Mail fraud has been going on for sometime now. And to some extent the fraudsters are successful. They range from a “stranded pastor” from your country in a foreign land asking for assistance to book a flight back home, unsolicited lottery winnings to having a “lawyer” inbox you telling you that you have been nominated as an heir to some unclaimed inheritance.
These are targeted to the naive internet user who goes forward to post personal details like credit card detail and relatives phone numbers. These phone numbers will be used to contact your relatives via text messages asking them to send money to a different number claiming that you are in distress. This also happens when you lose your phone, please avoid saving phone numbers of close relatives as dad or mum, they will be the first prey if you happen to lose a phone.
Here is one of the mail messages you receive:
Congratulations owner of this email address.
This mail is to notify you that your email address was selected randomly from
the 888 casino advertising automatic system generated email online promotions,
and your email address emerged as one of the online winner in Category B+.
This attracts a prize of (Eur 350,000.00). You are obliged to come to our
office for prize presentation also to start your claim notarization and
legalization processing eventually payment of your prize. It is very important
you take note that you are responsible for your prize notarization cost that
will be required by the court officials to process your prize legalization. If
you are not willing to comply to this option; please don’t reply this mail to
avoid termination of your email address. All prize must be claimed not later
than 20th of August 2010.
After this date all unclaimed payment will be returned back to the
organization as unclaimed. For more information’s, do contact our authorized
legal claim processing office via email including your Secret Reference
Contact: Mr. Pablo Gameg Ycaiar [OPERATION MANAGER]
Note: Please do not disclose your [Secret Reference Number] to any
individual/organization claiming to represent you or representing
“es.888.com>”. If you receive any e-mail or phone call from anyone requesting
you to provide your Reference Number, please report or forward any email
received to us immediately. Our Member Support Department is available 24/7 to
assist you via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations in Advance,
Mrs. Magarina Danorial
This is a random mail sent to email address harvesters go prey on the addresses collected during spam mail forwards that tell an email user to forward a certain mail to ten of their friends or something will happen to them. You will be able to tell it a scam mail if you have to email addresses with the same domain name, eg email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The email sent to both these addresses will be similar and with such nice literature that you will be tempted to respond. They usually have a warning of privacy to ensure you respond without raising any alarm. Another target is just roaming the internet looking for possible email addresses. If you respond to this email you will confirm to the sender that indeed this email address exists and they will proceed to fill it with spam mail
A previous post i had written about mobile money transfer, M-pesa fraud details on how you can lose money via mpesa tricks. Beware users. You can get regular updates via mail subscription by filling the subscribe by email form on the top right panel if you are reading this on a desktop. Have a safe day.