Old Wine In New Bottle:
With the steady progress of mankind comes newer forms of crimes and ingenious methods of duping unwary net-users through e-mail announcements about Prize Winning Lotteries and huge windfalls. Usually it is the old Conman upto his new tricks, using the platform of Cybercrime, adapting New Age Technologies to the utmost limits. Well, its time you honed up your Alert Systems so that you don’t fall easy prey to such Net Fraudsters.
Every week I am bombarded with news of strange windfalls and bounties, bequeathed by unknown people from strange lands like Ivory Coast (usually) and Malaysia. Then of course, there are the twice a week Lotteries making me the First Prize winner, always. Recently I won 750-Thousand UK-Pounds from a popular e-mail company, Wahoo Lottery (name changed). Along with Personal Details they normally go gunning for the Bank Details and Credit Card particulars. They are highly proficient in using sugar-coated pills to get inside your systems. Till date I have been bequeathed Billions of US$ and UK-Pounds by that suffering woman Cancer patient/ Orphaned teenaged girl/ retired Business Tycoon/ Doughty Dowager of Oil Magnate and so on. Some want me to invest it all mostly for Charity while keeping 30 % for my noble efforts, while others want me to negotiate with their Attorneys and Barristers for the eventual cuts. The dowager wanted me to aid noble Christians as her Chosen One, while the Orphan wanted me to manage her Education till she became 21, sharing the interest proceeds from her late father’s Blue Chip Investments.
Safe Modus Operandi:
Usually I delete all such mails without even opening it for fear of some Trojan Worm/ Virus affecting my PC although I am well protected by Anti-Virus Software. At times I go through the sob-story to see what new yarns they are spinning to trap innocents, then I delete them. Most of these Net Lotteries use fake names of reputed Websites and e-mail companies like MSN, Google, Yahoo, Hotmail etc. Some use the Brand Names of reputed Mobile Phones to trap the unwary. Names of ex-American Presidents, Film Celebrities and British Royalty also feature amongst these scams. Don’t get duped, simply delete before you jump into their gossamer webs.
The other day I was surprised to receive one SMS on my Mobile at 2.00AM, stating that I have won US$-1,000,000, mentioning a contact e-mail address. The very next morning I received an e-mail saying I have won 750-Thousand UK-Pound Sterling from Wahoo Lottery, giving Reference Number and Y-Grotto (name changed) Winning Numbers! They advised me to contact with personal details, particularly Bank Account etc. Somehow I got confused, mistaking that the Mobile SMS and e-mail were from the same source. I replied to them mentioning my name etc., and asked for their bona-fide authentification before I could reveal my Bank data. As expected I was greeted with silence. When I checked the Mobile SMS, I found it to be different and so I contacted the given e-mail address, claiming my Prize. Whoa! there came a Big Letter mentioning that none other than ex-US Prez, Kill Blinton (name changed) was associated with the Fund under the “umbrella” (sic) of US-Government and that the money was kept with a UK-Bank, Hat-West (name changed) for mailing it to me. The prize was won by my Lucky Mobile Number in a Worldwide Mobile Raffle. Oh, how Cute, my Mobile Number, that is. They only asked for my name, address, age, phone number etc., and I despatched it immediately to the remittance-officer as no Bank details were asked for. The amount was to be released within 72-hours, said the Bold Type.
Twist In The Tale:
After my response went, came a Bigger Letter. The 1,000,000-US-UK-Dollars (New Currency approved by Net Fraudsters) will be desptached in Diplomatic Bag through a US-UK Diplomat (new level Diplomats), using Diplomatic Channels and will land at either Delhi Airport or Mumbai Airport. It is to be then cleared by paying Rs.45,000/- as Duty, otherwise the Packet will cause a “Security Problem” at the Airport (will explode?). I had to re-confirm Personal Particulars already given, and ask for clarifications, if required. This set me wondering if the e-mail message and Mobile SMS came from the same fraudster, so that if one failed the other could succeed. I shot off a reply stating that I was Not Interested in buying a Prize for a Price! and that the matter stood cancelled ab initio.
I have followed up the matter, reporting the same to our City Cybercrime Branch so that they could warn unsuspecting Net users about this new modus operandi of Net fraudsters. I trust that this article will be helpful to Bukisa Readers and help them to stay clear off from such booby-traps on the Net. If you enjoy surfing the Net, go ahead, but be a lttle alert. Warning: Never, repeat, never reveal your Bank references, and it is better to avoid such Net Fraudsters.