Category: Advance Fee Scam

Stupidest Spam of the Week 110kg ATM Card

This is another 419 scam i.e. the scammer promises a fortune in cash or diamonds or gold etc. and to get it you just have to follow some simple instructions. There is no fortune of course.

In this case, the scammer claims to be Janet L. Yellen of the United States Treasury.   It is true that Mrs Yellen is the genuine United States secretary of the treasury, but the scammer who sent the message is not her.

“This is to inform you that your courier service delivery man carrying your consignment box containing an ATM card valued $10Million dollars is now at the Washington Dulles International Airport”

That is to get my attention, then there is a long story about something called the “West Africa corrupt Government agency” that supposedly has mishandled getting me the money I am owed.

There’s no explanation as to why anybody owes me $10 million.

Then it goes on about the delivery man is carrying a tamper proof metal consignment box that weighs 110 Kg and contains the ATM card worth $10 million for me.

I am supposed to provide instructions for how the delivery man can get from Dulles to the nearest airport to me.   Does he not have a smart phone to look it up and why is he sitting at Dulles airport instead of in an office?

The point of this scam email is to get my confidential information so there’s a list of information I have to provide, starting with my name, which of course the scammer doesn’t know.

The email starts with Dear consignment owner and the sender’s email address shows as United States Department of The Treasury but is actually a Gmail address for the name Barry Dunderbolt14

Sorry Dunderbolt – your scam is pathetic as anyone would realise there are numerous safer and easier ways to give someone money than sending a delivery man with a 110Kg metal box thousands of miles.

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Stupidest Spam of the Week Marine Corps

Advance Fee scams, also known as 419 scams are highly prevalent, especially by scammers in Nigeria who operate this scam on an industrial scale.

There are many variations, but it is a simple scam – they offer a fortune of some kind, then when someone falls for the bait, they have an elaborate story about how they have got or will get the money and need just a little help in getting the money out of their country or away from the bank etc.

Once a victim is hooked, then a series of small payments are needed to get the fortune.

Of course, there is no fortune, just a victim who will be conned repeatedly until he or she realises it’s fake and that there is no fortune.

This latest email is a very simple one with no effort to look realistic, but sadly these can still attract some people desperate for money.

The sender claims to be in the U.S. Marine Corps and recently was part of an operation in Asia and netted a lot of money in a raid on the opposition. (You can see this is deliberately vague so the scammer doesn’t have lots of details to remember).

Now, she needs a man or woman to help her repatriate the money and will pay a large percentage for that.

Strangely, this scam also goes down the romance route as she claims to want to find a man to have a long term relationship with.

Confused as that is – that’s all the information in the message.

She asks for a photo by return and wants to talk by Whatsapp only.

This has all the hallmarks of a large scale scam operation with each scammer no doubt dealing with perhaps dozens of victims at a time.

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The Dead or Alive Scam

An email arrives with the title:

“*****ARE YOU DEAD OR ALIVE ********”.

Seems a little serious but is just the opening to a standard advance fee scam.

The message claims to be from a barrister at the International Monetary Fund, although his email address is not of the IMF.

The gist of the message is that two men have presented themselves as my agents at the IMF ready to claim on my behalf, a sum of $12.5 million that is due to me.

They claim that I died of throat cancer some months previously and they have power of attorney from my estate.

This may sound very strange but many scammers do love their complex highly improbable stories.

The message says I just need to forward proof that I am alive otherwise the money will be paid to the two men.

Proof in this case means providing identification documents along with personal details such as my address and date of birth.

This is all just a scam to get my confidential information to be sold to other criminals for identity theft purposes.

The second half of the scam in many cases is the advance fee part where I would have to make a small payment for release of the millions of dollars and of course there would then be another payment and so on until I realise there is no pot of money and give up.

These advance fee scams come in many guises but any offer of money or valuables for essentially nothing is always a scam. Only the scammer wins.

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The Fake Next of Kin Scam

This is a common scam and is a variant of the Advance Fee Scam (also known as the 419 scam).

It is most commonly carried out by Nigerians or strangely by people from elsewhere but claiming to from Nigeria.

There is a story, sometimes pages of it, trying to explain how the sender is some kind of bank official or government official and they have control of bank accounts. One of which belongs to a recently deceased person with no next of kin and no official will. Here’s the con. The sender wants you to pretend to be the next of kin to the dead person and claim the inheritance, which you then split with the sender.

An example of this scam is an email from Mr. Konibally Kone, although he spells his name differently at places in the email so must be confused on who he is today.

His deceased client supposedly left $13.7 million which he and I can share as long as I follow his instructions.

He also promises it is totally safe as he has all the required legal documents.

Of course, he does not have an official email address – just a Gmail personal address in the name christpoher 654321.

All I have to do is reply with name, address, contact details, date of birth and Id document.

For anyone who does reply, the scam follows the standard pattern where he or she gets drawn into the scam and has to pay an unexpected but small amount for some purpose then another fee then another and so on till the victim realised there is no fortune, just a scammer taking their money.

Also, the scammers will likely sell your details to other criminals who carry out identity theft.

Money for nothing is always a scam and pretending to be the next of kin of someone dead is a pretty nasty thing to agree to.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Stupidest Spam of the Week St Ethelberga

St. Ethelberga was a medieval church in Bishopsgate, central London but it was damaged by an IRA bomb in 1993.

It was rebuilt and restored and re-opened as The Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.

Some scammers are using the name of St. Ethelberga’s for their criminal activities, trying to cash in on the reputation for integrity.

The emails claim to be from St. Ethelberga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace and even give a website address which is correct for the centre.

However the email address of the sender and the separate email address to reply to are both Gmail addresses – not St. Ethelberga’s.

The scam is the basic 419 Advance Fee scam with a common twist in that the sender is claiming that you have not been sent the correct compensation for having been scammed previously.

“we have decided to step into the process of your fund transfer to enable your funds to be transferred within the soonest possible time without needing to pay all the huge sums of monies that are being demanded from you by the remitting bank, you are to get back to us immediately.”

It doesn’t say how much money I am owed but I have to reply with my full details including copy of identification document etc.

Just a typical scammer looking for confidential details to sell to identity thieves.

Do not trust such messages, even if they appear to be from a well known organisation.

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Stupidest Spam of the Week Saddam Hussein

For the months just before and then after the death of Saddam Hussein, los of scammers were using his name. Some claimed they wanted to hide his billions and you could help and be well paid for the privilege. Others told long ridiculous stories about one or more of his children being stuck somewhere like Jordan and needing you to accept a huge sum of money into your bank account for them.

Some were creative with new stories but most followed the tried and tested approach of just offering lots of money for nothing and not worrying whether the story made any sense or not.

This latest one is back on the theme of Saddam’s billions but pretends to be WBS (World Bank Swiss), which doesn’t exist and has $18.5 million to give to me from Saddam’s funds at the bank.

I just need to supply the usual details – name, phone numbers, address, bank accounts etc. and the money will be available at BIL (Bank in London), which also does not exist.

The sender is supposedly a top official at Bank of America, but the email is from a free Gmail address, so can only be fake.

Could anyone believe this level of tripe?

I hope not.

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