Thursday, July 21, 2011

Have you been scammed?

Along with many other "undisclosed recipients" (which should always be your first clue that you are being scammed) I have been receiving many, many e-mails telling me that

  • I have won some e-mail lottery from London/Australia/Mars/Scotland/Venus, etc valued at an amazing amount of money, sometimes Million$.

  • there is a sick person about to die, she's on her deathbed, in fact and there is millions of dollars stuck and she needs MY HELP, MINE out of the billions of strangers available she needs ME to help her get her money out of the country, pretend it's mine and then of course give her just a little, keeping the rest WITH HER BLESSINGS - after all, she's dying and can't take it with her

  • there's a bank teller in Nigeria/London/New Zealand/South Africa/New Gamma Quadrant, sector 7 - who has been watching millions of dollars just sit in an unclaimed account of a dead criminal just sitting there....collecting interest and about to be absorbed into the government's "coffers". Of course they don't want to see it go to the government and my name (along with all the other undisclosed recipients) was listed on the beneficiary line and they would like me to take most of it - in the form of an ATM card and give them just a bit, in payment for their trouble...afterall, I'll be getting MILLION$ of dollar$ (god, they're so thoughtful, aren't they)

There is, of course, a few other variations of this theme. Basically, they're hoping that I'm just greedy enough to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, send them my information and of course, most likely $$$$$. Then of course, I'll receive an ATM card that will have a daily amount deposited into it, making me a millionaire. No one will suffer, of course. Of COURSE. Now the latest seems to involve either a police department, or fraud investigations or even the United Nations...someone has compiled a list of people who have been scammed out of their hard earned money, and is authorizing at least $50,000 for restitution. My name is on this list, along with the obligatory "undisclosed recipients", EVEN THOUGH I HAVE NEVER, EVER RESPONDED MUCH LESS SENT MONEY TO ANY OF THESE SCAMS. Nevertheless, they are kindly going to reimburse me as long as I send them my information.

The most recent e-mail follows...

Congratulations! Your have been listed
among 10 persons who will
be compensated this week with the total sum of
(Fifty Thousand Dollars). please note
the grammar issues here, wouldn't a real dept have better spelling? another clue
that all is not right here.

This compensation is being
financed by the United Nations, reasons for
payment, is to assist all scam
victims who lost huge amount online.
Please contact Standard Bank Plc,
London UK for your payment. once again,
note the syntax/grammar and punctuation mistakes here. a real institution
wouldn't make these mistakes.

Contact Person:
Name: Mr. Jim Pedersen
e-mail: businesses usually don't use this
type of e-mail accounts, usually they have their own e-mail programs, with the
name of the government entity, the bank name, or what ever huge dept they are
trying to pass themselves off as. - indeed! this would be
another clue that something wrong....

Phone Number: +44
702 405 4162

Yours Faithfully,
Ms. Nina Johnson
Public Relations

Copyright © 2011 Look!!! this letter is even COPYRIGHTED! Amazing! Maybe this is on
the up and up, afterall! it SAYS copyrighted, so it must be legal!

The sad thing, is that even with all the attention these scams get, people STILL fall for things like this. The scammers can be quite inventive, but judging by the samples I've been getting (and I must get over 75 tries A DAY) they all have spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes in common. And they all use regular email accounts, not business or real government accounts. Without fail, they are all addressed to you and to undisclosed recipients. Many times the e-mail address they send it from is a hijacked e-mail account, and of course you're supposed to respond to a totally different e-mail address.
Once I responded to the e-mail address on the e-mail - the address it was sent from - later I received a reply saying that her account had been hacked. Unless she was dumb enough to use her own e-mail account to send out scams, it's sad that these people involve innocent bystanders for their scams.

Naturally, the scammers are banking on the hope that their victims are just greedy enough to take part in shady deals - then they laugh all the way to the bank...or where ever they stash their profits.


  1. Scams, spam, etc seem really dumb to me. Do they really work? I guess since they keep doing them.

  2. LOL - there's an old con-artist saying....which I forget of course....soemthing about fools and money...or greedy people...

    anyway, the reason why some scams work is because the victims have a teeny little bit of greed (who doesn't, though?) and actually are ever hopeful that they're really going to get a bunch of money for nothing....they just have to send a small OR the scammers themselves are ever hopeful.