Off topic: New Conman Tactics - BEWARE!
Thread poster: Sarah Downing

Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:14
German to English
+ ...
Sep 8, 2004

I'm not sure what forum to put this topic in, which is why I've chosen off-topic.

I just wanted to alert everyone to some new email fraud tactics of which I was previously unaware ...

A week or so ago, I got the following email from someone pretending to be the "support" for my website. The email contained an attachment which you can bet contained a virus, but it kind of scared me (although obviously a con - I mean purlease - I know my email addresses and I also know that there is no aardwolf support team except for yours truly!!), because it shows that a lot of people are now resorting to more personal tactics rather than sending those mass mails that you can recognise at a glance:

Dear user of,

We warn you about some attacks on your e-mail account. Your computer may contain viruses, in order to keep your computer and e-mail account safe, please, follow the instructions.

For further details see the attach.

For security purposes the attached file is password protected. Password is "85566".

The team

Today I got another mail, which frightened me just as much. I knew about the Nigerian conmen thing, so I recognised it straight away. This time, the mail was once again personally tailored - i.e. some bloke pretending to be a lawyer who is looking for the next of kin - The particularly scary thing is that he got my address from proz, so beware! (it's a bloody cheek and, in my opinion, pretty vicious - also, it would have seemed more convincing if the guy - supposedly a lawyer - had actually learnt to spell!!):

You have been sent a message via your page.
Author: peter ibusa
[NOTE: The author is not a member or was not logged in when sending this message.] Author's IP address: Message type: Miscellaneous

Dear Downing,

I am Barrister Peter Ibusa Solicitor. I am the Personal Attorney to Mr.A.Downing, a national of your country, who used to work with shell development company in Nigeria.On the 2nd of may 1999, my client, his wife And their three children were involved in a car accident along Sagbama Express Road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost there lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his relatives over the Internet, to locate any member of his family but of no avail, hence I contacted you.I have contacted you to assist in repartrating the money that belong to my client before they get confisicated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposits were lodged.Particularly, the Bank where the deceased had an account valued at about $27million dollars has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confisicated within the next ten official working days.

since i have been unsuccesfull in locating the the relatives for over 3 years now I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since you are from the same country and bear the same last name ,so that the proceeds of this account valued at $27million dollars can be paid to you and then you and me can share the money. 55% to me and 40% to you,while 5% should be for expenses or tax as your government may require, I have the ertificate of deposit that can be used to back up any claim we may make. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this dealt through.I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.Please get in touch with me by my email to enable us discuss further.


Best regards,

Esq:Peter Ibusa.

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I would also be interested in hearing if anyone has received any similar mails because this is the first time that I've received personally tailored fraud mails.

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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:14
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
Same scam, Sarah! Sep 8, 2004

Hi Sarah,
It looks like we received the scam at the same time... and posted a forum at the same time too!
The one I received is IDENTICAL, except that the poor "deceased" family is named Bolton.
There MUST be a way to stop this using from logging onto Proz at all!

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Andrei Albu  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:14
English to Romanian
+ ...
This is not news to me Sep 8, 2004

Dear Sarah,

I have been receiving such personally tailored e-mails for a long time. At first, they got me upset, but then I got used to receiving them. The only action one can take - besides blocking the senders - is just delete.


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Local time: 08:14
French to English
+ ...
even more insidious Sep 8, 2004

Apart from the tons of personalised scams I seem to receive EACH DAY (but then I am in contact with people all over the world), the other day I had a particularly insidious message purporting to be from Microsoft (whose operating systems I use, like almost everybody out there!) and telling me to click on it to eliminate a virus it had detected in my system. Given that I have firewalls all over the place and virus detectors at several levels, I found that strange. Fortunately, an IT expert was around and he told me not to touch the thing with a five-foot bargepole (my intention anyway) as it was a hoax......
Little things clearly please little minds!
But even I hesitated over this one, it seemed so plausible

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 02:14
Your email address has not been disclosed Sep 8, 2004

Hi Sarah,

This sort of thing is unfortunately not uncommon. We do cut off these people as quickly as we can but there is not a way to stop all such emails.

The particularly scary thing is that he got my address from proz...

Actually not. This scammer sent mail through your profile page. As long as you do not reply, your email address will not have been exposed (unless you list it publicly in the page).


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Sabrina Ciserchia  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
A similar e-mail was sent to me today... Sep 8, 2004

Hi everyone!

I received today the following message, which has really scared me though I know this sort of things happen very frequently:

We have received reports that your account was used to send a large
amount of unsolicited commercial email during this week.
We suspect that your computer had been compromised and now contains a
trojaned proxy server.

Please follow instruction in order to keep your computer safe.

Best regards,
support team.
( attachment)

I did not open the attachment as I guess it could be a virus or something similar. Has any of you received something like this?

Thanks a lot!


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Timothy Barton
Local time: 08:14
French to English
+ ...
Simple rule: if you don't know the person, it's a hoax! Sep 8, 2004

I know it has been said many times, but you still get people on saying "I nearly fell for that one", or even people who say "I fell for that one". I've not read anything on this page that has surprised me. I have to say I was surprised to get a hoax e-mail through Proz (it's the first time it's happened to me), but I realised it was a fake straight away. And as for it being personalised, that e-mail couldn't even be bothered to mention what country it was referring to, just stating that "you're from the same country as me". That was as big a clue as any. And do you think Microsoft care if you get a virus? If you have to change your computer, that's more money for them, so don't expect them to send you messages saying they've detected a virus.

I repeat: Don't open e-mail attachments if you don't know who the sender is, and even if you know the sender, only open it if there is REAL personal information in the e-mail (ie. something mentioning something you've done recently etc...). If you get an unpersonalised e-mail from a friend, just reply to ask whether they really did send it?

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
The Same Sep 9, 2004

I also got the same identical message from Barrister Peter Ibusa, not the first of this kind and probably not the last. I just blew it away.

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Maria Antonietta Ricagno  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:14
English to Italian
+ ...
False e-mail messages Sep 9, 2004

Hi Sarah

I get that kind of messages - i.e. from somebody from an African country or similar - every two days at least. I think I got 15 or so in the last month.
They talk about looking for missing people, opening bank accounts in my country and so on.
I am so used to them that I simply delete the incoming e-mail as soon as I look at its subject line.

So, do not worry, simply delete them all.


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German to English
nigerian scam a humorous site to check out Sep 12, 2004

Take a look at
it's an unusual hobby called "scammer baiting" where members respond to these messages basically just to waste these guys' time - who in fact earn upwards of £30,000 per year from the surprising number of gullible people out there. There are some very amusing letters written and received by the people doing this.
And a word of advice, because I am surprised to hear so many people being surprised by viruses/hoaxes/scams etc. Take the definitive part of any such message and type it into google in quotes (e.g. "password 85661" or the email I got yesterday about "it takes guts to say no to jesus"). the first hits on google will basically show you whether you're dealing with a hoax (usually) or a virus or whatever.
Of course my favorite email like this recommended you delete the "virus file" you supposedly didn't know you had in your computer. As this hoax turned out, the senders got thousands of people to delete a system file their computer needs to function. I liked it just because "you" are the virus. Get it?

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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:14
German to English
+ ...
Scambaiters Sep 12, 2004

Hi David,

I know the site you mentioned and it really is very funny.

Scams are certainly nothing new to me, but what surprised me with this one is that it was personally addressed to me (and that's the first time ever that I've received a scam of this kind).

I'm not so stupid as to fall for these scams and sometimes also use the google technique you mentioned.



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Local time: 08:14
German to English
+ ...
Scams, scams and more scams Sep 27, 2004

Hello Sarah,

I was interested to read your posting, because I've been receiving "personalised" stuff like this for years now. I just delete it without even previewing it.

I've come across three more scams recently, all requesting me to "upgrade" my "account details" as they were "out of date": one purporting to be from PayPal (I don't even have a PayPal account), which says that if you don't update your details your account will be "locked out", another from Citibank signed "The Citty" with the same question (no, I don't have a Citibank account either) and one from EBay.

To make things worse, the things look perfectly respectable and can easily mislead one into believing that they're genuine.

My guess is that whoever the perpetrators are are only after user names and passwords for the purpose of attempting to break into bank accounts.

But pride of place must go to one which I allegedly received from my company's management, saying that my E-mail account was to be closed down with immediate effect as I had been constantly abusing it. For good measure, I was requested to visit the company website for further information.

If what's behind this kind of stuff wasn't so serious, I would have said that the last of these mails was the joke of the year.


(PS: I still haven't got round to that crocodile photo, but am threatening to do so before long ....)

[Edited at 2004-09-27 14:35]

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