- Politics and Social Issues
Playing with Email Scam Villains
In today’s age, it seems like regardless if you are opening e-mail or just answering your phone there is a higher possibility that the individual sending or talking to you is a Scam Villain. From the IRS Scam or the guys who attempts to get vital information over the phone for identity theft to e-mails stating you have won the lottery or someone just wants to give you money from a foreign country if you only pay processing fees. These guys are out there constantly trying to steal our hard earn money, the most recent one I have run into is the fake job offer, regardless if it is a work from home or an in office offer watch for signs it is a scam.
Just so those who are reading this understand, I currently do this to help protect my friends and loved ones from these scams, I do not get paid for doing this. Granted, getting paid would be nice, it is currently just to protect and educate others. In the past I have posted the different scams I have discovered on my Facebook page; however, as I was considering this most current one I figured maybe I can help others too. It is my point to also take time and in some cases money from these people. My reward: Save at least one person from being tricked. The money I take is only the money they use to mail (postal cost $5.25) information and fake checks to print. So that it is clear, I don’t actually get any money from these people, I just trick them into utilizing their own money and time. Plus, I look at it as a way to help the US Postal Service, since they normally send their stuff through this system. Also, so everyone knows, I do not meet these people face to face as that could place me in danger of being harmed once they realize they the scammers are being scammed. As we all know, no one likes to be beaten by their own game and though it is a small amount of money they are losing it is still money they could have utilized on someone who doesn’t understand what these Scammers are doing. Finally, just so everyone understands, I do have experience and training in investigation, analyzing, and making informed decisions through 17 years of military service. I also have a BA in Social and Criminal Justice, plus I am working on a MS in Psychology. So messing with these types of people is right up my alley and allows me to continue my passion in these fields.
Some PAST Facebook Postings of Mine, warning family and friends:
If you get something via email or telephone asking for money en order to get some ridiculous amount of money in return is fake. Regardless if it is coming from someone who claims to be the director of the FBI or someone at a high level of the United Nation...please don't let these morons take your hard earned money…
So just got off the phone (came in as unknown) with a guy who said he is from the federal government (no department) who had a very strong ascent. I would say India, but I have heard people from India talk before and they spoke better English than this guy. So anyways, he tells me the US federal government wants to give me a grant for $7000 for being such a good citizen by paying my taxes on time and not committing any crimes. I'm like really, thinking to myself, man I wish the federal government would give me money for behaving myself. But then I was thinking they don't know me very well, do they ;). So any ways he gives me information such as my zip code; however, added a '0' to the beginning of it and I'm like ok, he attempts to pronounce the city I'm in and messes that up and like ok, then he gets to the State and attempts to state 'A' and then 'Z' instead of just stating the state name or at least like he was questioning his self on how to pronounce it. Anyways, he keeps mentioning the $7K over and over again. He gives me a confirmation number (JC149) and tells me to the call another number (402.915.5069) and to give a guy called Eric Folwer my number and he will get my grant to me; however, it is to only be use for education, remodeling, and something else I didn't understand. I'm like ok, so at this point he asks my age and I gave him the wrong age, but only by a couple of numbers, don't want to make it too obvious. He then ask for my mailing address and I'm like why? He says to ensure and verify I am who I say I am. I'm like you are the federal government, why don't you already have that information. He is like we do, but we need to verify, what I didn't say was "Dude, you already gave me my confirmation number for the grant, why are you attempting to still verify me?" So after going in a circle over my street address, I was like I'm thinking this is a scam call and he stuttered a bit saying it wasn't and then tried to get my information again and I'm like I believe this is a scam call and said "Good bye." I figure might as well not be rude, since I had just wasted 6 minutes of his time; I say wasting his time since I knew it was a scam from the beginning of the call. Since it had all the trade markets of an overseas call. Well that was 6 minutes taken away from them messing with someone who might not know or is down on their luck and hoping maybe someone was finally trying to help them out; to only have them take money from them that they don't already have. So anyways, just wanted to vent about yet another idiot who called to attempt to scam me.
More Scams, please don't fall for them...
Queens, New York,JFK International Airport .
I am Mr.Micheal Smith, Director of Inspection, United Nations Inspection Agent in JFK International Airport New York,USA
During our investigation, I discovered An abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from United Kingdom. It was kept under our facility here in New York and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a Metal Trunk Box weighing approximately 110kg each. The consignment was abandoned because the Content was not properly declared by the consignee as money rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid diversion by the Shipping agent also the Diplomat inability to pay for Non Inspection Fees. On my assumption, i discovered that each of the boxes will contain more than $7M to $10M each and the consignment is still left in storage house till today through a registered shipping Company, Courier Dispatch Service Limited a division of Tran guard LTD. The Consignments are two metal box with weight of about 110kg each (Internal dimension: W61 x H156 x D73 (cm). Effective capacity: 680 L.)Approximately.I wish to present your name and information as the recipient of the consignment if you agree to cooperate with me and both of us will benefit from this deal. You will need to provide your full name,Phone Numbers and the nearest Airport around your location. All communication must be held extremely confidential. I can get everything concluded within 24 hours upon your acceptance and proceed to your address for delivery. But I must get assurance from you concerning my 50% before I will proceed. I want us to transact this business and share the money, since the shippers have abandoned it and ran away. We will pay for the Non inspection fee and arrange for the boxes to be moved out of this Airport to your address.
once we are through I will deploy the services of a secured shipping Company geared to provide the security it needs to your doorstep. Or I can bring it by myself to avoid any more trouble. But I will share it 50% to you and 50% to me. But you have to assure me of my 50% before proceeding.
I look forward to your response.
Mr. Micheal Smith
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2016 9:36 AM
Subject: Delivery Your Package NG82739273US by FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division Fbi Headquarters In Washington, D.C. Federal Bureau Of Investigation J. Edgar Hoover Building, 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001 Website: www.fbi.gov
You won in the Bonus National Lottery UK draw to the tune of US$60million. You were to be paid from UK but it was transferred to Nigeria. All efforts to get the funds to you have failed. The card was moved from Theresa Walker to Fedex. I sent you the email below but Mike Jones of Fedex Nigeria says you have not sent the $320 yet. I have decided to communicate with you directly. You shall communicate with me and not him anymore. I will communicate with him myself. you are to make the payment today. You are required to make the payment of $320 for the delivery of this package. You are to send the $320 by western union or moneygram to Fedex, Nigeria accountant using the details below
Address.....1 Red Star Express street, Red Star Road, Kwali, Abuja, Nigeria
Once funds is sent, please send the information below to me so i may send it to Fedex in Nigeria
Full names of sender............
Full Address of sender..........
MTCN or Reference Number.........
James B Comey
Federal Bureau Of Investigation
United States of America
Brighten your day.
John A Bruce <firstname.lastname@example.org>Aug t 5:52 PM
I received your email in respect of my job advert, thank you for your interest . I have reviewed your resume and you have been selected as a potential candidate for a Personal Assistant position pending background checks.
Your Duties are as follows : .
• Perform official assignment to detail/ instruction.• Running personal errands(receiving and making payment). • Acting as an alternative telephone correspondence.• Work independently without much supervision (inspecting items paid for at Post office near to you)
Available Position: Personal Assistant
Type: Part-Time Hours:
10 Hours per week
Days: 3 days per week
Weekly Pay: $400.00
The job is flexible and can be completed at your convenience time, it can be done during your break-time.
• AD & D Insurance
Willing to take this job position, reconfirm your information to us for background check.
FULL NAMES :
ZIP CODE :
CELL # :
So fresh and so clean.
John Bull <email@example.com>Aug 16 at 8:30 AM
I am John Bull,i am a Private Entrepreneur & Agricultural Machinery Supplier, i am Looking for a trusted Individual who i can Hire as my Account Receivable Agent , The Head Office is In Fullerton,CA where i am Currently Located but you will be working Remotely in your City.
Your Main Duty will be running errands for me by shopping of goods as directed and you will be sending them out by courier to the Sales Agent of the Manufacturing company i deal with,Be aware that Most payment will be sent to you through Master Card which you will be used for shopping immediately you received it within 5 to 7 working days and your names will appear on the master card which will be issued to you through my Bank as the Authorised user.
- Able to work independently and produce high quality, accurate work
- Takes initiative, anticipates needs, and takes ownership of projects
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both verbal and written
- Honesty, promptness and dependability
If you consider yourself Qualified for this position & Interested in taking up this Position then send the following details to firstname.lastname@example.org so i can have your Information indexed in our Employee Data-base.
Current Bank Institution
Most Recent E-mail Scam I have been messing with…
This is the initial email received to start the scam, mind you I am looking for a part time job, so these people found my resume and went from there……plus I never applied for this position…
Yiyi Uprocessing <email@example.com>Aug 11 at 1:43 PM
Hello ,My name is Laura Yiyi , Hiring Manager at Notre Dame High School.
Notre Dame High School, a ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Trenton, is a dynamic Catholic community dedicated to educating young women and men to realize their full potential through a faith-filled environment, a challenging college-preparatory program, extensive co-curricular activities and a commitment to citizenship and service in the community.
Notre Dame High School will be widely regarded as a Catholic educational community that develops leaders, scholars, athletes and artists who possess the knowledge, vision, skills, moral character and energetic spirit needed to serve our global society.
Prior to receiving your resume via ZIPRECRUITER/MONSTER, an applicant had already been chosen for the position you applied for, however we have an immediate opening for the role of a Personal Assistant to the Director of Education from the comfort of your home, should you be interested, we will be more than willing to grant you the position because your resume has shown that you are of credible character and value.
The below stated details are applicable to the position:
Administrative/Clerical duties, supervisions, monitoring and scheduling programs. Acting as an alternative telephone correspondence when the Education Director is not available.
Making regular contacts and drop-offs. Assisting with payroll and monitoring of financial activities.
Available Position: Personal Assistant.
Job type: Part Time.(full time after one month if you still choose to work for us)
Days: 2-3days a week.
Hours: 18 hours weekly.
Weekly Pay: $620(then $1180 after 2 weeks of us being satisfied after you start the job)
• AD & D Insurance
• 401(k)..(after 3months with us,plus increase in your weekly pay check)
• Free Medicals(after 1 month with us ,plus increase in your weekly pay check)
I will set up a formal interview with you and give you a tour of the Organization and of course bring you up to date on the handling of your duties.
You will begin your home office based position immediately I get back from an official trip I am presently on in Baltimore.
There are pending assignments that needs to be handled and I believe these tasks are simple tasks which you can carry out pending the time I return.
You will be receiving weekly pay checks upon completion of your weekly assignments.
DO CONFIRM ACCEPTANCE OF THIS POSITION BY PROVIDING THE BELOW DETAILS. SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DECLINE THE OFFER, KINDLY SEND AN EMAIL STATING THAT, SO THE APPLICATION CAN BE KEPT OPEN FOR ANOTHER PERSON.
PLEASE COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM REQUIREMENT BELOW :
Full Names(First and Last):
Mailing Address(Complete Physical Address) :
Apartment # :
City, State, Zip Code :
Cell Phone Number:
UPON RECEIPT OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION, I WILL CONTACT YOU WITH FURTHER DETAILS.
Have a splendid week ahead and remain blessed.
Notre Dame High School
This message is the property of Notre Dame High School and is intended only for the use of the addressee(s) and may be legally privileged and/or confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, he or she is hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, printing, forwarding, or any method of copying of this information, and/or the taking of any action in reliance on the information herein is strictly prohibited except by the original recipient or those to whom he or she intentionally distributes this message. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender, and delete the original message and any copies from your computer or storage system. Thank you.
The fun begins
When I get these messages I weigh the amount of danger I might be putting myself into, if I am willing to push forward since they will now have information on how to locate me; it is done with the potential dangers in min. For me this is normally an easy thing to decide and off I go.
Some of the indicators these are not real offers.
1. The emails are coming from free email sites, (i.e. yahoo.com, Hotmail.com, google.com, etc.). Though a small legit company might utilize these types of email servers due to not having the money to actually own their own server, this is a good indicator that something might be wrong and should be further investigated or not trusted. Try looking up information on the group that are contacting you, if you find a phone number on an official site for this company call them and verify. Never utilize a phone number provided by the email sender, as you will be most likely calling the individual themselves.
2. There are normally grammar or spelling errors, some are very small and easily missed, so don’t beat yourself up if you miss them. I have left the errors in the messages above to give you an idea of what to look for.
3. Did you even contact them or apply with their company? If you didn’t, there is a good chance it is a scam.
Now, if they get you through the first step and you provide them with your information in hopes that it is real, don't worry just yet. They will most likely not conduct an interview prior to your start and will give an excuse of being out of town or in a foreign country. They may say things about testing your loyalty or we did a background check and you seem trustworthy. In some cases, they may even ask you to do some simple tasks such as proof reading emails for them or something else that will not cost you or them money at this point, promising to pay you afterwards. They might even string you on for a few days or weeks, having you proof read documents in which other individuals (fake) are receiving money for work done. This is an attempt to make everything seem legit and it might feel this way, especially if you are in direr need of money to pay rent and to buy food. Again, use caution as you go and if you feel as if something isn’t right, then there is a good chance it isn’t. This is where I normally spend most of my time, as I don’t want to let on that I’m onto them just yet. So I’ll normally do the stuff they are asking, within reason that is. It is also at this point when they believe they have gained your trust enough, to push their scam even further.
Next step in the game(Timing):
Yiyi Uprocessing <firstname.lastname@example.org>Aug 13 at 4:46 PM
Further to the offer Letter sent to you, here is an update for your attention:
We have offered you an opportunity and hope to have 100% of your loyalty and co-operation. Test of your loyalty, honesty and sincerity will be carried out from time to time. Your quick response to mails and effectiveness in discharge of your duties will be required and I urge you to always work according to instructions.
We have decided to give you a first task to assure us of how reliable you can be in handling things. Every month, we engage in catering for needs of foster homes across the States. There are list of items to be gotten this month and you will be responsible for purchasing the items at any store around you and mailing them to the foster homes. Your weekly wage and payment for the gifts to the foster homes will be sent to you ASAP for you to make immediate purchase of the gifts.
Please note that a Check will be sent to you which will be used to fund the purchase of items for the foster homes and your first week payment. Once you have received the funds, I will email you a list containing the mailing addresses of the foster homes where the gifts will be sent. Also i would advice you have your bank app downloading on your phone to take care of future transactions,so you can take care of your duties faster
Email back ASAP to confirm you received this notification and to confirm your readiness and also include your bank name (not bank details).
- At this point they are attempting to pull at your heart strings and also preparing to play the game of timing. I say the game of timing, because they are fixing to send you a check (that is no good) hoping that you will deposit it and complete the assignment prior to your bank actually realizing it is a fake check or that the check has bounced. I tell them I am ready to par take in my next assignment and I receive this email message (The timing game is officially afoot):
Yiyi Uprocessing <email@example.com>Aug 18 at 10:15 AM
Trust your day has kicked off good.
Below are the details of the check that will be delivered to you via USPS today which is for the purchase of gift items for the foster home and also to cover your weekly pay, you can go ahead and have it tracked on the USPS website so you are sure of when it will be delivered to you in order to have yourself available.
Tracking Number: 9405501699320090278740
Once you get the check just go straight to the nearest ATM Machine/Mobile bank app/Your Bank account ASAP, and make an overnight deposit part of the funds would be immediately made available for withdrawal while the rest will be available next day,if you deposit it through the Atm/Mobile Bank App which is easier and better. Make sure you notify me and let me know how much was made available after the deposit at the ATM/Mobile Bank App preferably. So once the rest of the funds is available,kindly inform me for further instructions.
I contacted the foster home that will be receiving the gift items to furnish me with the list of items they require which I will relay to you in my next email.
Kindly let me know once you have received the check and deposited it ,plus send me the deposit slip.Also someone from the office will also be contacting you after you confirm you got the check/deposit to give you the list for the foster home
Have a nice day and stay blessed.
-Things are very pleasant in the email, giving direct information on what is expected to happen and provided just in time for the package to arrive. The tracking number is even real, normally I don’t always verify any of this information on where the package is coming; however, it is a good way to get an idea if this so called company is actually just a front for the Scammers. Utilizing the information provided by the tracking number and comparing it to the return address on the package can give you a great idea if something is amiss. As you can see with the current example, not only is the return address on the package different (i.e. city and state), but also the company’s name. It is these small details that most people don’t pay attention to, i.e. the organization our Scammer is representing is Notre Dame High School and the return address company is Medical University of SC. Though in a few cases this information could possibly be different, the odds are they aren’t.
We have the package
Upon opening the package, there is a check endorsed to me in the value of $3,495.00. In some cases, it is fairly easy to identify that the check is fake, but in the case of this current check it is a pretty good one. Which tells me the account is most likely real, but that it doesn’t have enough money in it to even come within $3000.00 of the actual amount. So the question is what happens at this point, what harm is there to cash the check and then to just delay sending the money until you know if it is real deal or not. Well for the most part that is very true; however, if the check bounces the odds are you will have to pay the fees for it bouncing. This means you lose money and though it is to your bank, it is still money you most likely could have used. Not what we want, so what do you do to verify if it is real or if the account has the money in it to negate the processing fee for bouncing. A good way to verify the check is to take it to a local branch of the bank the check was issued from and have them verify the information. If there is no branch in your area, check online for an official website for the bank and find their customer service phone number. Sometimes the bank will actually confirm if the account is real and if it is if there are enough funds in the account to cover the check; however, in other cases they may only confirm the account. Also, you can even find out if the routing number is even real by going to this link: http://routingnumber.aba.com/Search.aspx
It is a good idea to verify the information on the check to the information provided in the data base from the routing number, such as the city and state the bank is in. If the name of the city and/or state is different on the check from what is in the provided data base, then this is another indicator the check is fake or is going to bounce. Again, we are trying to save you money and any loss is a no go. If there is still concern, then take the check to your bank and explain your suspicions and the fact that if you are wrong you don’t want to lose this new great job you have. In most cases they will work with you, since this also protects them and provides further examples of what these scammers are utilizing to get pass the tellers at the bank. However, if you still decide to chance it with losing money to fees, it is alright. You most likely haven’t lost any money to these scammers just yet.
Example of Check
Take notice below that the routing information does not match up to city that is listed on the Check, also when we check by the name of the bank and the city it claims to be in......we come back with no information found.
Example of Fake Routing Information
This next example shows us that the Routing information for Wells Fargo Bank is correct when it comes to the bank name and the city that it is in.
Example of Routing Information Being Real
So now it is time to confirm to the Scammer that we have the package and are heading to deposit the check with our bank or that it is already deposited. I do recommend that regardless if you have or have not deposited the check yet, always tell them you are heading to the bank to make the deposit. This will offset their timing game, without them even realizing it. At this point I normally tell them that the bank placed a hold on the check due to the amount; however, they did allow me to withdrawal $200.00 on the held check. Banks have the option to place a hold on a deposit for multiple reasons, so telling them the bank placed a hold on the check for up to 10 days isn’t abnormal and the amount may very if you are allowed to withdraw on the amount at all. In my case I continue the game and tell them I can get the $200.00. In the case of someone who isn’t sure if the situation is a scam or not, it doesn’t hurt to tell them your bank would not allow you to withdraw any money on the amount till the hold is lifted. Also, never tell them you can utilize your own money to cover any amount, regardless of what they tell you. Make it clear that you have to wait for the money to fully deposit prior to drawing on it as you are very limited in what is in your account (i.e. you only have $25.00 or less in the account). If it isn’t a scam, they will understand and will be willing to wait for the hold to be lifted. Besides, there is no company out there that requires their employees to utilize their own money to fund a project, especially, when you have never had a face to face interview.
At this point the Scammer sends the following email. Again a heartstring puller; however take notice how the messages become less and less formal and more urgent. Though I have gotten the message early enough to go and get the required gift card, I wait until right before I go to bed and tell them "I’m sorry, but I got the message late and the stores that sell these cards are closed and I don’t have the ability to buy them online." The key thing here is this, if anyone ask you to get any type of gift card, Visa Card or to even transfer the money into a Paypal, money order, utilize Western Union or even a Fundme account. Don’t do it, this is how they get your money. Because, $200.00 is better than nothing. Plus, I am pushing their time line. Example below of this:
Yiyi Uprocessing <firstname.lastname@example.org>Aug 18 at 4:58 PM
Ok i will be needing you to get the $200 and buy itune gift card worth that amount because the matron said they need to buy some apps from the itunes account which they will be needing to educate the kids and buy some other educational tools,so please i would like you to go take care of that now so you can give me the codes and i can forward it to the matron.
Yiyi Uprocessing <email@example.com>Today at 8:07 AM
Hello XXXX, i noticed it was late for you please can you have the itunes gift card sorted out early today,because they really need it for the kids
- Yet another attempt at pulling at our heartstrings; however, it is time to start the wrap on of our scam of the Scammers. Granted, it is my point of stretching out this game as long as possible, it is still important to know when it is time to quit and move onto the next game. Sending fake information that looks as real as possible is key at this point, as it was key to the beginning of the Scammer’s scam. The Scammer knows there might be a problem or it might just be a mistake, so they will ask for pictures of the numbers on the card. It is there hope it was just a mistake on the "Marks" part and that they haven’t ran out of time.
Yiyi Uprocessing <firstname.lastname@example.org>Today at 10:47 AM
Can you take a picture of the card and send to me ,the code is wrong
Yiyi Uprocessing <email@example.com>Today at 11:07 AM
Hello xxxx pls take a picture of the card
- Granted at this point it would be smart to just end the game, but me being me I tell them that "the bank said the check bounced and ask what I should do since I can’t cover the amount of the fees or the gift card." I also tell them "I don’t want to lose the job with them", making them think I haven’t seen through the scam yet. The final message our Scammer sent, thinking there was a bit of a chance to still get the money shows how heartless these people truly are. At this point they now know their "Mark" is most likely at rock bottom, but are still willing to take their last penny.
Yiyi Uprocessing <firstname.lastname@example.org>Aug 20 at 10:45 AM
Ok i am calling the sender of the check right now,i hope they did not put a stop on the check,also send me a picture of the gift card so all this can be documented,picture showing the amount on the gift card ,the serial number and also the gift card code so all this can be sorted out
Coming to an end
As the game comes to an end it is important to understand that even though the Scammers didn’t get anything out of this scam, they are still out there looking for another target. The win comes from the knowledge that they wasted some of their money, resources and time. The time they spent playing my game is a bit of time they couldn’t run their own game on someone else.
As a final note, please report these crimes to the FBI, they love to hear about these scams and getting information on what these criminals are trying now. Granted I don’t know what they do with the information other than writing them up as a warning for other potential victims, it does help to add to their data base and hopefully cases against criminals like these scammers. The links below will aid in getting information on potential scams and also provides a way to report them.