I hope all of you have a great night tonight and an even better new year.
I hope all of you have a great night tonight and an even better new year.
Well, let me explain that statement a little more. If you receive emails or letters from a legitimate organization, then you may be needed. Fundraising letters and pleas for donations are totally different from the fraudulent and false cries for help from a ‘long lost relative’ or ‘soldier’ needing to move packages.
This week I was approached by a few scammers needing ‘assistance.’ By assistance I mean access to my information so they can use it to scam others or steal from me. Mr. Cheung approached me twice. I suppose my lack of response the first time increased the urgency.
From: Mr. Leung Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: I Need Your Assistance
I need your assistance to transfer $22,500,000.00 Dollars from Hong Kong to your country. Please reply if you are interested for more details.
Surprisingly, the return email address and reply address are the same. No matter; he won’t hear from me. And neither will Ibrahim Al Zaadi.
From: Ibrahim Al Zaadi (email@example.com)
Subject: I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE
Greeting from Dubai ,
I am Mr. Ibrahim Al Zaadi, Branch Manager National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) married with two children. I am writing this letter to ask for your support and co-operation to carry out this business opportunity in my department.
An American/ Foreign Oil Consultant /Contractor with the Chevron Petroleum Corporation Company , made a numbered time (fixed) deposit for twelve calendar months, Valued at US$12,000,000.00 (Twelve Million Dollars) in my branch upon maturity. I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply.
After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract employers, the Petroleum Corporation that Mr. Edmund Miller, died in the plane crash On October 31, 1999, (an Egyptian Boeing 767 Flight 990) with other passengers on board as you can confirm it yourself via the website below:
I will like you to provide me with the following details:
1) Your direct mobile / fax number.
2) Your name and address of Resident country.
3) Your private e- mail box:
Then I shall furnish you with due process of concluding this transaction without any delay.
Mr.Ibrahim Al Zaadi
This one is a little different. To help legitimize the scam, he references a real event and proves it with a link (that is really a CBS News page). Instead of requesting personal information from the get go, the scammer waits for a victim’s response before pouncing. It suppose ti makes the inquiry seem more legitimate. It’s not. No legitimate company will reach out to a civilian not affiliated with the organization in question for assistance.
You would think these creeps would try harder, but they’re not. There’s no need when people still fall for it. If it seems too good to be true, it is.
Be safe, be smart, be well.
A wag of my finger goes to the people notifying me and others about thousands of dollars in unclaimed funds just waiting for me. The week before Christmas I received three in my main inbox. And my newsletter and junk mailboxes were full – three fake money notifications for every one legit message. It’s pretty bad.
Be on the lookout for these. My comments are italicized; other formatting and grammar or spelling issues come directly from the message.
From: Office of Special Notices (firstname.lastname@example.org) An identical message came from email@example.com with the same subject line.
Subject: (name or in my case, email address), Please respond for possible unclaimed funds by 11:59 pm
Attention Local Resident,
We are pleased to inform you that our funds matching department has identified you to be a potential candidateTO RECEIVE UNCLAIMED FUNDING. This is not a permanent status, if this notice goes unresolved our finds matching department will have no choice but to reevaluate your status. At that time any pending unresolved funds may be relegated to other candidates or may be expired entirely.
Your immediate response is required to resolve your status and determine any and all unclaimed funds currently available to you.
Important: You must complete this brief questionnaire to determine funding currently available to you
Before distributing any of the unclaimed funding, we must establish a Claimant File. As a recipient of this Notice, your name could be the name which we end up filing as a local financing recipient.
Respond now! A prompt response could bring unclaimed funding right to your doorstep!
Finally Funded Notification Dept.
You may qualify regardless of credit history!
If these are unclaimed finds, why would my credit history matter?
The urgent response requirement and promise of possible funding are supposed to make me jump for the chance, especially during the holiday season. Nah, I’ll pass.
I received this one as well:
Subject: Second Attempt: Please Respond for Possible Unclaimed Funds
The only text in this message body was a URL that pointed to a domain that was not found. I am not going to post the full URL here because I don’t want to be responsible for anyone contracting a virus. I will, however, share the WHOIS info for the domain:
Domain name: demoremation.com
Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Whois Agent ()
PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St – F1
Bellevue, WA 98007
Creation date: 26 May 2011 18:02:48
Expiration date: 26 May 2012 18:02:00
As always, be safe, be smart. Peace.
I’m planning to take a short break from posting, but not from spams and scams. In keeping with the holiday spirit, I’ll be spreading as much joy and cheer as I can. To do so, I need to avoid the negativity that comes with the spam filling my inbox. I’ll be back to my regular posts in a few days. Until then, make sure you ignore any messages claiming your electronic transfer or direct deposit did not go through unless it comes directly from your bank. Don’t believe it when a friend or family member emails you from some vacation spot abroad with a sob story about being robbed. And of someone contacts you because God told them to leave you their estate, dream about what you’d do with that cash and laugh, but don’t share your information with them.
Be safe, be well, celebrate whatever you celebrate with love, joy, and food.
Spammers and scammers sicken me. They prey on the desperation and hearts of people. They steal information from legitimate companies in the attempt to skew Google search results in their favor. They scare people into giving up their information just so they can make a buck. They make it difficult for legitimate small and home based businesses to advertise. They’re scum, plain and simple.
They’re hitting a new low in my opinion. They’re sending messages supposedly from deployed soldiers. Be on the lookout for this one:
From: Capt. James Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Can you be trusted?
I am James Hall an officer in the US Army,presently serving in the Military with the US Army,395th combat sustainment support battalion stationed here at Baghdad Iraq.
I have been included among the next batch that will come back to the US before the end of this month to mark the end of our duty here in Iraq. Please I have some important items to ship to you,get back to me ASAP for more information.I will explain further when i get a response from you.
Capt. James Hall
I wonder sometimes what goes through a spammer’s head. Is it all about the numbers or do they put more thought into the traps they set? Take this gem I received yesterday –
From: Sheila Treu (email@example.com)
You have a bank draft of $800.000.00 USD which await outstanding payment of $50 USD.You need to Contact Mr.Rudy Johnson with this Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Did “Shiela’ think I would not notice the yahoo.com.hk return address used for bank correspondence? Or did she just send the message to hundreds or thousands of inboxes, hoping just 1-2% of them respond for additional information and each send in the $50 payment? How many people blow $50 on a night out? How many of them will take the chance just in case this one isn’t a scam?
Anytime they ask for a deposit in order to receive funds that are supposed to be yours, it’s a scam. And no bank or government agency uses Yahoo for business purposes. Not even to hide their intentions because they ‘feel they have to contact you before it’s too late.’
Check this one out. It’s along the same lines as the first, but does not mention payment for the release of funds. My notes are italicized.
From: Trudy Strickland (email@example.com) [BTW, this domain does not exist]
Subject: ACH Transfer Failure Notice
This notification is mailed to you with regard to the ACH transfer (ID: 891338641038) that you or any other person recently sent from your banking account.
The current status of the referred transaction is: failed due to the technical error. Please find more information in the report below:
http://atsilverlake.com/a536eb/index.html [Do not click this link – it contains malicious code]
2011 NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association
13450 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 100
Herndon, VA 20171
This one might catch business owners off guard, and that’s what ‘Trudy’ intends. NACHA is a real organization and would not contact the business owner directly. The organizations and its clients are dealing with the fallout from these fraudulent messages. The organization posted a disclaimer and asks we forward these messages to them.
If there is a problem with a transaction, the bank would contact you, not the group responsible for managing the backbone of electronic payment systems. Did ‘Trudy’ think the fear of lost funds would make readers forget to stop and think before clicking?
They really should give up. Fewer people are falling victim to their scams by the day. Remember to share the spam and scams – the more we all know, the less they can hurt us and the sooner they’ll go away.
Because they know we’re onto their scams, they’ve decided to try a new tactic – ‘advising’ us to report Nigerian scams to the FBI. No kidding.
From: Mr. Mark E. Frankel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Congratulations….Your Contact Code is Atm-660
This letter will definitely be surprise to you but be rest assured that it’s not SCAM of any kind… rather we urge you to STOP sending money to Africa in other to receive your Payment. In case if anybody ask you to do so, please kindly report the person to the appropriate authority (www.fbi.gov).
Meanwhile, my name is Mark E. Frankel from Bank Of America Stockton, CA- USA, I wish to notify you that we have actually been authorized by the World Bank, and the governing body of the monetary unit of IMF to effect your overdue compensation payment though ATM CARD without delay.
As instructed by the aforementioned authorities, we are to pay 100 Nigerian Scam victims $1,000, 000 .00 ( One Million United States Dollars) each. You are listed and approved in the payment schedule for this payment as one of the beneficiaries to be paid this amount as compensation. As a result of this laudable recommendations, it is imperative to bring to your notice that during the official meetings held at Washington DC, it was alarmed so much by the rest of the world in the meetings on the lose of funds by various foreigners to the scams artists syndicates operating in all over the world today. In other to redeem the good image our relationship with African Countries, the New President of Economic Community of West African States has agreed with United States Government, World Bank and International Financial Bodies to ordered the payment of $1,000,000 .00 each to the affected victims in pursuance with the U.N. recommendations.
This was resolved in a meeting held between World Bank , United Nations , Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authorities and Officials of United States Government in Washington DC last week, as a condition from the International Monetary Fund to support Asia Countries , Canada , European Union (EU) and United States of America in receiving total debt cancellation or forgiveness from the International Financial Bodies.
You are advised to respond immediately to enable us deliver your Card to you within two bank working days. In order to facilitate immediate delivery of your ATM CARD, and for proper verification purposes, you are to reconfirm your Full name, Billing/Mailing Address , copy of identification / ID number and your contact Mobile or Telephone Number (for regular official contact).
However, you have to Stop any further Communication with any Other Person (S) or Office (S) to avoid any Hitches in receiving your ATM Card, because you will keep sending money to them and yet you will not get paid . For your information, this is the only office approved by the appropriate authorities to settle all foreign beneficiaries’ overdue payment.
To avoid impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (Atm-660) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the Card Center by using it as your subject.
I wait to hear from you ASAP.
Please note that a copy of this letter has been sent to above authorities as proof that you have been notified for immediate delivery of your ATM Card and if you fail to respond on time then this institution will not be held responsible for your ATM Card anymore because your payment file would be canceled and returned back to World Bank as unclaimed Card.
Scam, scam, scam. They think mentioning reimbursement of formerly lost funds will get people to throw caution to the wind and sign on. Whatever.
Be safe, all.
Really, spammers? I don’t see anyone falling for this one. Besides, I don’t think she uses AOL. As always, the bad grammar and typos are theirs.
From: SECRETARY OF STATE ( Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton) – INFOROFFICE2011@aol.com
Subject: FROM DESK OFFICE OF THE U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE
Committee On Foreign Payment Resolution Panel On Payment Washington Dc Attention: Beneficiary Complement of the season, I wish to use this medium and my office to inform you that your CONTRACT WINNING LOTTERY/INHERITANCE Payment of USD10,500,000.00 only from CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA has been RELEASED and APPROVED for onward transfer to you via ATM CARD which you will use in withdrawing your funds in any ATM SERVICE MACHINE in any part of the world, but the maximum you can withdraw in a day is USD$10,000 Only. The United States government has mandated the CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA to send you the ATM CARD and PIN NUMBER. Therefore You are advised to contact the Head of ATM CARD Department of the CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA for further instructions on how to dispatch your ATM CARD to you. Name: REV FR MARTINS UZOR DIRECTOR ATM DEPARTMENT OF CBN Email: email@example.com NOTE: Tell REV FR MARTINS UZOR ( DIRECTOR ATM DEPARTMENT OF CBN) that you received a message from OFFICE OF THE U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE to send you the ATM CARD and PIN NUMBER which you will use in withdrawing your funds. Please make sure you send him your direct phone number and contact address where you want him to send the ATM CARD and PIN NUMBER. Note that you will have to take care of the shipment charges for the delivery of your Atm card to your address which will cost you ONLY DELIVERY FEE according to what he told us when i asked him about the charges. Most importantly, i will like you to understand that the charges cannot be deducted from your fund because it had been endorsed by Nigerian and American government. SO do not expect them or even ask them to conduct any kind of deduction. I am very sorry for the delay you have gone through in the past years. This office was obliged to intervene in this matter after receiving a notice from the logistics department of the CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA regarding the irregularities on the release of your funds to you. Thanks for adhering strictly to these instruction and once again accept my congratulations. Best Regards, Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton U.S. Secretary Of State ---------------------- :sigh: Now this is just silly. Be safe, giggle, report, and delete.
Silly scam artist. I’m on to you.
From: Mrs. Laura Eidenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: My last wish
I know that this letter might be a surprise to you, I came across your email contact from my personal search and I instructed the doctor here in this hospital to help me email you and I believe that you will be honest to fulfill my final wish before I will die.
I am Mrs Laura Eidenberg from Belgium , I am 78 years old, I am deaf and suffering from a long time cancer of the breast. From all indication my condition is really deteriorating, and my doctor have courageously advised me that I may not live beyond the next two months, this is because the cancer stage has reached a critical extent, of which I am having difficulties unable to move my entire body. I was brought up in a motherless baby’s home, and was married to my late husband for twenty years without a child.
My husband and I are true Christians, we lived all day in Sierra Leone, since he was working here as a contractor, but quite unfortunately,he died in a fatal motor accident.Since his death I decided not to re-marry and because of my bad state of health,I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the sum of $28.3million dollars with a bank in Newton Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Presently, this money is still in the Bank, and the management of the Bank has wrote a letter to me as the rightful Legitimate beneficiary to come forward to receive the money after keeping it for so long or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not come over as a result of my present cancer illness situation, otherwise they get it confiscated. Presently, I’m with my laptop computer in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctor have told me that I have only a few months to live.
It is my last wish to see that this money is invested in any organization of your choice and distributed each year among the charity organization, the poor and the motherless baby’s home where I grew up from. I want your good humanitarian,to also use this money to fund churches, orphanages and widows around.
I must let you know that this was a very hard decision, but I had to take a bold step towards this issue because I have no further option. I hope you will help see my last wishes to come true.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of my lawyer to work and source for the required necessary and legal paper to proof you as the accredited person I sent to receive the fund presently at the Bank in Newton Yorkshire,UK . I will also issue a letter of authorization to the bank, which will prove that you are the rightful beneficiary of my funds. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. Hope to hear from you soonest.
I await your immediate and urgent response my beloved.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs Laura Eidenberg.
So, she’s from Belgium, lives in Sierra Leone, and banks in Yorkshire. Yeah, find another victim.
The trolls know times are tight and many people are hoping for a miracle. This is not one of them. Be smart and be safe, people.