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URLs inserted into new posts-possible phishing scam?

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  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
URLs inserted into new posts-possible phishing scam?
Posted by the Baron on Friday, June 28, 2024 11:51 AM

Has anyone else noticed this in the past few days?  People reply to a thread, and a URL gets inserted into their reply. Here are 2 examples from a thread in the General Modeling Discussion forum.

Note the "retro bowl" link embedded in the quoted post:

And note the URL inserted in the signature area of this reply:

Please note that I am not saying that the authors of these posts inserted those links; I think there is something else going on.

I reported a post yesterday, from the same thread, with the first example of such an inserted URL, to bring it to the admins' attention.  Today, that link is gone from that post, but these two showed up.

I want to bring this to the admins' attention, because it certainly looks like something "phishy" is up here in the forum.

Anyone else who sees this behavior, please add a comment to this thread, too.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, June 28, 2024 12:10 PM

A couple of replies in this thread show inserted URLs, too:

https://cs.finescale.com/fsm/general_discussion/f/14/t/191519.aspx

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, June 28, 2024 1:07 PM

I could be wrong, but those seem to be AI-generated replies to zombie threads.  The question appears to have been answered, but they're still offering "help" to the people in the thread.  It just looks like AI latched onto a few key words and made a robo-post.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Friday, June 28, 2024 1:28 PM

Eaglecash867

I could be wrong, but those seem to be AI-generated replies to zombie threads.  The question appears to have been answered, but they're still offering "help" to the people in the thread.  It just looks like AI latched onto a few key words and made a robo-post.

 

Interesting you may be on to something- the posters are new members too.

I had to turn off all comments and forum posting capabilities in my website because I was tired of deleting all the garbage that was posted and needed curating.

- Joe the SMG

Moderator
  • Member since
    April 2022
Posted by Kendra Bell on Friday, June 28, 2024 3:13 PM

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have a site where we moderate the posts and I have been noticing this. It's easier to catch the posts that are clearly unrelated to scale modeling that contain links. I'll take a reassess these to see if they seem like spam and bring this up to Tim as well. I avoid clicking on links and advise against clicking on any links that look suspicious. Thanks again!

Kendra Bell

Assistant Digital Editor for FineScale Modeler

262-798-6648

kbell@kalmbach.com

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, June 28, 2024 3:21 PM

Brad,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I saw your report yesterday took a look at it and am keeping an eye on things. There is something going on here, and I am taking it to our team at Firecrown. 

TK

--

Timothy Kidwell
tkidwell@firecrown.com
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Firecrown Media

 

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Friday, June 28, 2024 3:21 PM

This is another odd thread between two new members: New and in Hope of Help F100 Super Saber.
https://cs.finescale.com/fsm/general_discussion/f/14/t/193496.aspx

(interesting that you can't link to another FSM post from a different FSM forum post)

Here a new member is introducing themselves with a problem (dog damaged dad's model) & she hopes we can help her. There is no link in her post. Next, another new member responds quoting the OP's message, but now there is a link inserted in the quote. The interesting part of their exchange (to me) is the fairly long, normal, realistic list of things offered for the OP to try to solver her problem. If this was AI generated - Yikes!

Had no one brought up phishing, I don't think i would have had a second thought about this exchange - Apologies in advance to any real people this post may have contained!

- Joe the SMG

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, June 28, 2024 3:37 PM

They are almost certainly AI/Bot related. We'll keep a closer eye on new members coming in. If we see suspicious posts, like that, we'll nix them and ban the account.

--

Timothy Kidwell
tkidwell@firecrown.com
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Firecrown Media

 

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, June 28, 2024 3:42 PM

Brad, please send me a link to those posts. I'll nab them and the accounts.

--

Timothy Kidwell
tkidwell@firecrown.com
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Firecrown Media

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, June 28, 2024 5:29 PM

JoeSMG
Here a new member is introducing themselves with a problem (dog damaged dad's model) & she hopes we can help her. There is no link in her post. Next, another new member responds quoting the OP's message, but now there is a link inserted in the quote. The interesting part of their exchange (to me) is the fairly long, normal, realistic list of things offered for the OP to try to solver her problem. If this was AI generated - Yikes!

Yup.  That's what AI does.  It probably has been learning from responses on this and other web-sites related to modeling and using that as part of the phishing campaign.  One thing it's not really all that great at is remembering responses to it for any length of time, and it has no concept of time.

Seems to be the season for this kind of thing.  I got no less than 3 voicemails in the last 2 days, all from different companies and phone numbers, telling me I owed back taxes and that they can give me tax relief if I call them back.  I think that's an AI thing too...not great at keeping track of who has already been contacted before it changes its phone number and recorded message.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, June 29, 2024 1:26 AM

When I checked my  post, I didn't see a url posted in my post. Perhaps my ad blocker hides it?

I posted that a little while ago, maybe two weeks.

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Sunday, June 30, 2024 8:51 PM

Tim Kidwell

Brad, please send me a link to those posts. I'll nab them and the accounts.

 
Hi, Tim, here is the URL for the thread containing the posts in my original comment above:
 

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Sunday, June 30, 2024 8:52 PM

Rob Gronovius

When I checked my  post, I didn't see a url posted in my post. Perhaps my ad blocker hides it?

I posted that a little while ago, maybe two weeks.

 
Hi, Rob, I don't think you'll see it in your post, that is, I don't think it's in your post.  I think that the links get inserted when the post is quoted or someone replies.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, July 2, 2024 11:15 AM

I never open links or images on open media.

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 11:52 AM

the Baron

 

 
Tim Kidwell

Brad, please send me a link to those posts. I'll nab them and the accounts.

 

 

 
Hi, Tim, here is the URL for the thread containing the posts in my original comment above:
 
 

Thanks, Brad. They've been cast into the void.

--

Timothy Kidwell
tkidwell@firecrown.com
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Firecrown Media

 

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 11:55 AM

the Baron

 

 
Rob Gronovius

When I checked my  post, I didn't see a url posted in my post. Perhaps my ad blocker hides it?

I posted that a little while ago, maybe two weeks.

 

 

 
Hi, Rob, I don't think you'll see it in your post, that is, I don't think it's in your post.  I think that the links get inserted when the post is quoted or someone replies.
 

Hi Rob,

It was definitely not you. It was a sneaky bit of SPAM (probably AI) that got through moderation. They've been wrapped up and sent out the airlock.

TK

--

Timothy Kidwell
tkidwell@firecrown.com
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Firecrown Media

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 8:12 AM

Yes

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

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