There are no shortage of scams these days and my spam box is filling up with them, but thankfully most of these scams are ending up there rather than in my main email inbox. One thing I’ve noticed recently is I received emails talking about an ATM Mastercard.
I of course became very curious about them and decided to give them all a read. Needless to say they were pretty easy to tell that they were scams, at least to me. I do know what signs and red flags to look for, but more importantly, I don’t let my emotions get the best of me in these cases because if I didn’t do that, I could easily fall for these scams thinking I would be getting easy money which is simply not the case.
There are other scam emails that I’ve received recently, with some of them being quite familiar. In fact, one of them is quite similar to this one I wrote about a little while back. There are also some claiming to be from Amazon as well as PayPal and so we’re going to take a look at all of them. First thing’s first though, let’s take a look at the first one about the ATM Mastercord.
An ATM Mastercard Worth $3.5 million
On Friday of last week, I noticed that I received an email that’s titled Your ATM Mastercard worth US$3.500.000 compensation. This did pic my curiosity so to speak, but I did click it to read the full email even though I had already suspected that this was going to be a scam just because of the subject line.
I can say that I wasn’t disappointed. It started off with “My Dearest Friend”. The email also claims to be from someone named Dennis Frank. Now right off the bat, I knew this email was going to be unbelievable and false because anything that begins with “My Dearest Friend” from someone I don’t know raises all sorts of red flags.
Here’s what the rest of the email said: “This is to thank you for your past effort and kindly assistance. The money has been transferred into an account provided by a newly found business partner of mine from Sweden. I wish to compensate you for your past assistance, effort and commitments that time to help me out. I have arranged with Bank of Africa and issued an ATM MASTERCARD valid at US$3.500.000 for your compensation. I am in Switzerland right now to esstablish some business and possibly buy some properties also.
So I want you to Contact my secretary in Benin Republic Mr. William Coto on his information below, because I kept the ATM CARD to be send to you as soon as you contact him Name;Mr William Coto Email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org) Phone Number +229-679-045-07
I left every instruction with him to send you the ATM MASTERCARD .assoon as you contact him, so make sure you re-confirm your address and Cell Phone Number to him to avoid any mistake on the delivery of your ATM CARD to you. Then ask him to send the ATM CARD to you immediately which you can use to withdraw your money at any ATM Machine in the world.
With All My Appreciation, Dennis Frank“.
That email is full of crazy grammatical and spelling errors and if that doesn’t give it away as this email being a scam, I don’t know what will. Also, the email address it came from is a gmail account so I know that this is something that’s not legitimate. I’ve said it may times before and I’ll say it again, the email address an email came from will always give an email away as being a scam especially more prominent phishing scams, which I will go over in a bit.
Now if Dennis Frank were truly my friend, wouldn’t he have addressed the beginning of this email by my name? Also, I have to wonder what past effort I helped him with because none of this rings a bell to me in the slightest and if he doesn’t even know my name, how can he know that I helped him or assisted him in the past?
Also, I know of no such ATM Mastercard that can be loaded with $3.5 million and then be used at any ATM in the world. Afterall, there are limits to how much cash can be withdrawn at an ATM and I’m sure it would look highly suspicious if someone attempted to pull over $3 million from an ATM. There’s also fees that would be involved because a card issued by your bank and used at an ATM that is not owned by that bank, you’ll more than likely have a fee issued.
With what I mentioned above, you can see how crazy and dumb this email is. None of it makes sense and the phone number is some international number that I can guarantee is the number of a scammer if you even try to call it. The email address I’m sure leads to a scammer as well so you don’t ever want to fall for these. These type of scams have been around for quite awhile and it’s sad to see that they are still going around. Now I’m going to take a look at another email that is very similar to this one.
FAMCAMPBELL CARGO LTD. What the heck is that?!
This email claims to be from a company called FAMCAPBELL CARGO LTD. Not sure what that is and have never heard of it before, but they claim to have sent me numerous messages that I’ve ignored and they want to know why. I find that quite funny as I’ve never received such emails from this supposed company before and looking at the email address that this came from, it’s easy to see that it is not from the company that claims to have sent this message. Like the email above, it’s from a gmail account.
Here’s what this email states: “Greetings from FAMCAMPBELL CARGO LTD. My name is Miss Tiffany Campbell Daughter of Mr Campbell Williamson CEO FAMCAMPBELL CARGO LTD. My dear We have your Delivery box in our custody with an ATM MasterCard worth a sum of $6.5 million dollars, My dear we want to know the reason why you ignore our messages in regards to your delivery?
To deliver this box with ATM mastercard to your address will only cost you $200.00 and we told you this in our earlier messages and maybe that’s the reason you keep ignoring our messages but you need to understand that The delivery charge is not negotiable .
Be informed that as soon as we confirm the shipping fee we will provide to you the tracking number to track your package and know the date of the arrival at your doorstep to enable you to be at home to sign the delivery paperwork .
BEST REGARD, MISS TIFFANY CAMPBELL, CEO FAMCAMPBELL CARdGO LTD, Address: 5 Braham St, London E1 8EE UK, Tel: +44 7425 365030“.
Looks pretty similar to the other email, right? This Tiffany Campbell claims that she has sent multiple messages that I’ve ignored and they want to know why. The funny thing is, this person doesn’t even know my name and why are they even wanting to send me an ATM Mastercard that’s supposedly loaded with $6.5 million anyway? At least the other email claimed I provided them some kind of assistance hence the reason they want to send me a card with $3.5 million.
Another crazy thing about this email is that I’m supposed to pay a $200.00 delivery fee! I mean really?! You can’t take $200 out of the millions of dollars you’re sending me on an ATM card? Just that statement alone in the email reeks of a scam. No legitimate entity or sweepstakes company would ever ask you to pay for anything if you were receiving money like that or won something like from a state lottery. They would just take any fees or taxes, for example, out of the money you are receiving. Anything that is asking you to pay for money that you’re supposed to be receiving is a scam and you’ll want to run for the hills/stay away from it.
The Coinbase scammers are at it again. I received another email claiming to be from Coinbase Support about a case I supposedly sent in about 2 factor authentication for changing a phone number. I talked about this in a previous article not too long ago (the link is up above in the beginning section of this article).
For those of you who don’t know what Coinbase is, it’s an American crypto exchange where you can buy and trade different cryptocurrencies. It is the largest and most popular one in the United States. I have had an account with them for about 5 years, but things got really rough with them last year.
Because of that, I have to be especially careful when I see emails like this because I have sent in complaints and cases to Coinbase with a serious issue I had with them last year. I have received a number of responses from them that are authentic and so when I first saw emails like this one, I legitimately thought it was from them.
There’s really not any spelling errors in this email that would particularly give it away to it being a scam though there a few grammatical oddities such as capitalization of certain words that really don’t need to be. The one thing that fully gave it away of this email being a scam is the email address it came from, though I will have to give the scammer some props in the effort to try and make it look legitimate. email@example.com is the address the email originated from.
I have said in the past that a legitimate email will have the name of the company as part of the email address so this is where you have to be extra careful. While this scammer did try to make it seem legitimate by putting the name of the company as part of the email address, there’s still one thing that makes it not legitimately from Coinbase. A company will usually have it’s own email domain service and so a legitimate email address will usually look like this firstname.lastname@example.org. The company will NEVER use a third party email service such as gmail.com or yahoo.com and that’s why this email is a scam because it has @gmail.com in it.
Now that I know the email is a scam because of the email address, everything else inside the body of the email just falls apart. They’ve got a phone number listed that I guarantee you that if called, I would NOT be talking to Coinbase and instead talk to an actual scammer who will more than likely try to get my log in information to my actual Coinbase account so they can take my crypto and worse, get unauthorized access to my financial information. I’ve dealt with sort of similar circumstances last year, but a hacker gained access to my account through somehow gaining access to my phone number and porting it out to another carrier. I’ll talk more extensively about that another time, but now it’s time to take a look at the next email that claims to be from Amazon.
Amazon Account Locked
This email claiming to be from Amazon immediately says that my account is locked, at least according to the subject line. If you’ve kept up with some of my past articles, you’ll have read that these type of emails are designed to generate quick emotion so that you don’t think logically.
The subject line is to try and get you to feel emotion immediately. In this case, they want me to panic and to think something is wrong with my actual Amazon account. That’s pretty clever on the scammer’s part, but I’ve seen so many of these emails now that I don’t even bat an eye.
I know that my actual Amazon account is fine and I know that this email is not legitimately from Amazon, but I want to share this with as many people as possible so that they’ll know what to look for in these type of scams. It’s very easy to fall for them and I’ve known people who have and so it’s very important to keep your cool and look for clues that it is not a legitimate email.
Going into the body of the email, it reeks of red flags. Some of the major red flags are grammar and spelling errors. Some phishing emails have gotten better at keeping those to a very minimum, but in this case, the email has decent number of them. Also, if the email is truly from Amazon, it should address you by name, not your email address as this one did. That’s an immediate red flag for me. Let’s take a look at the first part of the email:
“The System automatically lock your Amazon account and hold all your last orders. We took this action, because the billing information you provided did not match the information on the card issuer.
To unlocked your account, you can click button below and proceed with identity verification to prove that it is your account.“
As you can see, there are some grammar errors as well as spelling errors. I find it laughable that it says The System at the very beginning and then continues on saying it automatically “lock” my account. It should say locked. The third sentence then says “To unlocked your account”. Major spelling error there and it just makes this email much less believable.
There is a button in the middle of this email address, but I have to stress here more than anything else, NOT to ever click a button in an email like this! It will lead you to a fraudulent site that will look like Amazon, but I can 100% guarantee you that it is not Amazon. If you try to log in with your actual Amazon credentials, you’ll have given the scammers the keys to get into your Amazon account and then real damage can be done. Never click a link inside of these type of emails or call any numbers they may have listed. Now it’s time to take a look at my final email scam.
PayPal Receipt for Payment
The email that I received claims to be from PayPal and is a receipt for payment. Now I do legitimately have some payments or subscriptions that do come out of my actual PayPal account, but I can tell you they don’t look anything like what is portrayed in this email. For starters, it says “Hello customer” right at the very top. I can tell you right now that PayPal does not have anything close to that in the beginning of their emails that are sent out.
This email claims I sent a payment of $53.98. Here’s the funny thing though. It doesn’t list to whom I sent a payment to or what I supposedly purchased. All it says under description is an Item number and then it shows the unit price as well as a price for shipping and handling. Then the email says that if I didn’t make this order or believe someone unauthorized did this, then I need to click the button below in order to cancel this order.
Now like I said earlier with the Amazon email scam, this PayPal one is designed to get you to panic. The scammers want you to think that something was ordered through your PayPal account without your authorization and so the will include a button in the email in the hopes that you click it and go to their website designed to mimic PayPal. This is why you never want to click links inside these emails.
If you really believe something is wrong with your PayPal account or any other legitimate business account, you can just open a separate web browser, and then type in the url of PayPal or whoever else and what you’ll more than likely see when you log in to your actual account is that everything is fine.
I hope that all of this has been helpful to anyone who reads it. You’ve seen a wide range of email scams, from some that make you think you’re receiving money, to others that try to make you panic into thinking either an account has been locked or an unauthorized purchase has been made. Now that you know what red flags will signal an email as to being a scam, you can avoid becoming a victim of them and warn others what to look for.