Email Scams

I have several email addresses including one I set up about four years ago for my home based business. I had the business for just seven short months and then I was attacked in my home so I left town. That was the end of the business and I rarely use that email address now.

I’m including a selection of some of the scam emails I have been getting but the ones that worry me the most are not here.

My email provider has a “report phishing attempt” option and, when I click it, the email is taken out of my inbox. I didn’t think to take a screen capture of them before reporting them but, when the next one from a bank I have no account with comes in, I will do so and add it to this entry.  Speak of the devil – just got a new one today so here it is.

westpac-scam.jpg

The emails that concern me most are these “phishing” emails. They come from people who are fishing for access to my bank account details and password. They appear to come from my bank and they tell me there has been suspicious activity on my account so it has been frozen or it will be frozen if I don’t get in touch straight away.

The email includes a link for me to click to sort out the problem. The link seems to take me to my banks online sign in page but, if I use that link to access my bank account online, the scammers will get the details I put into the fake page and be able to access my account.

To begin with I was getting these emails from all the Australian banks despite the fact I do not have accounts with most of them!

I deleted those emails without thinking twice. I knew they were scams because I don’t have accounts with those banks.

Over the past few years, however, the scammers seem to have gotten smarter and now they only send me emails from two banks – the one I was with when I had the business and the one I am with now!

I’m wondering if they have some kind of set-up that lets them know which emails trigger your curiosity and make you open them to have a look. That would explain why they have stopped sending me ones from other banks. I was curious to see how realistic the scammers were so I have clicked on the links in the emails purporting to be from the two banks I have dealt with to have a look.

They send me these emails on a regular basis. They send several over a few weeks then they seem to go away but they always come back and try again and, I have to say, it is a worry. The other week I used my banks online service which I don’t often do. Soon after I did it there was an new batch of emails, supposedly from my bank, saying there had been suspicious activity on my account.

My first reaction was a mild case of panic which was swiftly dealt with by reminding myself my bank does not even KNOW that email address! If they ever were to send me an email they would send it to an email address I only give out to extremely trustworthy sources such as the tax office, my bank, and my utility providers.

I don’t give out that email address to friends or family, I don’t use it to sign up for things, I don’t put it online for any reason or use it for anything else. It gets little to no emails each week and certainly none telling me there has been a security breech in my bank account!

If one of these scam emails were to find its way to THAT email address I would be at risk of doing something stupid in my panic despite my awareness of these scams!

It’s making me worry myself sick about all those people who do NOT have a secure email address for their banking and who could so easily be fooled by these scammers!

If you have ever used such a link contact your bank and CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD NOW!!!

If you ever get such an email and are worried about it DON’T USE THE LINK IN THE EMAIL! Use your usual bookmark to go to your banks official sign in page and check it out or phone them!

Your best protection, however, is to set up an email address that you only ever give out to your bank. Then, like me, you will be able to laugh off phishing attempts by saying your bank wouldn’t email you there because they don’t have that address.

Here are some other scam emails I have been getting at that email address.

UPDATE SCAM

New update to fix Windows File Errors in registry?
From: File Error Notification (Platinum_Partner_January@newvega.com)File Error Notification – Instructions To fix File Errors in your Registry:Your PC may be suffering from serious file errors in your WINDOWS registry which may be the reason why your PC is running so slow, or crashing and freezing from time to time. Also, these can lead to major system problems and possible memory leaks.

Below are instructions that will enable you to Increase Your Computer’s Speed, Power, Stability and Reliability in just a few minutes.

Press below to launch the Diagnostics Test download for no cost at all:
http://newvega.com/tr.php?43325+(my email address)

Once again, there are NO OBLIGATIONS for this FREE OFFER that includes our FREE Software, FREE Analysis, FREE Report and 24 Hour Support !

If after completing the free Diagnostic Test it is brought to your attention that your computer’s registry does contain file “errors”, then it may be in your computer’s best interest to fix the potentially harmful file errors in your registry.

Press below to launch the Diagnostics Test download now:
http://newvega.com/tr.php?43325+(my email address)

The clue here is that my PC does not run slow, does not crash and, whilst it does freeze from time to time I usually know why. Every now and then windows, for no good reason, decides to do that. It is normal windows behaviour! It isn’t fixable and it isn’t harmful.

A search of the internet revealed this company, Platinum_Partner_January@newvega.com, is known for spamming. If they are spammers then they are probably also scammers!

For the record – I have been getting a lot of other mail, including dating site invitations, from them!
LOTTERY SCAMS

Here is an example of a lottery scam. It’s easy for me to shrug off these scams because I don’t sign up to free lotteries although I have been tempted to.

This one is a particularly convincing example of the scam. It has only one flaw – the email address is a dead one – I don’t use it!

The only “software” that could have chosen the email address they sent this to is an email harvesting bot who picked it up from a site run by the company that provided my business training. They know the business has folded but they still have it listed on their website where they list all their business training graduates!

The only people who are going to harvest the internet for email addresses to send offers of huge sums of money to are scammers!

Here is the truly sad story of someone who tried to collect “Free money” in the form of a lottery prize!

Information and Payment Bureau?

From: Geneva Lotterien (londonoffice3@comcast.net) Sent: Tuesday, 26 February 2008 7:47:36 AM To:Geneva Lotterien

Head Office SwitzerlandYou have been awarded a lump sum of 1,000,000.00 (One Million EURO) in the GENEVA-LOTTERIEN Satellite Software email lottery in which e-mail addresses are picked randomly by Software powered by the internet through the worldwide website. Your email address was amongst those chosen this year for the GENEVA-LOTTERIEN Satellite lottery. And this promotional program is proudly sponsored by the GENEVA-LOTTERIEN organization.

Your email address, attached to Ref number 4 -11 – 41 – 26 – 04 – 77 with Serial number GL1065-45 drew the lucky Numbers 10, and consequently won the lottery in the “A” Category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of 1,000,000.00 (One Million EURO).

To claim your prize funds, contact our office below:

GENEVA LOTTERIEN.
Information and Payment Bureau:
London Representative Office
Help Service Contact
E-mail: geneva-london@uk2.net

FREE MONEY SCAMS

When I got this next email my first impulse was to contact them to tell them I had not gotten any money but this is just a new angle on an old scam.

If I contact them they will give me some tired old story about some government worker or dying millionaire who wants to get a huge sum of money out of the country with my help.

There will, of course, be fees I will have to pay to get my hands on all that cash. The list of fees they can think of to charge is endless and includes government charges, bank fees, transferral fees, lawyers fees, charges for signing on your behalf and so on.

The other possible scam involved here is money laundering where the scammers take other people for a ride using YOUR bank account so, when the law comes looking for the thief, YOU are the only one they can prosecute because you are the only one in the victims country!

PAYMENT HAS BEING MADE TO YOU !!!?
From: ENGR.WIILIAMS E. MATHINS. (williams.e.mathins989@gmail.com)
Sent: Friday, 22 February 2008 5:30:35 PM
Reply-to: williams.e.mathins989@gmail.com
To: (my email address)

DEAR SIR/MA,

I AM ENGR.WIILIAMS E. MATHINS, OF WINCORPS GROUPS INC.,I WANT TO NOTIFY YOU OF A PAYMENT THAT WAS MADE TO YOUR ACCOUNT BY ONE OF OUR CLIENT AND YOU SHOULD CONFIRM THE FUNDS IN YOUR ACCOUNT AND GET BACK TO ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

THE CLIENTS HAS MADE THE PAYMENT TO YOUR ACCOUNT AND YOU
SHOULD GET BACK TO ME CONFIRMING YOU HAD RECEIVED THE FUNDS IN YOUR ACCOUNT SOON.

PLEASE KINDLY RE-CONFIRM YOUR INFORMATION AS BELOW :

FULL NAMES :

ADDRESS :

PHONE NUMBER :

NOTE : YOU ARE TO DEDUCT 10% FROM THE FUNDS BEFORE SENDING THE REST BALANCE TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL LOCATED IN BENIN REPUBLIC VIA WESTERN UNION.

REGARDS,

ENGR.WIILIAMS E. MATHINS.

EMPLOYMENT SCAMS

This email hooked me for a little while because a search of the internet found there really was such a business as Shandong Binzhou Xinhui Woollen Textile Co.,Ltd. whom the scammers purported to be representing.

Further investigation into the name found more information on employment scams making it clear this email was just another scam.

Company Representative is Needed (Job Offer)?
From: Mr.Chang Young (hangzhou@texnet.com.cn)
Sent: Wednesday, 23 January 2008 5:15:17 AM
Reply-to: hangzhouchuang@yahoo.cn
To: (my email address)

Dear Sir/Madam,
I’M Mr.Chang Young, the Sales Manager of (Shandong Binzhou Xinhui Woollen Textile Co.,Ltd.), the major producer of textile and fabric material in China.

We are looking for a trustworthy representative in Australia that can help as a link between our company and our client over there.we would like to know if you are interested to work from home for us and earn $1,500 Dollars. weekly for your services.

(Shandong Binzhou Xinhui Woollen Textile Co.,Ltd.) needs a book-keeper or representative in Australia,so we want to know if you will like to work from home and get paid weekly without leaving or affecting your present job?

Our company produces various clothing materials, batiks, assorted fabrics and traditional costumes.We have clients we supply goods weekly in Australia and our clients make payments for our supplies every week in form of money orders and Bank Transfar which are not cashable here in China,so we need someone in Australia to work as our representative to assist us in processing payments from our clients and we will pay him/her weekly wage.

All you need to do is to receive this payment from our clients in Australia on behalf of our company and get it cashed at your bank then deduct your 10% and forward the balance to our company here in China.

BELOW IS A LETTER OF EMPLOYMENT FORM OF OUR COMPANY WHICH YOU HAVE TO REPLY AS SOON AS WE CONFIRM ANY PAYMENT COMING TO YOU, I WILL LET YOU KNOW AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE NECESSARY INFORMATION NEEDED FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE COMPANYS BALANCE.YOU COULD JUST FILL IT OUT THIS FORM BELOW .

APPLICATION FORM
1.Full Names______________________________
2.House Address___________________________
3.State:__________________________________
4.City:___________________________________
5.Zipcode:________________________________
6.Phone Number____________________________
7.Country_________________________________
8.Occupation______________________________
9.Age ____________________________________
10. Sex___________________________________

Thank you as we await your further response.
In Trust And Good Faith
Mr.Chang Young Sales Manager,
Shandong Binzhou Xinhui Woollen Textile Co.,Ltd
Address: 508 Bohaisan Rd., Binzhou city, Shandong province, China
8 East Guangdian Road,
Hutang Town, Wujin,
Changzhou City,
Jiangsu Province.China
Zip: 213161
Our Website: http://.en.texnet.com.cn
Telephone: 86-519-6302022

PURCHASING SCAMS

Lucky for me my business was selling a service and not goods or these scammers might have got their claws into me if I had stayed in business.

These scammers can sting you on more than one level!

If you do have goods to sell they will place a big order which they will then pay with using either a false check which your bank will clear. The cheque will always be for more than they owe you so, on getting notice the cheque has cleared, you will forward the balance to them.

A little while later your bank will realise the cheque was a forgery and they will take the money back leaving you hopelessly in debt and out of pocket for the goods you sent them as well!

If you refuse to accept a bank cheque from them they will use one or more credit cards to pay for the goods. Those credit cards will later prove to be stolen and, once again, you are left to clean up the mess!

Items Needed?
From: Martins Bill (martins_bill01@yahoo.com)
Sent: Thursday, 17 January 2008 7:06:09 AM
Reply-to: martins_bill01@yahoo.com
To: (my email address)

HELLO,

I WILL WANT YOU TO KINDLY SUPPLY ME WITH SOME ITEMS FROM YOUR COMPANY BUT BEFORE I COULD PLACE THE ORDER I WILL WANT YOU TO KINDLY ADVISE ME ON ANY OF LISTED PAYMENT MODE, (VISA, MASTERCARD OR AMEX CARD.)

THE SHIPPIMENT OF THE GOODS WILL BE ARRANGE BY MY PRIVATE SHIPPER. LET ME KNOW IF I CAN PLCE MY ORDER VIA EMAIL SO THAT I CAN ADVICE YOU WITH THE ITEM I WILL LIKE TO ORDER.THANKS

AWAITING TO READ FROM YOU.
MY REGARDS

As people become more aware of the tricks scammer use we can expect scammers to get trickier so just remember – if it seems too good to be true – it IS!

Be careful out there. Nobody can protect you from yourself and all these scammers rely on being able to tap into something in your own personal make-up.

They have no scruples. They will use your negative qualities, your positive qualities, your desperate situation and even your normal human frailties against you!

Are you greedy? They will offer you huge sums of money for no real effort on your part!

Are you dishonest? They will try to enlist your help to cheat their greedy employer or government.

Are you in financial trouble and desperate? They will try to make you think they can, and will, give you the help you need.

Are you religious? They will appeal to your desire to do Gods will and they will impersonate charities or offer to fund charitible works through you. Here is one such email.

CHARITY SCAM

Mrs. Wilhelmina Mirandy.
Avu 7 Rue 14 zone 3
Abidjan Cote D’ivoire
West Aferica.
Email:mirandywilhelmina14@yahoo.com.br,

Beloved In Christ
My greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ,

I know it will be amazing to you to receive this message from me. I am Mrs. Wilhelmina Mirandy from Paraguay. I am married to Archdeacon Johnson Mirandy whom until his death served as an Archdeacon in St Michaels Archdeaconry in Cote divoire, West Africa for 30years ,an industralist and international business man before he died early this year. We were married for 22years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for 48 hours .When my late husband was alive, he deposited the sum of (US$2,500 000.00 )Two million five hundred thousand united states dollars under suspense account in one of the famous bank here in Abidjan capital of Cote divoire for safe keeping.
I have been sick of Heart attack and extreme pulmonary dysfunction for a while as a result of the shock I sustained on hearing the death of my husband. At times, my respiratory rates can be so high and/or work of breathing so great that I am unable to speak in complete sentences. If this occurs, the fewer words per breath, the worse the problem! The major elements of the cardiac exam observation, palpation and, most importantly, auscultation (percussion is omitted). As with all other areas of the physical exam, establishing adequate exposure and a quiet environment are critical. Initially, I should rest supine with the upper body elevated 30 to 45 degrees.

Having sustained heavy pains I know a tragedy was impending. I later went into full cardic arrest.My heart started beating very rapidly and erractically and then it stopped,I was actaully clinically dead, but somehow survived of my long stay in the hospital.I was frighten by many of the test especially when they doctors tried to make my heart fibrillate and stop, as it has done originally.The illness set me for strife to my neigbours and keep deriding me as they pleased.

Observation: Assessment for distention of the right Internal Jugular vein (IJ) is a difficult skill. Its importance lies in the fact that the IJ is in straight-line communication with the right atrium. The IJ can therefore function as a manometer, with distention indicating elevation of Central Venous Pressure (CVP). This in turn is an important marker of intravascular volume status and related cardiac function. The focus here is on simply determining whether or not Jugular Venous Distention (JVD) is present. A discussion of the a, c and v waves that make up the jugular venous pulsations can be found elsewhere.These are quite difficult to detect for even the most seasoned physician. Why is JVD so hard to assess? The IJ lies deep to skin and soft tissues, which can provide quite a bit of cover. Additionally, this blood vessel is under much lower pressure then the adjacent, pulsating carotid artery. It therefore takes a sharp eye to identify the relatively weak, transmitted venous impulses. A few things to remember.

Presently, my doctor confirmed that I have serious sickness and my chances or survival is too remote. Doctors still had reservations about my medical prognosis, a hospital statement said. Doctors have also declined to say whether my current state is related to the hypertiasis I have been fighting for more than a decade.Haven known my situation, I decided to give out this fund as a donation to you in your country. I want this fund to be used for Orphanages, helping the widows, organization that is required to use the money to serve children in local region, organizations that do provide surgery for patients needing cleft palate and lip surgeries. Apart of my vision is to build homes for single parents, a domestic violence refuge centre, an academic institution and churches. I am enlightened that I have chosen you to inherit my funds. Thank you for allowing God to touch your heart.

As I said, you might be amazed, simply because God gave me a vision and direction through Ramah revelation to give out this funds to you for use that I had tentatively addressed the very issues that I raise in my message. I had been praying about this for weeks now, because God have given me the vision, by the direction of the Holy Spirit to commit my funds for these purpose. I have no doubt that the kingdom of God will advance and my generosity will bring relief to so many who are in dire need. My happiness is that I have lived a live of a worthy Christian. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.�EBE KIND. EVERYONE YOU MEET IS FIGHTING SOME KIND OF BATTLE.’
Your sister,
Mrs.Wilhelmina Mirandy.

Are you human? They will try to trigger panic in you by telling you someone might have already infiltrated your bank account and be stealing from you right this minute.

All these emails have gone to an email address that I don’t use for any part of my current life so I should have had no problem ignoring them. Most of them I have deleted without thinking twice but some of them have had very strong hooks which, under different circumstances, I might have fallen for.

I really thought I was invulnerable to scammers but some of those emails have taught me I must never relax my guard. The scammers are changing old scams and coming up with new ones to keep ahead of us as we learn to avoid falling for their current tricks.

Take care – beware!

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