158, 2014 September)
(2014) reports: "Operation Disrepair, launched in May last year to
target those who may have sent money overseas after being targeted by
online scammers, found that South Australians have lost more than $2
million on 4261 transactions."
police sent warming letters and visited many potential victims, about a
quarter continued to send money overseas!
(2014) reports that one Australian man lost $2 million that he sent to
South Africa. Australia-wide people lost $89 million in 2013, but this
statistic is conservative since many victims don't report their loss.
"Internet Love Scams" the victims are people seeking love who think
they have met their perfect partner. Instead they have only a fantasy
manipulated by liars to extract their money from them.
scammers, many based in Africa or Russia, use fake personality
profiles, false stories, and attractive photos to suck people in.
scams are elaborate and online relationships are built with receptive
victims that continue for years. A victim may think he is exchanging
information with a teacher, student or office worker when all the time
he's interacting with a criminal gang.
are experts at telling convincing stories to make victims feel
obligated. One woman's online "Romeo" supposedly landed in an Asian
prison and needed money to pay bribes to survive — and more bribes and
have been cases of love-struck victims going to Africa to meet the
person who supposedly finds them romantically irresistible and being
kidnapped for ransom, robbed or murdered. Love-struck victims also
often send private information and may later have this used to
people are sometimes scammed again: One woman: "sent $80,000 to a man
she met on Skype [an instant messaging company] and lost another
$400,000 to a 'lawyer' who said he would recover the cash." (Nankervis
common type of online scam offers a lottery prize, or a gift from a
dead or dying person, or a compensation payment, to be transferred to
your bank account. The usual trick in such a case is that you need to
pay a transfer fee to receive the free money.
you send the fee there will be a further fee — and again and again. The
idea is to get you acting like a gambler who makes more and more bets
to try to win back previous losses.
with poor grammar retained, is an example of how it may start:
scammers' e-mails include a link to a newspaper report of someone who
did win a lottery, or of a rich person who died recently, and claim to
be that person or to represent him. Or perhaps it's not a genuine link
but a means to give your computer a "virus" if you click on it! Some
e-mails may have an "attachment" that you are asked to open for
information on collecting prize-money for a lottery you did not even
enter. Don't open the attachment.
19 September 2013 10:43 AM
name is Mrs. Margaret Crawford. I have been diagnosed with cancer few
years ago immediately after the death of my husband who left me
everything he had worked for. I have decided to donate from what I have
inherited from my late husband to you for Charitable & Humanitarian
cause rather than allow my greedy relatives to use my husband's hard
earned funds in ungodly way. Please contact my attorney today with this
email (…) for more information, my attorney, Mark Lawson will give you
directives on how the funds should be willed and transferred to you.
Make sure you contact my attorney with this email address: …
18 March 2014
email has just won $920,000.00 in lottery. Open attachment to view how
the funds will be transferred to your bank account.
the e-mail comes with a warning that the letter is copyright and it is
illegal to make copies. This helps to make it look legitimate and slows
down the spread of knowledge about the scam to other Internet users.
Keep it Green - Do you really need to print this E-mail?
communication, including any attachments, may contain confidential
and/or legally privileged information and is intended only for the
individual or entity to whom it is addressed. Any interception,
review, dissemination or copying of this communication by anyone other
than the intended recipient is strictly prohibited and unlawful.
you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender by
telephone or reply E-Mail and delete all copies of the original message.
OF POSSIBLE SCAMS
would you regard a proposal involving $9 billion? I received it twice,
15 months apart!
are some e-mails I have received (bad grammar is left unedited]:
22 October 2013 11:21 AM
day, Am Chi Pui;Do not be surprised! I got your email contact via the
World Email On-line Directory" I am crediting officer at Sino Pac Bank
Plc in Hong Kong and i have a deal of $17.3M to discuss with you
22 February 2014 10:52 PM
day i am Mrs christy Walton
brought to you a proposal worth $9,000,000,000.00 (Nine Billion United
State Dollars) which i intend to use for CHARITY. Please reply me back
if you are interested.
UNION HEAD OFFICE
29 October 2013 5:51 PM
are you today?
write to inform you that we have already sent you $5000.00USD through
Western union as we have been given the mandate to transfer your full
compensation payment of $1.800,000.00USD via western union by this
government. I called to give you the information through phone as
internet hackers were many but i cannot reach you yesterday even this
morning. So, I decided to email you
the MTCN and sender name so that can pick up this $5,000.00USD to
enable us send another $5,000.00USD by tomorrow as you knows we will be
sending you only $5,000.00USD per day…
or email us once you picked up this $5,000.00USD today. Here is the
western union information to pick up the $5,000.00USD
Name: Elaine Johnson
and Angela Dawes
28 January 2013 12:26 PM
is a personal email directed to you.
and my wife won a British Jackpot Lottery of £101 Million and our
Lucky Star numbers
were 5 and 8 We have decided to donate the sum of £1,000,000.00
Pounds to you as part of our own charity project to improve the life of
just 8 lucky other individuals around the globe. send us an email via …
so that we can send your details to the
designated bank in charge of wire transfer proceedings.
can verify this via the links below.
7 January 2013 5:26 PM
We are pleased to inform you that, you have been selected for this year
CNN United Nations International Donation. Your email address attached
to ticket number 27522465896-532 with serial number 652-662 drew lucky
number 7-14-18-23-31-45 was Awarded the sum of NINE Hundred And Fifty
Thousand Great Britain Pounds (£950.000.00GBP). Your email is
your online automatic ticket that qualified you for this draw, no
tickets were sold. You have therefore been approved to claim a total
sum of £950.000.00GBP.
get back to us with your Name, Age and Country for more information on
how to claim. Send details to…
Director Mrs. Elizabeth Harrison.
12 December 2012 6:54 PM
email address attached to Ticket Number 2832728-56 was Awarded the sum
of Nine Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds (£900.000.00 GBP).
Your email is your online automatic ticket that qualified you for this
draw, no tickets were sold. Get back to us for more information on how
10 December 2012 2:18 AM
Your Email Was selected at random as one of the Lucky Winners for the
2012 end of Year EuroMillions National Lottery Promo, Please Contact
the Below Details for Claim:
Mr. Peter Jones
are advice to provide him with the following information:
/ADDRESS / OCCUPATION / AGE / SEX / Phone Number / SERIAL NUMBER.
5 October 2012 6:07 AM
saw your email address during the course of my research today. my wife
and I won a Jackpot Lottery 11.3 million in july and during the
process my wife passed away as a result of cancer illness, we are
donating the sum of 1 million dollars to 6 lucky individual over the
world and if you received this email then you are one of the luck
recipients and all you have to do is get back with is so that we can
send your details to the payout bank.
note that you have to contact my private email for more information
can verify this by visiting the web pages below.
"Mr Chi Pui" of "Sino Pac" scam was widespread and I received at least
three. There is a real bank called "SinoPac" founded in 1992 but it is
not offering free gifts of $17.3million!
lottery winners Dave and Angela Dawes are genuine. They won a UK
lottery in 2011 and announced they would give twenty people ₤1million
each. The email, however, is not from them but is an advance fee scam.
Anyone who replies will be asked to send upfront fees to cover expenses
— fees that for alleged legal reasons cannot be taken out of the
donation but must be paid in advance.
the initial fees are paid there will be more "fees" until the victim
runs out of money or otherwise stops paying. The scammers also require
victims to prove their identity by supplying personal information which
may later be used for identity theft.
Government website "Scam Watch" discusses scores of different sorts of
e-mail and Internet scams. One scam, for example, is:
A new phishing email
pretending to be from reputable energy companies is currently
circulating, which claims you owe money for an outstanding gas or
electricity bill. The email will ask you to click on a link to view or
update your account and arrange payment via money transfer. If you
click on the link, you risk infecting your computer with malware and
having your personal information stolen. If you pay this ‘bill’ via
money transfer, you will never see your money again.
useful website is "Hoax-Slayer" which has exposed e-mail and Internet
scams since 2003.
find more scam-fighting websites type "Scam Watch" into Google Search.
often gain victims' trust by referring to genuine news reports, genuine
organizations, and may use genuine e-mail addresses which may be stolen
and cloned. Sometimes the intention is to get you to open an attachment
that installs malware on your computer.
tricks scammers employ to get you to respond are becoming more
sophisticated, but there are also scam-exposing websites with
information to protect you.
D. Scammers in $2m grab from gullible, Sunday Mail, March 2, 2014, pp 14-15
D. Call in the scam-buster, Sunday
Mail, August 10, 2014, 18-19
who tempt potential victims by offering to make them rich sometimes
send letters through the post — e-mail is not their only method.
of an inheritance from an overseas family member might be genuine. If
so then you would probably either know the relative or know about him
and it will all be done through legitimate legal channels. Be cautious
about paying up-front fees overseas — get a lawyer to act for you.
is a letter from Italy requesting me to pretend to be a relative of a
deceased person in Italy of same surname. The aim is to share the dead
person's bank account. [Letter here omitted]
is similar to many e-mails I've received offering a similar deal —
pretend to be someone else or to be related to them so as to share a
bank account. The current instance is different because my last name is
used, and my home address, and the legal firm named on the letter
exists in Italy.
noticing the resemblance to some e-mail scams, I've also had a
long-term interest in family research and my findings go back several
centuries. Except for a cousin of my father who fought in Italy in
World War II I have not discovered the slightest hint of any connection
with Italy. Searches with Google and genealogical websites show the
family name occurs in America and several European countries — but I've
found none in Italy.
further simple check would have been to e-mail a copy of the letter to
the actual legal firm after getting their address from the Internet or
phone book (not from the letter itself).
letter from overseas offering to make you wealthy may be tempting. It
may have credibility because the sender knows your name and address and
seems to represent a genuine law firm. But watch out!
158, 2014 September)