I Get Email Because I am an Important Person


This hit my inbox a few days ago. It’s some kind of masterpiece.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Anti-Terrorist And Monitory Crime Division.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
J.Edgar.Hoover Building Washington Dc
Customers Service Hours / Monday To Saturday
Office Hours Monday To Saturday:
 
Dear Beneficiary,
 
Series of meetings have been held over the past 7 months with the secretary general of the United Nations Organization. This ended 3 days ago. It is obvious that you
 
have not received your fund which is to the tune of $16.5million due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held the fund to themselves for their selfish
 
reason and some individuals who have taken advantage of your fund all in an attempt to swindle your fund which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary
 
delay in the receipt of your fund.for more information do get back to us.
 
The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation have successfully passed a mandate to the current Prime
 
Minister of Cambodia Excellency Hun Sen to boost the exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to you and other individuals and organizations who have been found not
 
to have receive their Contract Sum, Lottery/Gambling, Inheritance and the likes. Now how would you like to receive your payment? because we have two method of  payment
 
which is by Check or by ATM card?
 
ATM Card: We will be issuing you a custom pin based ATM card which you will use to withdraw up to $5,000 per day from any ATM machine that has the Master Card Logo on
 
it and the card have to be renewed in 4 years time which is 2022. Also with the ATM card you will be able to transfer your funds to your local bank account. The ATM
 
card comes with a handbook or manual to enlighten you about how to use it. Even if you do not have a bank account.
Check: To be deposited in your bank for it to be cleared within three working days. Your payment would be sent to you via any of your preferred option and would be
 
mailed to you via FedEx. Because we have signed a contract with FedEx which should expire 19th of August 2017 you will only need to pay $180 instead of $420 saving
 
you $240 so if you
Pay before the one week you save $240 note that any one asking you for some kind of money above the usual fee is definitely a fraudsters and you will have to stop
 
communication with every other person if you have been in contact with any. Also remember that all you will ever have to spend is $180.00 nothing more! Nothing less!
 
And we guarantee the receipt of your fund to be successfully delivered to you within the next 24hrs after the receipt of payment has been confirmed.
 
Note: Everything has been taken care of by the Government of Cambodia,The United Nation and also the FBI and including taxes, custom paper and clearance duty so all
 
you will ever need to pay is $180.
DO NOT SEND MONEY TO ANYONE UNTIL YOU READ THIS: The actual fees for shipping your ATM card is $420 but because FedEx have temporarily discontinued the C.O.D which
 
gives you the chance to pay when package is delivered for international shipping We had to sign contract with them for bulk shipping which makes the fees reduce from
 
the actual fee of $420 to $180 nothing more and no hidden fees of any sort!To effect the release of your fund valued at $16.5million you are advised to contact our
 
correspondent in Asia the delivery officer Miss.Chi Liko with the information below,
 
 
Tele:+855977558948
Email: chiliko7@e-mail.ua
 
You are adviced to contact her with the informations as stated below:
Your full Name..
Your Address:…………..
Home/Cell Phone:…………..
Preferred Payment Method ( ATM / Cashier Check )
 
 
Upon receipt of payment the delivery officer will ensure that your package is sent within 24 working hours. Because we are so sure of everything we are giving you a
 
100% money back guarantee if you do not receive payment/package within the next 24hrs after you have made the payment for shipping.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Miss Donna Story
 
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535
------ divider ------

The FBI is using an email address in the United Arab Emirates? This must be some new high-water mark in international cooperation. The Cambodian angle is really interesting, too.

I also love this bit: “due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held the fund to themselves for their selfish reason” I wonder if that’s the Trump FBI trying to blame Barack Obama, or what?

Are there any ATMs that let someone withdraw $5,000 a day? Whoever wrote that doesn’t seem to know how ATMs work.

The “monitory crime division” sounds interesting. What do they monitor?

I feel a bit bad laughing at spammers like this, but – really – they have to level up a bit. I wonder if there’s an opportunity for a cloud service to help scammers write better scam letters.

Comments

  1. says

    Bad grammar, wrong spelling, and seemingly stupid formulations are intentional in advance-fee scams to weed out all but the most gullible recipients. This way scammers don’t have to waste time with skeptics who might jump off later.

  2. says

    Yikes, all those sentences broken up in all the wrong places. I have no particular desire to help scammers, but they do need it. I really have to wonder what kind of person falls for this nonsense.

  3. blf says

    The FBI is using an email address in the United Arab Emirates?

    No, the .ua domain is Ukraine; UAE is .ae. It’s still obviously a fraud, but at least get your easily-checked facts correct, please.

  4. Owlmirror says

    I’ve linked to the research that bolsters the statements in comment #1 before, but:
     
    Why do Nigerian scammers say they are from Nigeria?
     

    Far-fetched tales of West African riches strike most as comical. Our analysis suggests that is an advantage to the attacker, not a disadvantage. Since his attack has a low density of victims the Nigerian scammer has an over-riding need to reduce false positives. By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select, and tilts the true to false positive ratio in his favor.

  5. mcbender says

    This reminds me of an email I received several years ago, which remains one of my favourite scam attempts among those I’ve seen. I don’t remember the exact text, but it claimed to be from the FBI offering me the ability to sign up for an exclusive FBI credit card (what?). It also included this marvellous line:

    “You know you can trust us, because we’re the FBI. Would we lie to you?”

  6. says

    Yeah, I’m familar with the theory that it’s a part of the scam. I am unconvinced; why attribute to sneakiness what can more easily be explained by just pursuing the simplest default behavior?

    If the “spam is stupid for reasons of being a filter” I’d expect there to be captchas embedded in it, and perhaps some simple puzzles for detecting simpletons.

  7. says

    blf@#4:
    No, the .ua domain is Ukraine; UAE is .ae. It’s still obviously a fraud, but at least get your easily-checked facts correct, please.

    I make mistakes sometimes, because I do a lot of my writing from memory without rigorously fact-checking myself. My memory isn’t what it used to be, apparently. The problem is, if I fact-check everything I say, I won’t say much. Perhaps you’d prefer that, but I wouldn’t.

  8. says

    mcbender@#7:
    “You know you can trust us, because we’re the FBI. Would we lie to you?”

    Coming up soon: COINTELPRO spam.

    “Dear Sir –
    The FBI has discovered due to egregious settlement regarding
    spying by domestics that you are owed settlement the sum of
    ONE POINT FIVE MILLION DOLLARS, CANADIAN. Since the
    amount is large, our director, Louis Freeh has directed that you
    be paid using bitcoin for FBI involvement in COINTELPRO. We
    have videos of your mother and your father that were taken
    in your childhood residence. These will be destroyed if you pay
    us a service fee of NINETEEN DOLLARS AND TWENTY FIVE
    CENTS.
    …”

  9. jrkrideau says

    # 2 Caine

    I really have to wonder what kind of person falls for this nonsense.

    Probably, almost no one these days but in the early days of the Nigerian scams a lot of what you would think of hard-headed businessmen seemed to fall for it.

    It is rather sad to see all those hard–working and innovative Nigerians being replaced by foreigners.

  10. says

    Lofty @#3

    Elderly semi literate Nazi sympathisers?

    Victim blaming up to eleven! Not only is it victims’ fault that they got scammed; now they are even accused of being Nazi sympathizers.

  11. jrkrideau says

    I just remembered I got a call from the “Canadian Revenue Agency” a few weeks ago demanding money. Since the CRA never calls people for things like this I was a bit suspicious. Nice strong, threatening voice on the phone.

    The scam seems to work as the real CRA keeps issuing warnings. At last report, it seems to work with the elderly and, possibly, some recent immigrants with poor English or French.

    This was just a couple of months after my computer was held for ransom. I was rather flattered to be up there with the British NHS.

    I may have to snag a pigeon and sacrifice to Loki or whoever.

  12. says

    Yeah, I’m familar with the theory that it’s a part of the scam. I am unconvinced; why attribute to sneakiness what can more easily be explained by just pursuing the simplest default behavior?

    I somehow got the impression that authors of these texts are simply non native English speakers who cannot write any better.

  13. bmiller says

    leva:

    Victims so eager to believe in unearned nonsensical windfalls are a less sympathetic type of victim. Behind every successful scam is a chancer grabbing for free money.

  14. bmiller says

    jrkrideau: I have to confess that I almost fell for something similar (I owed some back taxes at one point).

  15. jrkrideau says

    @17 bmiller
    If nothing else about the call was real the voice was excellent. Perfect diction and a general air of menace.

    If I had not known about the scam and worked for the federal government at one time I might well have panicked.

    For the frail elderly who might not be up on the news or for people with poor English or French, I can see them falling for it.

  16. says

    To bmiller @#16

    Victims so eager to believe in unearned nonsensical windfalls are a less sympathetic type of victim.

    No.

    Some victims are elderly. It’s not their fault that they didn’t hear about online scams before and didn’t grow up laughing about all those distressed Nigerian princes.
    Some victims are non native English speakers. Again, it’s not their fault that they happened to have a different native language.
    Moreover, some victims are people who happened to be born with actual learning disabilities and inferior intellect. Again, nobody chooses to be born with this, so you cannot blame them.

    And every victim who falls for a scam does so only because they haven’t previously heard about the existence of such scams. Being informed about a type of scam is a matter of accident. You cannot blame somebody for not being informed.

    Behind every successful scam is a chancer grabbing for free money.

    Firstly, this is factually incorrect. For example, the CRA scam, which convinces victims that they owe taxes.

    Secondly, every normal human being would grab some free/easy money or stuff given a chance. When you spot some coins on the sidewalk, don’t you pick them up? When you enter a shop and are offered a “free gift” together with your purchase, don’t you take the gift? If your relative died and you were offered an inheritance, would you really refuse it? There is nothing wrong with being “a chancer grabbing for free money”, because that’s exactly what almost every human being is.

  17. says

    jrkrideau@#12:
    Probably, almost no one these days but in the early days of the Nigerian scams a lot of what you would think of hard-headed businessmen seemed to fall for it.

    My first scam email of that sort came when, ironically, I was teaching classes in spam-blocking at USENIX; suddenly I started getting a lot of spam. Ha, ha, ha, spammers have a sense of humor. But when I got my first “Iraqi military gold” email I think I stared at it and thought about it for at least 10 minutes until I figured it out.

    A lot of scams become part of our social fabric, i.e.: don’t get in a car with a stranger who offers you candy. There probably had to be a certain amount of strange people in cars offering candy before that became part of the defensive lore of civilization.

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