How many will answer?

DATE: Nov 20

TITLE: How many will answer?

I found the following in the spam folder of one of my email accounts earlier tonight.

From: ING BANK OF TURKEY
Reply To: mrsel@ya

Dear Friend,

I got your e-mail address contact through your country’s Information exchange online while browsing and after that, I decided to contact you to ask for your assistance in this urgent matter that requires trust, confidentiality because you might receive this message in your inbox, Junk/Spam folder.

My name is Mr. Selim the senior Manager of ING Bank Turkey, Acibadem Branch of Istanbul Turkey (IBT) European Banking Corporation Limited Europe. I am a 55 years old man, married with three children. I have a very urgent, confidential, and profitable business for both of us Valued at (Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). This fund is an excess of what my branch in which I am the senior manager made as profit last year. I have already submitted an approved End of the Year 2020 report to our Head Office, and they will never know of this Excess. I have since then placed this amount of (Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) on a SUSPENSE SECURITY without a beneficiary. As a Senior Manager of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am impelled to request your assistance to receive this money as the beneficiary of the funds.

If we could do this together, we shall share these funds 50/50 between us accordingly and this transaction is 100% risk-free, as no-risk involved during or after this transaction. All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund, also to keep this deal confidential between us. If you’re interested, kindly write back for more information, while I shall explain more in detail as soon as I receive a response from you.

Thanks for your kind understanding! Awaiting your response,

Mr.Selim

The Senior Manager of ING Bank Turkey,
Acibadem Branch of Istanbul Turkey (IBT)
Bulgurlu Mahallesi Acibadem Caddesi No: 156 34660 skdar / Istanbul

Okay now, let’s tear this apart. The first sign this is not real is that it wasn’t sent to me specifically. In fact, there is no addressee shown at all. Second, although it purports to be from ING Bank in Turkey, the actual email address was a gmail account. I highly doubt the ING Bank in Turkey, a subsidiary of the Dutch multinational ING, would use gmail as their default email. Next, the “reply to” address is “yandex”, which a quick Google search tells me is a Russian search engine among other things.

$25,500,000 is a lot of money in any currency and the proposed 50/50 “split” would mean I’d stand to receive $12,750,000 US,( $16,060,000 CAD at the present exchange rate) if this were in fact legitimate. That itself may entice people to respond.

If I were to respond – I’m crazy, but not stupid, so I won’t – I’d probably be asked to provide various bits of personal information, including my bank account numbers. The result of my gullibility would be to give them access to my account and my huge balance of about $3.84 cents. Of course they would assure me they only wanted the banking information so they could transfer the money to me, but in actuality, they’d just drain my money.

Then there are the legal problems. Most banks are required by law to report any deposit over $10,000 to the government. So, unless I could prove I won the money in a lottery, I’d be answering a lot of questions from federal investigators.

Oh yes, and the personal details “I am a 55 years old man, married with three children.” is a nice but unnecessary touch. I suppose it’s supposed to make me feel all warm and fuzzy and more willing to listen. Well, Selim, I’m a 77 year old grandmother with a healthy streak of cynicism.

If you should receive this email, or any email like this, just delete it. Not every scam artist is a Nigerian Prince, some are Turkish bankers.

Stay safe and remember to give an artist a virtual, socially distanced hug – we need love too.

Cat.

Someone’s trying again

DATE: Nov 23

TITLE: Someone’s trying again

On December 6, 2019 I published blog called “Sorry Sarge, not happening” about an email I received purporting to be from New South Wales Australia. The sender claimed to be a Sgt Monica L Brown and she had a proposal for me. Oh, what the heck. Here’s the blog. It’s a short one.

DATE: Dec 6

TITLE: Sorry Sarge, not happening

I received the following email this morning. I’ve removed the email address to keep me in WordPress’s good graces.

Griffin, Christine Cgriffin

I am Sgt Monica L Brown I have a proposal for you! Please send me a reply on my personal Email:

slinbrown975

Rather cryptic and designed to instill curiosity in the reader isn’t it? Let’s look at it.

I am Sgt Monica L Brown Good for you. Are you in the army? Air Force, or the local police or some other paramilitary organisation that uses military ranking? Just telling me your rank doesn’t tell me anything useful.

I have a proposal for you! Really!! And what might that be? Do you have several millions in unclaimed funds you want me to help you smuggle out of the country for a cut of said money?

The extension on the sender’s email was “begavalley.nsw.gov.au”, which I translate to mean this was sent by, or on behalf, of the government of the shire of Bega Valley in New South Wales, Australia. A quick Google search shows this area is also known as “the Sapphire Coast” and it appears to be a tourist destination.

I have to ask myself why the government of a tourist area on the west coast of Australia would be contacting a 75 year-old woman in Canada with a proposal? The only thing that comes to mind is that the website has been hacked and this is in fact a scam. Having these suspicions, I have forwarded this to the Bega Valley Council for investigation.

As mysterious and inviting as this may sound, I strongly recommend you do NOT respond to Sargent Monica L Brown.

On the plus side, for a change it is well-written.

Cat.

So why am I talking about an eleven month old blog that had a total of six views over that period of time? (And yes, admitting that count hurts.) Because yesterday, November 22, the view count ballooned to 32. Readers were mainly from Mexico on down through South America. This sudden interest in the blog, plus the locations of the readers leads me to the conclusion that whoever sent that email using the name Sgt Monica L Brown is trying it again, targeting South America this time. As I wrote almost a year ago, if you get this do NOT respond to the Sarge.

In this time of pandemic I urge you all to stay safe and while you can’t hug an artist right now, think positive thoughts about us, we still need love.

Cat.

Of course it’s true

This morning I found the following email in a spam folder for an email account I rarely use. I removed part of the email address to keep me out of WordPress’s bad books again.

Officefile2001

Greeting!
This is Mr. Chad F. Wolf, the current Secretary of Homeland Security.
During my routine checks on our warehouse yesterday we discovered a cargo box, while scanning the box our cash tracking machine has detected that the content of the Box the diplomat was delivering to you is cash worth $ 8.5 million.
The diplomat who arrived with the box made several attempts to reach you. All the efforts he made were abortive so he decided to leave the box and travel back to his country, so if you are interested in receiving this fund back then get back to me now with your full information for the delivery.
Copy this email and reply me now only officefileua
REPLY ON THIS EMAIL ONLY >> officefileua
My regards
Chad F. Wolf

Well, to give this person, whoever they really are, their due, the got the name of the acting Homeland Security Secretary correct. But that’s about all.

If I were in the United States and completely braindead I could probably convince myself that some unnamed diplomat from some unknown country really was sending me eight and a half million dollars. I could really believe this unknown person honestly wanted me to have all this cash, although I don’t recall any conversations of any kind regarding this transaction. But, if Homeland Security says they have all this money for me, who am I to argue? After all they are the government. So, of course it’s true.

Okay, enough sarcasm. Time to take this apart. First, it was sent to the email address I use on that account, which is much better than the usual “undisclosed recipients”. I suppose they (the mysterious “they”) feel it will have more impact if it’s a personal message rather than a shotgun approach. But, unlike email providers such as gmail, which could be anywhere, this is a specifically Canadian provider and most subscribers are in western Canada. So right there, if I’m getting a message from Homeland Security, I’m automatically suspicious since I’m not in the US. And think about this: If Homeland could find my email address to notify me, why couldn’t this unknown diplomat have done the same?

I’m not really sure how this works, but I think that the diplomatic corps of any country isn’t just going to abandon 8.5 million. That kind of money isn’t exactly chump change, no matter what country you’re in. I would also think that once the money is abandoned, it ceases to be covered by any treaties covering diplomatic immunity. That being the case, I know there are Customs requirements that all currency must be declared and failure to do so could result in either confiscation or a hefty fine.

I suspect that if anyone were to fall for this and contact this Chad Wolf they’d be told that if they want this money, they will have to pay this fine, plus processing fees and storage charges. In other words, the only parties to make any money from this transaction would be those running the scam.

If you receive something like this, don’t go buy a Bugatti. Do the sensible thing and just delete the message. While using the name of a known government agency and it’s current head may seem to give it a legitimate feel, it really is just intended to separate you from your hard-earned money.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love (and social distancing) too.

Cat.

I won again!

I received the following in my inbox a couple of hours ago:

CNN’s Good Stuff

14:05 (2 hours ago)

Congratulations, You Have Been Selected To Get A $360 Cvs Pharmacy GiftCard,
In Order To Take Your Gift Card All You Have To Do Is Just Answering A
Short Survey About Your Shopping Experiences At Cvs

I’ve removed the email address and links to keep me out of trouble with WordPress (it’s happened before).

The problem with this email is first, I doubt CNN operates that way and perhaps the biggest problem of all is we don’t have CVS in Canada. Also, and not to sound greedy, by $360 sounds like an odd amount.

If you receive this email, be aware the actual sender’s address is a gmail address, not from CNN.

My advice is that if you get this email, just delete it, or do what I did and send a copy to CNN.

Take care and stay healthy,

Cat.

Sorry Sarge, not happening

I received the following email this morning. I’ve removed the email address to keep me in WordPress’s good graces.

Griffin, Christine Cgriffin

I am Sgt Monica L Brown I have a proposal for you! Please send me a reply on my personal Email:

slinbrown975

Rather cryptic and designed to instill curiosity in the reader isn’t it? Let’s look at it.

I am Sgt Monica L Brown Good for you. Are you in the army? Air Force, or the local police or some other paramilitary organisation that uses military ranking? Just telling me your rank doesn’t tell me anything useful.

I have a proposal for you! Really!! And what might that be? Do you have several millions in unclaimed funds you want me to help you smuggle out of the country for a cut of said money?

The extension on the sender’s email was “begavalley.nsw.gov.au”, which I translate to mean this was sent by, or on behalf, of the government of the shire of Bega Valley in New South Wales, Australia. A quick Google search shows this area is also known as “the Sapphire Coast” and it appears to be a tourist destination.

I have to ask myself why the government of a tourist area on the west coast of Australia would be contacting a 75 year-old woman in Canada with a proposal? The only thing that comes to mind is that the website has been hacked and this is in fact a scam. Having these suspicions, I have forwarded this to the Bega Valley Council for investigation.

As mysterious and inviting as this may sound, I strongly recommend you do NOT respond to Sargent Monica L Brown.

On the plus side, for a change it is well-written.

Cat.

Consider all you like, you’re still wrong

I found this in the inbox of an email address I rarely use:

AMAZON

Dear Ghoward, Congratulations!
Because we consider you as one of our customer, we’d like to informe you that your rank on our clients list qualified you to get a spcecial FREE REWARD.
Click below to start

Start

This offer is limited*

If the English and spelling weren’t enough warning this is a phishing expedition, there are a couple of other things about this that scream “FAKE!” to me. First, I’ve never purchased anything from or through Amazon, so I couldn’t be a customer.

Second, it has been my experience that when (or if) you open an online account anywhere, you provide your full name, not just an initial. Therefore, any offers directly specifically to you would have your name and possibly other identifying details, not just the first part of your email address.

Next, I don’t use this email address much any longer as I changed my name about two years ago and set up an email account under my new name elsewhere. I couldn’t change the name on this one as it was originally set up for me by my son when he worked for the service provider.

Sorry Amazon or whoever is trying to run this scam, you can consider me “one of your customer” all you like, you’re still wrong and I’m not clicking on that “start” link.

If you receive this, even if you use Amazon religiously, check the little things like spelling, sentence construction and where the email is from. As I said, I didn’t click on the link, but I suspect it would have asked for details of my (nonexistent) Amazon account. Once they had that, they could run up my bill easily and probably very quickly.

DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT, ever click on suspicious links like this. Your bank account will thank you.

I wish all my followers and readers a very happy and safe 2019 and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.