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Posts Tagged ‘fraud’

An Inside Look At Spam Scams From Someone Who Played Along

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Back in February I posted my thoughts on a certain spam message and a copy of the email in question. A few days later, someone said they were interested in the opportunity! So, I made it clear I was just commenting on the situation, and not participating in it.

Early this morning, someone posted a new comment sharing their story about what happened when they responded to a similar email and went along for the ride. Here's what they wrote:

"the real trick to this is that they send you a bogus cheque in your name from a bogus company. I actually got caught up in one of these..fool..fool..fool. anyway, i wanted to see how far it would go, curiousity. I deposited this cheque for 48 grand in my account that they sent me, while i was waiting for it to clear, the scammers called me with some sob story that they needed a couple of grand from me while this cheque was clearing, this happened over a couple of days, and i was almost convinced, because my 10% was going to be 4,800 bucks which i thought i was going to have within 7 days after the cheque cleared. I almost sent them the money, which they gave me clear instructions to deposit somewhere in a japanese account, the guy that called me had a convincing japanese accent, but something told me that this was a scam, i didnt deposit the money, it was weird anyway, they called me a couple times more to try and convince me to deposit this money. Monday morning i get a call from the bank to let me know there was something weird about this cheque, any way, i called these japanese guys back to let them know that the bank thought there was something suspicious about their cheque, the guy hung up the phone and i never heard from him again, i tried calling the number after and it was out of service. but anyway it was quite the experience. Pretty well laid out scam, it was almost like something you would find in a movie, the plot was interesting, but nothing but a scam. alot of work must have gone into it.
scam, scam, scam-pretty good experience, if you can, send this story out to other people, i still get these same letters every now and then, i just chuckle when i see them. Sometimes i will respond to them to let them know that i know what their scam is. boy do they get offended."

Bank of America Security Alert – Upgrade Your Personal Account Information (Email Spam)

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

I got this a while ago. It had the Bank of America logo on it, too. It's funny when spammers send you messages from banks that you don't do business with. But like I wrote before, PayPal scams probably snare a lot more people than ones for older, physical banking institutions.

Just as a side note, I can't believe how close we are to doing all our business electronically. (Robot Voice:) "1500 credits have been automatically deducted from your account for the toll on this newly privatized road. Have – a – nice – day."

[Begin Email]

Subject: Security Alert – Upgrade Your Personal Account Information .
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 03:23:22 +0100

You must update
Your Account Immediately
Please Click Here

Please update your records on or before 48 hours, a failure to update your records will result in a temporal hold on your funds.

Security Update Alert

Your primary Information for Bank of America Online Banking Need To Update.

var LetterVals = { UIStrings : { __last : 'not used' }, StateDynamic : true, yplus_browser : false, premium_user : false, smsintl : "", SidebarSyncActionType : "read", SidebarSyncAuxActionType : "", SidebarSyncUID : "4204", SidebarSyncAuxUID : "", getString : function(id) { var result = this.UIStrings[id]; if ( result == null ) { return "Not translated: '" + id + "'"; } return result; } } Bank Of America is constantly working to increase security for all Online Banking Customers . To ensure the integrity of our online payment system, we periodically review accounts.

Your account might be place on restricted status. Restricted accounts continue to receive payments, but they are limited in their ability to send or withdraw funds.

To lift up this restriction, you have to complete our verification process. You must confirm your credit card details and your billing information as well. All restricted accounts have their billing information unconfirmed, meaning that you may no longer send money from your account until you have updated your billing information on records. To initiate the update confirmation process

Please follow the link below and fill in the necessary requirements :

MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from "" claiming to be

Thank you for your patience as we work together to protect your account.


Because E-Mail Is Not A Secure Form Of Communication, This E-Mail Box Is Not Equipped To Handle Replies.
If you have any questions about your account or need assistance, please call the phone number on your statement or go to Contact Us.


Bank of America , N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender
2007 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved

[End Email]

I enjoy being alerted to deceptive links by MailScanner. But I don't think the Scanner was the reason for all that code near the top. I assume the scammer had a glitch in his system.

Or might it have been her system? I think the stereotypical computer user would be male, and the stereotypical criminal would be male. Therefore, the stereotypical computer criminal would be double-male? Making him female. No! Wait…


Monday, February 18th, 2008

I'm going to be rich. You do not understand. I've found the answer! The solution to all my financial woes! Finally I can get that new toaster…

[Begin Email]

Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 13:25:18 -0600 (CST)


DATE:18th February,2008

Dear Sir/Madam,

Would you like to Work Online from home and get paid
Weekly without leaving or affecting your present Job?
We have Customers that we supply weekly around the world.Our
Customers make payments for our supplies every week in form of
Money Orders,Bankers Draft and Cashier's Checks,Checks which are
not readily Cashable Outside the United States and the country of

All you Need to do is to Receive payment from Customers.
Get it Cashed at your Bank or any Financial
institution that does such tasks, then
Forward balance after deduction of percentage/pay to any
of the offices you will be contacted to send
payment to.(Payment is to forwarded either by Money Gram or
Western Union Money Transfer).
For example you've got 4000.00USD
You take your income: 400.00 USD (10%)
Send to us: 3600.00 USD

You'll have a lot of free time doing another job,you'll get good
income and regular job.
FULL NAMES:_________________________________
DATE OF BIRTH:_________________________________
COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE:_________________________________
MARITAL STATUS:_________________________________
HOME ADDRESS (Where payment will be sent to{NO P.O BOX ADDRESS})
ZIP CODE:_________________________________
PRIVATE TELEPHONE NUMBER:_________________________________

Thank you for your time.
I Await your Urgent Response.

Mr.Frank James,

[End Email]

So, great! They have me deposit a bogus check, and I feel a tad wealthier. Then I pay my own good money to a third party. Soon after, their original check bounces, and I've lost the money I paid out. So who makes money? Only their "offices."

I Won The Harvard Lottery – $2,490,000!!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Let's see, as Gisele B√ľndchen, "the world's richest model" once asked, "Can I get that in euros?"

Last time I looked, one euro is worth $1.40 U.S. So, 2,490,000 euros = $3,486,000! Whoo!! Let's hope they honor my request.

The best part? I never even signed up! Just today I received word from Harvard, in the form of an email. Here it is:

From: "Donald Baldwin" <>
Subject: Hello!
To: [Blank]

Dear Winner,

Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) New Year Promo

This is a Re-Notification of your unclaimed winning which we ran on our automated computer ballot of most of our unclaimed winnings.Your e-mail address emerged as a winner in the unclaimed winnings category "Hot Ball: 16" with the following numbers attached Ref Number: PW 9590 ES 9414, Batch Number: 573881545-NL/2006 and Ticket draw Number: 2, 19, 22, 26, 32, You are therefore to receive a cash prize of $2.49 Million Million (TWO MILLION Four Hundred And NINETYThousand United States Dollars) from the total payout.

Your prize award has been insured with your e-mail address and will be transferred to you upon meeting our requirements,statutory obligations, verifications, validations and satisfactory report.

Draw Details:
Ref Number: PW 9590 ES 9414
Batch Number: 573881545-NL/2006
Ticket draw Number: 2, 19, 22, 26, 32,
"Hot Ball: 16" WINNER ONLY
Draw Date: Wed Jan 2 '08

To file in for the processing of your prize winnings, you are advised to contact our accredited claims agent above for immediate processing of your winning with the information below:

Claims Agent:-
Robert Smith

Name In Full,
Address In Full,
Telephone/Fax number In Full,

Yours Faithfully,
Donald Baldwin
Lottery Coordinator.

This advice complies with the Anti-Fraud section 2,sub section (iv) of the procedural manual of the funds disbursementagreement existing between the e-Lottery syndicates, UK Govt. and the EU Gaming Commission.

Congratulations from all members and staffs of this program.
Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) New Year Promo

You'd think Harvard would know better than to send out an email where the words run together at parts, and the only link doesn't even work. If you visit that site, it says, "LotteryUSA page lotteryHLHL_fcur.htmlulations not found." It seems the "ulations" part after the ".html" was likely a portion of a previously typed (or generated) "congratulations."

But I'm rich!

Note for those who don't get the gag: This was a spam email sent in an effort to get my personal information. The "legitimate" Harvard sender tells me to forward all my personal info to some random guy "named" Robert Smith, reachable at a disposable email address ( It didn't mention me by name or email address so that the same message, word for word, could be sent out to many, many others, soliciting their personal information as well. If you get a similar message, or one that sounds too good to be true, always keep in mind the possibility that it is fraud.