link but instead typed www.waves.com into my browser's address bar, which is good anti-phishing practice.

You can indeed buy the Renaissance EQ for $38, and AudioTrack for a mere $18!

Clearly someone has made a big mistake here because the e-mail showed every sign of being a phishing attempt. But if you want to grab yourself a bargain, now is the time to type www.waves.com into your browser.

P.S. If anyone has an interesting e-mail scam to report, I'm sure we would all benefit from hearing of it. I'm afraid I did once fall for 'Someone has left negative feedback for you on eBay'. Fortunately I realized very quickly and changed my password. Could have been nasty though.

By David Mellor Friday April 8, 2011
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