Who’s blowing up your spam inbox this week?

The spam folder is a blessing and curse.  It’s awesome to see how well my email provider filters the emails and a curse because sometimes I cannot look away.  Yes, I see spam as a form of entertainment as times, especially when a spammer is determined to get my attention.

Last week, my inbox floweth over with messages from Russel Neilson of  YourSuccessMatters.com.  While multiple Google and Bing searches resulted in information on YourSuccessMatters.net, YourSuccessMatters.info, and multiple links to student success hips and hints, nothing about Nierlsen and this payment that I must click a link to verify. Since I don’t click randomly, Nielsen is out of luck.

The various subject lines he used include –

  • Approval of Payment
  • RE: Your Application Has been Accepted
  • Re:  Your Account Has Been Denied
  • Re: Sorry
  • Urgent Message About Google
  • Your deposit requires verification
  • Approved Transaction Amount
  • I sent you $500
  • Your payment has been approved
  • Your check is waiting
  • Congratulations!  You’ve made a commission
  • Alert:  please fill form

Nielsen isn’t the only one sending these messages.  Tim Knight, Rachel Eddie O’Connor, and Brian Gene are also with YourSuccessMatterscom and desperate for my attention. Joanne Sierra, Stacy, and Jim Fererra  have sent messages with the same subject lines from LinearSuccessFormula.com.   David S. and Harley, sent them from AcceleratedResultsFormula.com.  I don’t know what list my addy is on, but oh, man, do these people want my attention.

Are they blowing up your inbox?

This FBI investigation scam is a doozy

Scammers are wising up to the fact that many potential victims are smarter than they used to be.  They’re tweaking their messages in hopes of fooling the smarter folks.  They choose business names close to well-known business’ names, use real names of government officials, and use names and spoofed letterheads of government agencies in their approach.  One I received today made me giggle more than it annoyed me.  Let me know if you respond the same way.

—-

From:  info@fbi.org

Subject: Spam Federal Bureau of Investigation F B I

Anti-Terrorist And Monetary Crimes Division
FBI Headquarter, Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation,Washington, D.C.
J.Edgar Hoover Building 935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
 Nw Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
www.fbi.gov

ATTENTION: BENEFICIARY

This e-mail has been issued to you in order to Officially inform you that we have completed an investigation on an International Payment in which was issued to you by an International Lottery Company. With the help of our newly developed technology (International Monitoring Network System) we discovered that your e-mail address was automatically selected by an Online Balloting System, this has legally won you the sum of $50 million United State Dollars USD from a Lottery Company outside the United States of America. During our investigation we discovered that your e-mail won the money from an Online Balloting System and we have authorized this winning to be paid to you via INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT.

Normally, it will take up to 5 business days for an INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT by your local bank. We have 
successfully notified this company on your behalf that funds are to be drawn from a registered bank within the worldwinde, so 
as to enable you cash the check instantly without any delay, henceforth the stated amount of $50 million United State Dollars USD has been deposited with IMF.We have completed this investigation and you are hereby approved to receive the winning 
prize as we have verified the entire transaction to be Safe and 100% risk free, due to the fact that the funds have been 
deposited with IMF you will be required to settle the following bills directly to the Lottery Agent in-charge of this transaction 
whom is located in USA, UNITED STATE OF AMERICA. According to our discoveries, you were required to pay for the 
following,

(1) Deposit Fee's ( IMF INTERNATIONAL CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE )
(2) Shipping Fee's ( This is the charge for shipping the Cashier's Check to your home address)

The total amount for everything is $410.00 We have tried our possible best to indicate that this $410.00 should be deducted 
from your winning prize but we found out that the funds have already been deposited IMF and cannot be accessed by anyone 
apart from you the winner, therefore you will be required to pay the required fee's to the Agent in-charge of this transaction In 
order to proceed with this transaction, you will be required to contact the agent in-charge ( Mr Alfred Dye) via e-mail. Kindly 
look below to find appropriate contact information:

CONTACT AGENT NAME: Mr Alfred Dye
E-MAIL: sales@mrcoduk.com

You will be required to e-mail him with the following information:

FULL NAME:
ADDRESS:
CITY:
STATE:
ZIP CODE:
DIRECT CONTACT NUMBER:
OCCUPATION:

You will also be required to request Western Union or Money Gram details on how to send the required $410.00 in order to immediately ship your prize of $50 million USD via INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT from IMF, also include the following transaction code in order for him to immediately identify this transaction : EA2948-910.

This letter will serve as proof that the Federal Bureau Of Investigation is authorizing you to pay the required $410.00 ONLY to Mr David Dye via information in which he shall send to you,

Mr.James Comey
Director Office of Public Affairs
Federal Bureau of Investigation F B I
Yours in Service,Photograph of Director
www.fbi.gov

So many names, so many lies.  And holy run-on sentences, Batman!  In this scam, the intended beneficiary is required to send money in order to receive money. The victim sends the money and that’s hopefully the end of it. This is the standard inheritance scam with a twist.

So, did it make you giggle or annoy you?  Have you received this one or another like it?

Sometimes all you need is coffee

One of the perks of telecommuting is the ever ready coffee.  Another perk is the offer to try various coffee drinks for review.  I was offered the chance to try single-serve espresso capsules at home and jumped at the chance.  I mean, why not?  I have an espresso machine, but sometimes I honestly don’t have the time – or energy – to measure and pack before brewing.  When folks from Gourmesso offered me a chance to try their products, I jumped on it.  I mean, who would say no to coffee?  Not this workaholic for sure.

If you like Nespresso, you’ll love Gourmesso.  These single-serve capsules are compatible with original Nespresso machines and offer the same delicious flavor and quality as Nespresso capsules, but at a much better price. A serving of a Gourmesso drink is at least 30 cents cheaper than an Nespresso serving.  The budget says yes to better prices; the taste buds don’t taste a difference.

I won’t forget my first Nespresso experience.  The husband and I were walking around the cookware section of Southern Season and he commented on a delicious coffee fragrance.  A clerk called us over and offered a cup of Nespresso Kazzar. It was delicious and left me wanting more.  I did not have that experience again until I tried Gourmesso’s Etopia Blend Forte.  In addition to the perfect flavor and intensity, I loved that I didn’t have to leave home to have it.  I’m hooked.

Look at this fantastic cup!  Don’t you want to taste it?

gourmesso

Check out my Examiner column for a detailed review on the full Gourmesso line and where to get some.

Now, that the coffee break is over, it’s time to get back to work.

More fake money offers from strangers. Thanks, George Luis!

Ah, people.  I won’t issue warnings with this one.  I’ll just share and drink my second cup of tea.

From:  Mr. George Luis (makedy@cantv.net)

Subject:  Attention, (Note:  Yes, there is a comma with a blank space where the addressee’s name should be)

Attention,

 We have deposited the check of your fund ($2.500`000`00USD) through Western Union department after our finally meeting regarding your fund, All you will do is to contact Western Union director DR Moses Kennedy ,via E-mail:(wu1482350@gmail.com) He will give you direction on how you will be receiving the funds daily.Remember to send him your Full information to avoid wrong transfer such as

 Receiver’s Name_______________
 Address: ________________
 Country: _____________
 Phone Number: _____________

 Though, DR. Moses KENNEDY has sent $5000 in your name today so contact Mr. William mark or you call him +229-98465813 as soon as you receive this email and tell him to give you the Mtcn, sender name and
 question/answer to pick up the $5000 Please let us know as soon as you received all your fund

Best Regards.
 Mr. William mark

—-

Daily deposits, eh?  That could be tempting if I knew anyone involved.  So many names!  Is George sending the email or William?  And why is William contacting me for Moses?  If I had money to send, I would want to contact the sendee myself.

You know what to do if you see this one.

Investment offer from a total stranger online? Sure! Not really.

One of the things that makes me shake my head is when smart people fall for obvious scams. Are they going through bad times?  Not on top of their games?  Ignoring the signs in hopes that this one is real?  I don’t know what motivated them to play along, but I feel for them, when the scam artist takes the victim’s money or information and run with it.  I fell for two job scams when I was desperate for work.  I did the research and the scammers fell through the cracks.  I also fell victim to an Ebay scammer, but that’s another story for another time.

I don’t know anyone personally who’ve fallen for an investment scam, but people do fall for them in a big way.  Just watch an episode of American Greed.  It’s infuriating and disgusting.  Here’s one investment offer that screams scam from the get go.

From:  Oleg Lysenko (olegprincipal@yandex.com)

Subject:  Investment

Funds Investment And Management Proposal Let me use the liberty of this medium to inform you that my principal is interested in investing his bond as a silent business partner in your company. He would like to invest in private sector projects with an established company in any project(s) which are already in the market and have market value or new company requiring the injection of huge funds, provided there are lots of opportunities available, taking into proper consideration the Return on Investment (ROI) based on a ten (10) year strategic plan. Kindly indicate your interest in my client’s proposition by furnishing me with your Bio data, business/personal contact details and any other information/detail that may help in the actualization of the impending investment portfolio: Regards, Oleg Lysenko

Remember, ask questions, do your research, and be safe.

Another shady delivery/courier position

It’s always interesting to see how scammers try to convince their marks that their offers are legitimate.  This attempt by Micah Emerson of  Best Worldwide Shipper amused me.

From:  Micah Emerson (yone@sugita.us)

Subject:  Equal opportunity (579306850)

Hello.

We would like you to look through the job offer described below. Best Worldwide Shipper company�has recently looked over the CV that you placed on the internet and wants to offer you a position as a courier clerk department employee.

Best Worldwide Shipper company was set in 2006 as a result of the merger of couple commercial postal services in Lithuania. Our current business sphere operates with many European clients to facilitate the ordering, paying and transfer of merchandise purchased directly from the North American market to them. Our organization approach by default aims the retail sphere.

The duties of your position are considered strictly for residents of the US. As a shipping employee your duties will consist of: tracking, receiving, combining, consolidating and transferring merchandise purchased from big United States web firms overseas to the corporate headquarters and secondary office facilities. The job does not demand going to any type of office work places and can be generally done from your home and the local post office. Our organization provides all the needed materials and instructions for doing the job, a clear job agreement (with other paperwork) and plenty of bonuses. We demand no start up costs from our workers. Merchandise that our clients buy are primarily popular electronics such as Apple products, different computers and other electronics, so there is nothing heavy or bulky involved (and no need for a big storage place). We offer a $1,800 monthly stable and base salary with an added bonus provided for every task performed on time. There is a possibility of higher wages and expanding careers for our most successful employees.

Our requirements:
– 18 years minimum age
– Maintaining a working street address
– Being able to surf comfortably on the  internet and with a printer
– Having a working telephone number (and willingness to add other or additional numbers)
Best Worldwide Shipper company is happy to show you this official invitation letter. We purposely avoid any attachments or links to keep web security at the the best level.

In the event you are interested, do not hesitate to let us know about it via email.

Purposely avoiding attachment and links somehow make this offer seem legitimate.  Not even, but nice try.  You can’t even capitalize the entire ‘company’ name.

Of particular note is the use of three different email addresses – one sent it, one the reply to address, and one it was addressed to.  Usually when a message is addressed to one party and received by another, the one it was sent to is included as a blind carbon copy.  This is not how a prospective employer contacts and prospective employee.

No legitimate company hires random individual third parties to reship merchandise, including those dealing with Apple products, electronics, or anything of the sort.  Including specific brand names does not make the offer any less shady.  At best, this is an attempt to steal your information.  It could also make you an accessory to a crime.

Be safe.

Is the IM Support Team hounding you?

I took a peek at my spam folder and found it overflowing with messages from various members of the IM Support Team.  Lisa Backer, Brian Teller, and Tim Sheenan all wrote to me multiple times.  Some messages inform me of deposits waiting for me, others of missed transactions, and apologies for multiple messages and/or missed transactions.  Have you received these messages?  Tempting, aren’t they?  I mean, who wouldn’t like an extra $500-$4,250 without really working for it?

The messages and promises of quick cash are from AccelleratedResultsFormula.com, a site hosted in the middle of the US that lists Time Warner Cable and its webhost as administrative contact.  No, that’s not a red flag at all.  Other than Forbidden 403 messages, there is not much to find when it comes to this site or these people.  The best bet is to delete the messages and move on.

Be safe.

Joyce Michael wants to share secret money with me!

Squee!  Any and all money worries will disappear now that Mrs. Joyce Michael reached out.  Yes, yet another fake offer designed to steal your money, information, or both.

From: Mrs Joyce Michael (agostino143@supereva.it)

Subject: (my email address)

HI (my email address)
I am Mrs Joyce Michael, age 71, wife of Late Mr. George Morris Michael we are both British Citizen. My husband worked as Senior Manager with an Oil Company for Twenty Eight years before he died in the year 2005.
We were married for Thirty Five years without a child . My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted only four days. Before  his death we were both born again Christians and after his death I decided not to re-marry. Before my husband died, he had a cash Investment  $15 Million which he made me the Beneficiary. Presently I am in Malaysia where I am undergoing treatment for breast cancer and cancer of the blood. I have since lost my ability to move around and my doctors have told me that I have only a few weeks to live as my condition worsen each day.
Before my husband died, it was his last wish to ensure that this money be distributed to charity across World it is for this reason I humbly request you to help me Stand and receive this payment of $15 Million in which I have decided to give you $5 Million for your effort and any expenses you may incurred when receiving this payment while the balance $10 Million should be distributed for Charity to take care of orphanages, widows, disaster Victims.
I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband made me the sole beneficiary of this payment because he is the only child of his parent.. The doctor will not allow me to talk to anybody but I have a lawyer who knows my family for over 10 years and has always come to see me and also pray for me, I have entrusted him with vital information which you will require in order to receiving this payment. I will give you the lawyer name email address and telephone number immediately after you reply to this mail.I want you to make time out of your very busy schedule and see to the success of receiving this payment within the shortest period of time because the directors of the investment company where the fund is logged may use the fund for their selfish purpose in case anything happen  to me.
please while replying me remember to indicate
Full Name
Address
Mobile

What You Do for a Living
Thank you and God Bless you.
Best Regards

The red flags should be easy to spot, but here are a few.  She claims to be in Malaysia, but uses an email address with an Italian domain. She also used my email adress in place of my name when greeting me.  She’s offering $10 million for me to donate on her behalf and offering me $5 million for my trouble.   S-C-A-M, people.  A few days after you deposit the check, you’ll be on the hook for every fee that results from it bouncing.

Be safe and don’t believe this crap.  Don’t let greed or a sensitive nature get the better of you.