- Internet & the Web
VICTIM OF ONLINE INTERNET FRAUD
WHAT HAPPENED WITH MY INTERNET SCAM
I recently became yet another victim on probably a long list of ONLINE INTERNET SCAMS. A few months ago, I received an e mail ( which I now know was in fact, an attempt at e mail fraud) from Freelotto. It said that I had won a large sum of money and would I please send them the information that they had requested below in their e mail. There was no mention of giving bank details on this e mail. I ignored this first e mail fraud letter. Then, I received another one only this time it said to open up as it was URGENT. This time I thought, as I was already a subscriber to Freelotto, maybe it was legitimate and I should respond to it. I therefore wrote back to the people who sent this e mail giving them the information they had asked for. To my surprise, I did receive a reply, but it wasn't telling me that they were indeed sending me the money that I had won. They were in fact, telling me that I had to send money for freight charges in order to receive the package that had my cheque inside
I wanted to believe with all my heart this this was as they had said in their e mail fraud letter, is both legitimate and real. I had heard of money scams, and credit card fraud, but I didn't have a credit card at the moment, so there was no problem there. I again considered the prospect of winning all this money, this would be the ultimate wealth package, well and truly. I bit the bullet and sent the freight.
NOTICE TO STOP DELIVERY
The following morning in my e mails I found an e mail from "Inland Revenue" London, informing me that they had stopped the delivery of my package due to the fact that there had not been any tax paid on this package. Then, the company that had sent me the previous internet fraud letter, also told me of this event. I immediately smelt a rat and sent another e mail to them expressing that they had lied to me, and this was indeed not legitimate, but an attempt at internet fraud, trying to extort money from me under false pretences. They responded again by saying no this is not a money scam or internet fraud, but a real and legitimate win in Freelotto's Daily Lottery, and I would thank them for talking me into it. If I did not claim this win within one week of this e mail being sent, it would be sent back to Freelotto's Office as unclaimed winnings. As further proof that this was legitimate and not an internet scam, he sent a scanned picture of a page of his Passport and a picture of himself sitting on his car.
I immediately did some checking to find out from the Inland Revenue Office if they were aware of this and to my disappointment I was informed by them that this indeed, sounded like a case of "PHISHING" (another word for online internet fraud) and that it would be advisable to leave it well alone.They advised me to make a scam report and not to give any personal details away, in case of any threat of identity theft of credit card fraud. However, my gut instinct was still telling me that it was for real and it was legitimate, so I went for it.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
Richard and I were starting to feel pretting excited by now, as we believed my package, with a cheque was finally on its way because we had done everything that had been required of us to do. However, as it turned out, this could not have been further from the truth. In fact, what happend next sent us in such a downward spiral, I FELT LIKE MRS. GULLABILITY OF THE YEAR 2009.
BOY WAS I SUCKED IN BIG TIME
Instead of getting the much anticipated package, I received yet another e mail from him which read, and I quote "Top of the day to you Pam, How are you today." He then went on to say what ended up being the most distressing news yet. He informed me that two of his delivery men had been detained at British Customs, where my package had been searched by Customs Officers. They had discovered that the package had vital documents with a large cheque. They said that due to the high content inside that it had to be duly stamped with a FIRST CLASS BRITISH STAMP DUTY, which would ensure me getting my package without any further stress or stoppage. The total cost of this was going to be, and this was the most startling news of all, "5,300.00" To say that I was surprised would be an understatement. He also said that it was to my own benefit to try and pay this money as soon as possible as the delivery men were waiting for confirmation from him and as soon as I had paid this, it would be picked up and sent to the British Customs Officers and the package would be stamped. He said to let him know when I was ready to make payment and he would let me know where I had to send the money to.
LAST ATTEMPT TO KEEP ME ON THE LINE
When I didn't respond to his last request for the stamp duty money, in his last attempt to get me to agree to pay this last and large amount of money,he sent me an e mail with the following information. He told me that his wife had given birth to a daughter on Friday and that he had spent so much money buying things for her, otherwise he would have helped me to pay for this stamp fee. He promised that there was nothing more to pay, but if by some accident, there did happen to be some other payment, then he would and I quote 'SELL MY CAR TO PAY THE FEE ON YOUR BEHALF, IF I DON'T HAVE THE CASH WITH ME'. I KNOW IT IS GOING TO BE HARD TO CONVINCE RICHARD TO PAY, JUST TRY ON YOUR OWN IF POSSIBLE TO HAVE THIS DONE AS POSSIBLE FASTER.' I could not believe what he was asking me to do. Here he had been trying to convince me that he was an honest and sincere person that I should believe that this this was legitimate and not a money scam, now he wanted me to go behind my husband's back. This showed me that he was indeed starting to get desperate for his money and all for the wrong reasons. However, he wasn't aware that I was now sure that this was not legitimate and indeed an attempt at an online internet scam, yes it was a real case of phishing.
WHERE THINGS ARE NOW
I have finally seen the light and also found out in my investigations that:
- British Customs Officers don't charge stamp duty on articles or packages, only on property and land.
- They don't stop delivery men at the airport
- Inland Revenue Office does not send out e mail letters requesting payment of tax, they would only sent a letter
I have kept all the emails both incoming and outgoing connected with this scam. I have also taken copies and given them to our local Police , who in turn are going to be in touch with their Fraud Squad. I am hoping that they will be able track down these conniving men and make them pay for what they have put me and my husband through. They have tormented me to the point of mental exhaustion,by preventing me from sleeping just about every night since this first started. I am also physically sick from my illness and the stress of this has exacerbated my depressive state, so much that I have had to see my Psychiatrist on more occasions than usual. He has also had to change m medication to help me cope with the ever mounting stress that has come with going through such a traumatic and life changing experience.
WARNING TO FREELOTTO SUBSCRIBERS
If you subscribe to Freelotto, please take notice of this hub, as I have written this with the intent of scaring people like you and others, away from getting sucked in liked I have. I know that what I did was silly, but please let this be an example to all of you and make sure that you have all the facts and are absolutely sure and without any doubt in your mind at all, that what you are being told is a legitimate deal and not JUST A SCAMMER OUT TO GET YOU. I don't say these words lightly as I would hate to see what has happened to me happen to anyone else. Please be very careful
BE ON THE ALERT FOR ONLINE INTERNET FRAUD OF E MAIL FRAUD
I WOULD HATE TO SEE SOMEONE TAKEN IN LIKE ME, HOOK, LINE AND SINKER.