New Email Scams….Or Really Old Ones
It has been a little while since I’ve talked about email scams and in particular, phishing email scams. I certainly have received a lot of them over the last few months especially PayPal phishing emails. In fact, I talked about some Apple and PayPal email scams and what to look for and you can read more about that by clicking here.
Well, I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been getting some very interesting kind of emails which look to be new email scams, but honestly could be really old ones just resurfacing and that’s what I want to take a look at today. I’ve nearly fallen for these particular scams quite a few years ago and so I want to go over what to look for in these emails and why you should stay away from them and delete them immediately. These are a little bit different from the scams that say they are from PayPal or Apple.
A Priest Wants To Send Me $5 million
One day, I’m going through my emails and I see one in particular that catches my eye. The reason it catches my eye is that because the first word in the email header looks like it might be misspelled, otherwise, the rest of the header makes no sense. It said to “contract” a reverend at a specific email address. I’m assuming they meant to say contact. My alarm bells started going off immediately that this is some kind of scam, but not the typical phishing ones I’ve been receiving lately.
I decide to click open the email to see what it’s all about and I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed. First, it’s addressed as Dear Beloved and then it goes on to say that I may have forgotten about this person because it was a very long time since we supposedly last communicated. I have to laugh very hard at this because I know we NEVER communicated. Still, I decide to humor this email and continue to read.
It goes on to say that he wanted to give me thanks for my past effort of helping to move out his late Father’s funds from a specific country which appears to be Nigeria. Now this is where it gets really funny. Apparently, I thought this was a scam and communicated to this person that I felt he was trying to scam me. He insisted that he was not trying to scam me and thanked me for my efforts of moving his father’s money out of the country.
There was also a man who he calls Mr Thomas that supposedly helped him get the money out of the country of Nigeria. Well I guess now he was able to get his funds transferred from a partner in India which makes no sense to me if Mr Thomas was the one originally helping him out.
Well this person apparently was very thankful for me trying to help him out and so he wants to reward me for trying to help. I have to contact a Parish Priest by the name of Reverend Father Enoch William. He’s the one who is supposed to send me a cashier’s check for $5 million. All I need to provide is my home address, my full name, my phone number, and a copy of my driver’s license. Here’s a closer look at the email:
My dear i believe that you have not forgotten me, although it was indeed a very long time we communicate last. Well, this is to thank you for your past effort to assist me in moving out my late Father’s funds out the country a that time, I understand your thought that time, that I wasn’t for real and you said that I am a scam but I told you that am not a scam and you understood me and did your best to assist me but could not conclude the transaction with me. I thank God for his grace and favor upon my life because there was a man called Mr.Thomas from Germany who finally helped me to move the money to his account so our government did not seize my father`s money anymore.
I did not believe that I will move out from Nigeria by now, but God has made it possible for me. So I am happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under my new partner from India, I am currently in the India for my study, Meanwhile, I did not forget all your past efforts and attempts to assist me that time in transferring those funds despite that it failed us somehow due to one reason or the other. But because i made a promise to God that i must surely compensate you as the first person who tried all your best to help me despite that you did not conclude the transaction but i could not forget your good advise and encouragement which gave me at that time.
Now i want you to contact our parish priest: Reverend Father Enoch William who used to be a good father to me when I was in UN refugee Camp in LAGOS, NIGERIAN, I told him to send a certified bank check of (US$5,000,000.00) five million United State dollars, which I prepared for you and kept for your compensation for all efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter,knowing fully well that i would have not succeeded if not your advise and encouragement to me at that time. Please accept this little token as it is. So feel free to contact Rev. Father Enoch William VIA email adders firstname.lastname@example.org
and instruct him where to send you the bank draft check,
Note: Below is the required information’s you will send to Rev. Father Enoch William
Your full names:…………………………
Your house address:…………………..
Your telephone number:………………
Your copy of ID eg Driving licenses
Please let me know immediately you receive it so we can share our joy together after all the sufferings at that time. At this point, I’m very busy here because of business and some investment that we have at hand. Finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to the Rev. Father Enoch William on your behalf to receive that check but you have to reconfirm it again to avoid any mistake. So do not hesitate to contact him he will send the amount to you without any delay.
And please do not forget to inform me as soon as you received the cashier check.
Take care and God bless you. Good bye for now
Miss. Elizabeth Nelson”
This all looks legitimate doesn’t it? No, it’s certainly NOT legitimate! Who the heck are these people?! I’ve never helped them or attempted to help them in my life! Let’s take a closer look at why this is a scam.
First off, the email header already has a mistake which I pointed out above. Contract should say contact, so spelling errors is one red flag. These type of email scams will usually have spelling scams as well as grammatical errors such as sentences that do not make sense.
The next thing is how the email is addressed. If I supposedly helped them out in the past, you’d think that they would remember my first name, but instead I’m addressed as dear beloved. Now because of how I’m addressed, what’s said in the rest of the email just completely falls apart.
Now I will tell you that when you come across the email saying that you’re going to receive a very large sum of money, in this case $5,000,000, it will play with your emotions which is exactly what the scammer is hoping. They want you to think that you’re going to be getting so much money that whatever they request from you in order to receive it, won’t matter.
The problem is, it WILL matter if you give in to what they request. There’s no way that I will give out my personal information such as my home address, full name or even a copy of my driver’s license. Now they may send out a check, but I will tell you that check will be fraudulent. If you attempt to take it to a bank to either cash (good luck cashing a check for over $5,000,000) or deposit it into your account, the bank will see that it is fraudulent and they will either close your account or call the authorities or both. Trust me, you don’t want to take that risk.
If something seems too good to be true, then that usually means that it is. Stay far away from these type of scams. It has been an incredibly long time since I’ve received this type of email so when I first saw this, my eyebrows certainly went up. This was just the first of many that I’ve received and I will share one more with you below.
Federal Reserve Bank To Send Me Millions
The next scam email I want to take a look claims that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been authorized to wire me a little over $12,000,000 after they met with the United Nations. This just makes me laugh so hard. What did I do to even deserve this money? Also, the Federal Reserve DOES NOT send money out to individuals. If this does not scream scam, I don’t know what does.
At the very end of the email, I’m supposed to send them information in order to receive the money from my institution. I’m supposed to send in my name, address, email, country, mobile number, bank name, bank address, account number, routing number, swift code, and account name.
Sorry, but I’m not going to provide any of that information to someone I don’t know and if I did, I would not see a single cent of that supposed $12,000,000. What would happen instead is that they would drain my bank account of any money I had in there. I work at a financial institution myself and I’ve seen some customers become victims of scams like this. They truly believe they are going to get millions of dollars and instead lose all their funds. It’s so sad to see people become victims of scams like this especially when we try to warn them.
Let’s take a closer look at the entire email:
“Federal Reserve Bank New York
Date: Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Ref.: Payment Release Update
Amount Valued: US$12,800, 000.00
Foreign payment allocation security code: (US/A84PRFGN20)
Attention; The Beneficiary.
Contact us on this email: email@example.com ,
By means of this message, we wish to inform you that your hour of compensation and actualization has come after our meeting with the United Nations, Bank of America and the Federal Reserve Bank officials, it has been agreed that your real approved funds valued US$10,500,000.00 and the compensation of US$2,300,000.00 (Total US$12,800,000.00) will now be processed and released to your Bank Account through Wire Transfer Department of the Federal Reserve Bank New York.
However, it may interest you to know that after the meeting, with the Bank of America and Office of our Director of electronic wire transfer Department that have entered into full partnership with this Federal Reserve Bank and your funds Total valued US$12,800,000.00 will now be credited to your Bank Account by the Wire Transfer Department of the Federal Reserve Bank as soon as you make contact with me.
To this effect, you are to contact us on this email: firstname.lastname@example.org , with the details below for the immediate release of your funds.
Full Name: ……..
Bank Name: ——-
Swift Code: ——-
Account Name: —–
Thanks for banking with Federal Reserve Bank New York while we are looking forward to serving you with the best of our service.
Congratulations in Advance.
John C. Williams,
Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Contact E-Mail: email@example.com , Phone Number: (917) 765-8390″
Another crazy thing about this email is that it never at all addresses me by name. How could I be the beneficiary if you don’t know my name? The email also ends by saying that I was contacted by a John C. Williams who is supposedly the Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This is so laughable because the contact email is a gmail account which is something a chief executive of officer of a Federal Bank would never use. If you get an email like this, delete it immediately. It’s a scam and someone trying to gain access to your bank account so that they can drain it of funds.
Playing On Your Emotions
These type of emails are designed to make you excited of receiving a large sum of money because the scammers don’t want you to be in your right mind to see that their email is a scam, but you have to throw that excitement away and think logically here.
Did you do anything at all to truly receive that kind of money? Who are these individuals? Why are they not addressing you by name if they supposedly know you and have worked with you in the past? Why does it seem like a lot of these kinds of emails originate in countries over in Africa? Why is it asking for a lot of your personal information?
Once you start asking those kinds of questions, you’ll see that the legitimacy of those emails quickly fall apart and that these are thieves trying to get your money or even steal your identity. Never ever reply to these emails with any kind of information because then you’re going to have to deal with these scammers trying to steal your money or other kinds of things that you’ll have to fight against. It’s simply best to delete these kinds of emails.
I will have to say, it’s kind of interesting how two different type of email scams play on your emotions. The phishing ones pretending to be from a legitimate company, plays on your fears by getting you to think that something is seriously wrong with your account. The emails I just talked about plays on your emotions by thinking you’re about to get a lot of money. The goal of both type of emails is generally the same. They want you to be overcome with so much emotion that you will not see the email for what it really is. Do not let emotion over take you when you receive emails like these.
Delete Those Emails
If you get emails promising you lots of money, delete them immediately. Unfortunately, there’s not much more you can do if you happen to receive them. Unlike the phishing email scams that are trying to mimic an actual company, you won’t be able to report them like you could with say a PayPal phishing email.
I will say though that a lot of email companies have gotten a lot better at putting those type of emails into spam folders so that they won’t hit your main email inbox. Believe it or not, those two email scam examples I posted above were found in my spam folder and I never did get them in my inbox unlike some of the phishing scams.
I haven’t talked about these particular email scams before and I was surprised to see them especially a lot of them all of a sudden so while they may look like new email scams, they really aren’t and have been going around for years now. Sometimes they come out in spurts and it seems that the holidays are big time for those kinds of scams to come out. Always be vigilante and don’t ever give out your personal information especially bank accounts and social security information if you come across emails requesting them.
December 9, 2020 @ 5:57 am
The story of the priest has certainly made my day. Why would a priest that, one you’ve never met nor even know who he is would like to send you 5 million dollars. That’s insane. Where did he even get the money? From church? That’s just insane. They asked for very specific information making you a target of fraud or even putting your life in danger. I have been receiving PayPal, Apple, and Netflix scammy emails for the last 3 months I think and they always have something misspelled and when I go to the email from the person who sent it, most of the emails came from the same carrier and had odd names in it, almost as if they were some type of code. I always delete them and contact the support team for my accounts just to make sure everything is okay.
December 9, 2020 @ 3:20 pm
Crazy isn’t it?! The story is absolutely insane, yet people for those these scams every day! I too had mostly received emails that claim to be from PayPal, Apple, and Netflix and then emails like the priest one just started coming in quite a bit. Best thing to do is just delete them like you do.
December 9, 2020 @ 6:51 am
I think I am lucky so far that I have not seen such scam emails before or I am so lucky that such emails are automatically sent to the junk folder and I don’t notice them at all. But I do experience a scam case before where the email was able to show me correctly one of my passwords! It certainly got my attention and I recall I was in a state of fright. But after a while, I took the email subject and google it and found that this is still a scam. We need to be very careful where we register our email account and protect our data. This is getting tougher as there are so many things we are logging into, creating accounts, etc, that we don’t know how the information about us is being used.
December 9, 2020 @ 3:24 pm
You are very right Richard, we definitely need to be careful where we register with our email addresses. Awhile back, I would get notifications at different times that my yahoo email account was being logged in by certain browsers at certain times and different places and would ask if this is me. Of course I would say no and then one of the monitoring things I’ve set up to watch for fraud activity with my email and name found that my email address had been compromised and found on the dark web. I immediately went to my main email account and changed my password as well as set up numerous security protocols to prevent these type of thins from happening again and so far it has been working.