Look at this real letter sent to me that is simply asking me for a mere $35 in order to receive 4.5 million dollars. Little risk for me right? Wrong!
First read this and see how many signs you can find that the email is NOT authentic.
Sender: “Western Union Office” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Happy new year 2013.
We have sent to you several mail regarding your fund $4.500,000.00, please confirm to us if you got our mail and update us immediately with the fee that holding you to receive your fund, it was $35.00 only, and you will receive your fund within 3hours the same day you send the $35,00 no more delay.
We are waiting for your payment $35.00 on your reply mail, and same time you shall receive your fund within 3hours after you send the $35.00, below is our receiver detail:
Receiver Name :::::::: Edwin Obalimu
Country :::::::: Benin Republic
City :::::::: Cotonou
Question :::::::: what color
Answer :::::::: Blue
Amount :::::::: $35.00
Sender’s name ::::::::
As soon as we confirm the payment of $35.00 today we shall send your pick up information the same day you send the $35.00.
Mr. Eugine Nwalieji
Foreign Operation Manager
- · Let’s first look at the sender’s email address. The sender is using Gmail but is allegedly emailing me from the Western Union office in the Benin Republic. I know times are tough but a big international company can surely afford a corporate email address and use a WesternUnion.com domain. Not a Gmail account.
- · Look at the grammar, spacing and choice of words. All look like a grade school kid threw this together.
- · Why am I asked to pay $35 when they are allegedly sending me $4.5 million? Does that make sense?
- · Who is sending me money? Am I just blessed to have some African relative who I don’t know who wants to send me $4.5 million? Why an even denomination like that? What did I do to deserve this? Plenty but still I don’t have any known relatives or friends in Africa who have that kind of bling!
- · What is the harm of sending a measly $35? Here is what would happen once you send the money:
o You wire funds to the scammer.
o He gets the $35 via Western Union.
o He then wants to wire the $4.5 million in funds directly to your bank.
o He asks for your bank account information in order to do the transfer.
o You supply him with the bank name, your name, address, account number and bank routing number.
o He then begins to reproduce fake checks with your name, address and account information.
o He starts to cash these produced checks for whatever you have in the bank until he starts bouncing checks.
o End result, your bank account is drained and you will never be able to recover the funds. Trust me when I say you will unlikely be able to find these guys. And even if you are lucky enough to find them, the money will be long gone.
So what do you do about these emails? You have two choices. Either report them as spam or hit the delete button. You can report them to the FBI however my experience is that they are not focused on this type of crime. Even if they do look into it, they are saturated with emails like this and probably receive the same emails themselves. These crooks are not smart but they work on the percentage basis. They know that like fishing, if they through the hook out enough times, they may hit someone who is vulnerable to this kind of scam.