Microsoft Recreates an ‘Online Scam’ in New York

Written by Amit Agarwal on Jul 11, 2010
Online Scam in Offline World

Online Scam in an Offline World

Microsoft, in a bid to show how easily some people can share their personal information online, created a fake bank in the Manhattan area that worked just like any other online phishing scam.

Over the course of two days, dozens of unsuspecting customers walked-in and many of them handed their credit card numbers, SSNs, ATM Pin numbers and even their hair samples for DNA tests to the “fake” bank authorities.

For the next experiment, the team setup an “inheritance store” that worked like those Nigerian email promising millions of dollars in inheritance. In just six hours, the team of actors had collected SSNs, passport numbers, DNA samples and other personal informational of dozens of New Yorkers.

All this was part of an IE 8 video commercial (embedded below) and the documents were later sent to the paper-shredder by the customers themselves.

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