Email Scammers Capitalize On Colin And Chris Weir‏'s Lottery Winning

The Weirs
The Weirs

It All Begins With The Summer Donation Program

We've all heard about email scams. Email scam artists sending emails to targeted individuals about some winnings somewhere, or about some off-shore account that needed to be claimed. Sometimes it's a promise of an inheritance.

Recipients of these emails are usually asked to give up their personal information, such as, names, addresses, phone number, and bank information, including the bank account routing number. These information, they're told will help to necessitate the transfer of the funds, inheritance or winning to the recipient's bank account.

I received such an email about a week ago, and I replied to it. And then, I received a response. You're probably wondering, with all the information out there about email scams from 'these Nigerians, or Africans', why would anyone reply to such an email. Why didn't I just toss it into my junk or trash mail?

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Colin and Chris Weir - Real Lottery Winners

Well, the truth, I had a moment of weakness there. One that got me was the names being used, Colin and Chris Weir. This couple are actual lottery winners (and they do have a giveaway program, but only for non-profit, charity organizations, not for individuals, except for maybe, family members and friends).

Also, I am a Nigerian American, yes, and I'm proud of my Nigerian heritage. I'm also fully aware of the bad names that a few of the Nigerian population have given to those of us who are trying to make an honest living. It bothers me that I sometimes have to explain to some belligerent colleague that, no I do not know the individual that's been trying to scam them through email or paper mail.

My husband and I had fallen victim to a similar scam, the credit card scam. Investigation revealed that not all email or credit card scams are from Nigerians or Africans. There are copy-cats everywhere that uses this tactics, even fellow Americans. But only a group of people takes the rap for all the crimes.

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It's Not All It's Cooked Up To Be

So, yes, I was a little curious. I wanted to see if I'll actually get a response. I sent everything this scam artist asked for, my name, phone number, age, sex, and country of residence. By the way, with three personal websites, three blog sites, and my hub-pages account out there, all these information about me are already public on the Internet, so I knew I was't giving away anything that could hurt me. Did I get a response? Yes, I did.

There were some things I noticed right away. Some mis-information on the actual win of the Weirs was a little off. It could have been a typo, but the fact remains. Then, there was the spellings.

In the first email, it was obvious that the sender did a copy paste, possibly from an original posting of a Nigerian email scam. How did I know this? The British spellings of the word "programme" as well as the wording of the tenses in the initial email sent is so different when compared with the American spellings, "program" in the response that I got.

Nigerians back home uses the same spellings as the British, as we were a British colony. So, whoever it was that responded to my email response is a copy-cat. I may be wrong, but from an ABC 20/20 investigation a while ago, Nigerian email scam artist do not operate from American soil.

And then, there was the additional request for my bank account: bank name, account name, routing number etc. Another mistake the responder made. In the initial email, shown below, it states that I will be issued a check in the amount of £1,500,000.00.

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Email Image

In the response the tune changed. See image Below.

"My wife and I were very happy to receive your reply/details as regard the first email which we sent to you which clearly pointed out that you are a winner of $2,350,000.00 USD in our Summer Millionaire Donation Program. We wish to officially inform you that your total funds are now ready to be transferred to your operational bank account in your country by our pay-out bank, Citibank."

The scam artist is definitely an amateur criminal, and needs to be caught and punished.

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Don't Fall For The Trap

I got the response about two days ago. I haven't responded yet, and I'm not about to give out my bank information. I thought about playing some tricks on the scam artist, like giving them some made up account information, but that would be stooping to their level. So, I'm going to let the guys at law enforcement handle this.

Comfort Says:

Why did I choose to write this hub? Well, in times like this, with the economy being the way it is, it's very easy to fall prey to these type of scams. There are many unemployed, very desperate individuals, breadwinners, fathers, mothers, who have lost it all. Scams like this gives them a ray of hope. Oftentimes, the recipients of such emails are gullible enough to fall for these scam artists, or rather criminals. I'm hoping this will help somebody avoid such pitfall.

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More by this Author


Please, feel free to comment below. 10 comments

gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

If it sound suspicious, ignore it and do not do it. If you are told that you have "won" the lottery and did not participate in any lottery, it is a C'MON and the scammers are trying to ensnare you. The only way to win something is that if YOU participate in the process. Great hub, voted UP!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I look at my spam mail briefly to check for important emails that may have been placed there accidentally, I am always amazed at the messages the spam artists post to get your attention. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@gmwilliams - You are absolutely right, the scammers will try anything to ensnare. Thanks for the vote and comment.

@teaches12345 - Very true. These scammers go to any length, even using familiar names of friends/families. Like you said, 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.'

Thanks for your vote and comment.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

I have lots of email scams on my Yahoo account. It keeps increasing (hmp!).

Anyway, we can track down those scammers by looking at the IP address of the unit of laptop, netbook or desktop computer they've used (if they own it). We can send it to the interpol, especially at the net crime department.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

You are so right travel_man1971! There are ways to track them down, but it just gets to be annoying at a point. I get close to a dozen of this emails in a day.

Anyway, thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting. Well appreciated.


Dave 3 years ago

I have just received this, think there must be some fun to be had here.

Dear Beneficiary,

This is a lifetime opportunity and 100% legitimate. My Wife and I have decided to amake sure this is put on the internet for the world to see. You see after taken care of the needs of our immediate family members and friends, we decided to donate $800,000 thousand us dollars each to other unknown 5 individuals around the world in need, the local fire department, the Red Cross, and some other organizations in Asia, Europe and Africa.because we are on vacation in India, I am happy to inform you that we have forwarded your details over to the management of the City Link Courier Service in India.

I am also pleased to inform you that we have issued out a cheque in your name through our attorney, has now been deposited with City Link Courier Service in India the Accredited courier company to deliver your bank draft to you in your country. Please remember that the objective of this donation to you is to make a notable change in the standard of living of the less privileged people all around your region before the end of the year 2013.

Recently,i discovered a huge number of double claims due to beneficiary's informing close friends relatives, attorneys and third parties about their donations. As a result, these close friends, relatives, attorneys and third parties tried to claim the donation sum on behalf of the real recipients thereby causing problems for the courier to deliver the draft. Please be informed that any double claim discovered in the disbursement process, will certainly result to the cancellation of that particular donation, making a loss for both the double claimer and the real beneficiary, as it is taken that the real recipient was the informer to the double claimer about the donation. So you are hereby advised to keep your information's strictly confidential until your claim has been fully recovered.

You are required to make contact with the delivery company as soon as possible, and discuss with them how your cheque would be delivered to your home address in your country and you will be informed about the cost of delivery by the courier company in charge of your certified cheque.

You will need to contact City Link Courier Service Ltd which is our accredited delivery company.You are to reach them with the information below.

NOTE: You do not have much time to get this done. I advise you act fast and get in touch with Mr Rao Anderson of City Link Courier Service Ltd .His contact information is stated below:

CONTACT INFORMATION:

CITY LINK COURIER SERVICES

Pastor Rao Anderson (Dispatch Officer)

No. 365 Erekere Puram Lay Out,

Bannerghatta Road India Pin - 560013.

PHONE NUMBER: +91 7794096943

CONTACT COURIER E-MAIL:customercare@citylinkc.com

You are to contact them with the following information within the next 24hours;

Note This Form Must be filled

1. Full name:

2. Address where you would want the parcel delivered to.

3. Telephone Number/Fax Number.

Please note that upon your contact with Mr. Rao Anderson you are to provide him with your Donation Code Number [Chrisa/148/2013/BTB] so that he can verify your identity with the details we sent over to their office earlier on today. Please endeavor to keep us fully informed on all developments with the courier company so that i can also monitor the delivery process through a feedback from you.

We look forward to your prompt response, should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me as soon as you possibly can.

Your follow up and full cooperation is highly anticipated.

We Wish you Good-luck as you receive your benefit

Regards


Johne505 2 years ago

I like this post, enjoyed this one thankyou for posting . kebeebagekde


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@Dave - That's a good one right there! As you can see, the story is always the same. They always need someone to give away their personal bank account information.

If they know your email, then they already know enough to get your address and send the check for the thousands or millions of dollars without you giving out any account number.

Don't fall for it!


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@Johne505 - I'm glad you enjoyed this piece of information. Thanks for reading and commenting!


paula tompkins 20 months ago

had this e-mail myself today - although wording slightly different.

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