Saturday, October 06, 2007

Seriously. Does ANYONE fall for these?

Like the rest of you out there in Blogland, I get an awful lot of spam. I also get an inordinate number of scam emails.

Well, this morning, this little gem dropped into my inbox:

From:MS Linda Moore
Director, Foreign Operations
Atm Card Department

Honourable Customers ,
Account normalization of your banking details has been delayed by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Financial Services Authority. This has made it necessary for your payment to be programmed in to HSBC Corporate Visa Card.

Barclays Bank of London with HSBC Newyork has concluded to issue you a CORPORATE VISA CARD where your payment will be uploaded. This will now enable you either download your payment at any ATM Machine .
If you have any question or confused about this write me immediately so that I will direct you properly for details, confirm your private phone number so that I can as well call you. The Visa Card Application Form will be faxed to you as soon as you confirm your fax number.
MS Linda Moore.
Head of Foreign Operations
Atm Card Dept.
TELE+447 045726107 FAX: +44 8704791443

Let's look at this shall we?

First of all, I'm not even sure Barclay's bank has a 'Foreign Operations' department. If they do, I'm pretty sure it's not called the 'foreign operations' department.

Secondly, absolutely huge giveaway, a Barclay's employee using a Yahoo address? Obviously they think by using a address, I'm going to assume that they're British.

So we already know it's a complete and total scam before we even get to the actual message. If you want to get subtle about it, we don't even call ATM cards 'ATM' cards in England.


We already know you're a scumbag scam-artist (and a particularly bad one) before we even read your pitch. Way to go! You've succeeded in finding a while new level of failure.

Anyway, on to the message.

Ah, you see? First line. "Honorable Customers".

What we have here is a case of a dirty scamster sending out emails in bulk...and totally forgetting that each recipient is supposed to believe that they're the only ones who got this particular email.

Secondly, (and I'll have to post some at some point in the future), it seems to be the habit of these scammers to fill their emails with flowery language that a real banker/lawyer/whatever would never use. When was the last time you opened up a letter from your bank and found it addressed to 'Honorable customer'?

In all seriousness, I've been emailed documents from scammers that are full of clipart, wordart clashing colors and printed-on 'seals'. They look like a 5 year old's art project...after a clown threw up on it.

Anyway, Quadruple fail, and we haven't got past the greeting yet.

So first paragraph. This is supposedly coming from a British Bank. Well, I suppose it could be from a British bank...but only if they've chosen someone who doesn't speak English. Perhaps someone who knows grammar exists but has no idea how to use it.

Even the scam is terrible. I know that this has happened to me just a million times. Don't you just hate it when a payment is delayed, so the bank 'programs it into corporate card'?

The payment's delayed, so they'll give you a corporate credit card with the balance on that.

Not a check, that's too much bother. Not a credit to your account, that's just silly talk. They'll 'program' it into a corporate credit card.


Next paragraph, they've not only programmed your payment into a CORPORATE VISA CARD, they're uploaded it as well. It will also enable me to 'either' download my payment at any ATM machine.

So, they've implied another option they haven't told me about (classic scam mistake, they're removing and adding options to pre-written boilerplate scam letters when they don't know what half the words mean)...and not only that, they've programmed and uploaded my payment, and now I can download it from any ATM!

I know I got to the ATM all the time to download money. Or go to the bank to see if a check has uploaded yet.

So they've got the terminology wrong, and fucked up the letter even more! That's two which means:


On to the third paragraph.

This is great. Yet more really bad grammar, and the classic element that just screams "I'M A SCAM E-MAIL!"...the fax number. Yep, Yahoo email addresses can be traced, so they change them often. Faxes are much harder to trace...but we're meant to believe that a major British bank (that contacted me through email), can't email or snail-mail me an application...they have to fax it.

Yep, a bank will deal with a customer only through an obsolete device that almost no private residences have.


So let's see... Here's the scam. I'm supposed to be amazing and intrigued that I have money I didn't know about. I call that number or email back and get some cock and bull story about a dead relative or some fund that's going to give me some major cash. So I fill out that application and send my social security number, name and address to some random dude who's going to either sell that info or steal my identity. They'll probably ask for my existing bank information as well.

Well, just in case it was legit, and the person sending the email was drunk off their ass, on their first day and has absolutely no basic knowledge of the banking system...Oh, and forgot to log out of their Yahoo account before sending me this very important email, I did a quick IP lookup.

Yep, this email from a British Bank in Britain actually originated in an Internet Cafe in Accra Ghana...the 419 scam capital of the world.

Anyway, I'm seriously thinking of stringing this dude along...anyone interesting in reading the email exchanges if I do?


OzzyC said...

The employee's name doesn't match any corporate email standard for naming conventions either.

Bridget said...

Of course we would be interested in reading the email exchanges. Either post them here *deletes all other options*

Officially signed,
Bridget, S.L. Junkie
Director of all ATM download operations of non-existent yet real banks

Snoskred said...

Seriously yes, people do fall for these.

If you're going to string him along make sure you use a safe email account like gmail which hides your IP address, and completely false information. These people are criminals and have killed scam victims in the past.

Check out sites like and for scam baiting. ;)


Marie said...

A girl I work with got one of those "You've won the UK Lottery of..." and when it asked her to respond with her info and bank details she did! Faxed them right to him. I couldn't believe it. Nothings happened so far though.