TOP TEN SMS AND EMAIL SCAMS
Number1. International Lottery Sweepstakes. “You Have Won Lottery”
The lottery fraud comes in several hues and shades. It would say “Your mail Id or mobile number has won British Pounds ————” The names of well known companies are used and for better effect, names are combined! Coca Cola , Hewlett Packard (HP), Nokia Mobile, Yahoo MSN Lottery (!), Yahoo Microsoft Windows Live, BMW Company, Texaco Petroleum, Gmail / Rediffmail Lottery(!), Google Incorporation(!), Microsoft Mobile Draw, British Telecommunications, BBC Online Lotto, Irish Lottery, Common Wealth Games Lottery, World Cup Football Lottery, 2011 Cricket World Cup Lottery…..its along list indeed!
The mail ask for personal details. Once someone replies, the fraudsters trap him by informing that Cheque has been sent and RBI, Diplomat etc will contact! The trapped fellow is forced to shell out lakhs as one fee or the other, till he gets wind of the fraud. In the process he will be called by “RBI Officers” and “Diplomat” who has come to India with the cheque!!!
Example: Lost Rs.10 Lakhs
Number 2. Getting that Dream Job now is so easy!. “Videocon Direct Recruitment Offer”
This is a clean copy of Nigerian Fraud mails which offer jobs abroad. Local Cyber Crime Syndicates have opened thousands of fraud accounts in ICICI, SBI , Axis and other banks to receive money transferred by victims of fake job offere emails /SMSThe Crooks keep sending mass mails or SMS in waves, changing Company Names, Address and Account detail, often. Names of Videocon, Wipro, HCL, Maruti Suzuki, Skoda India, Toyota India, L&T, Bajaj, Tata Group, Volkswagen etc have all been used to promote the Fraud Job offer business of the criminal syndicates.
The mail declares that the company has seen the user’s resume in job portals and the candidate has been short listed for interview. The Salary offered is absolutely mouth watering. The company offers full refund of travel expenses. To show commitment to attend interview, candidate has to pay Rs.10,500 or whatever, to the account of designated company HR department officer! OOPS! So the trapped job seeker who has been waiting for a good job offer, rushes to bank and sends money to the crook’s account.
Example: Lost Rs.6965
Number 3. Fake Marketing Campaigns offering Free Items
The criminals use SMS for this fraud, extensively. SMS received states that the user has won some item as part of company marketing exercise during launch of new product. For example, Airtel Set Top Box free or a Philips DVD Player Free!. Need to pay only service tax! Victims who respond are given bank account number to transfer money.
Off course after transfer, there will be no further contact. Thousands of people fall prey to these frauds which again comes in waves. At a time, the criminals are able to collect large funds, though the individual amount paid is small.
Example: Lost Rs.440
Number 4. Mobile Tower Installation Fraud
Instead of mass mail, the criminals use classified ads in local news papers to trap victims. They know the targets are small time land / building owners in small towns and they can not be targeted using email. The innocuous looking ads declare that certain company is looking for sites to install Mobile Towers on behalf of telecom Companies and invites land /building owners to reply.
To convince people, a website address is given to make the business look genuine. (Company names used are Khan Gold Care, Sky Network, MSN Tower Company, GR Communication, Nextgen Towers etc)Once contact is established, the crooks ask for DD for certain amount to send Site Survey Team which never arrives, after payment.
Example of Tower Fraud – Lost Rs.10,000
Number 5. Work From Home Scams. Paid Survey, Form Filling, Mail Reading, Typing, Clicking etc
People get easily attracted to easy money making offers by working part time at home. The scamsters advertise in classified portals and news papers. The fact that people who respond forgets is that there is actually NO WORK. The intention is just to grab registration fees from victims. If someone pesters after paying Registration fees, some carp job is given which will not be accepted and paid for. Once trapped, the registration fees is gone for ever.
The scam is operated by criminals generally without any fixed office so that they can not be traced. They run elaborate websites to fool people. Incidentally many people who area trapped are turned into agents to trap more people and the agents are given a cut. So it also operates like an illegal MLM scheme.
Example: Lost Rs. 3000
Number 6. Bank Security Upgrade Notice. Phone / SMS Phishing for Password
The user gets call /SMS purportedly from Security Department of the Bank or Customer Care stating that the Security system is being upgraded to ensure that third party transfer is secure. Then SMS will be sent asking to reconfirm passwords.
Bank customer feels happy that his bank is doing good things. After sometime he gets SMS of money withdrawn. Then panic starts.
Example: Lost Rs.1Lakh
Number 7. Foreign Job Offers. Foreign Fund Transfer. Nigerian Attack
Job offers from reputed Hotels in UK, Canada etc lands up in mail asking for personal details, pass port copy etc. The Hotel name and website address given could be correct. But the mail ID to which reply goes will be that of the Nigerian gangster behind the scam. Victims are asked to send Visa Fees, legal fees etc to account in India. The accounts are leased by Indian crooks to Nigerains for a fee. (Often 10% of money collected).
The personal details collected is misused by the criminals to open new bank accounts take SIM cards etc The classic Inheritance Fraud mail, asking for victims account to park huge inherited money is still in circulation, though it has lost novelty value!
Example of Foreign Job Offer Fraud:
Number 8. Indian Crooks Using Nigerian Trick. “You have been selected for grant of Rs.85 Lakhs by Govt of India”
This is an indigenized fraud. The receiver is pleasantly surprised to note that he has been selected by Govt of India as one of the grantees of Rs.85Lakhs!The message which comes purportedly from RBI, goes like this. “To help Indian job seekers to setup their own business of their choice, Govt of India is granting sum of Eighty Five Lakhs (85lahks).
Be informed that your email was chosen as one of the great beneficiaries. Your email was selected among the job offers resume that you have posted”. The victim is asked to sent personal details. The excited receiver of the email sends in personal data and then rushes to bank to transfer fees to “RBI” officer’s personal account!
Example of this Fraud:
Number 9. Fake Online Shopping Sites / Online Classified Ads
While there are good number of genuine online shopping websites, there are numerous fake sites too. These fakes display a number of items. Visitors unknowingly place orders and pay by credit card. There will be no response to any mails or calls after payment. The contact numbers, mail Ids etc will all be fake.
Such online fraud sales are also done through classified ads. The offer will be irresistible like the victims of recent Apple IPhone Ads found.
Example: Lost Rs.18,000
Number 10. Fraud Loan Offers by Classified Ads
The offer for extending lakhs at cheap interest rates traps many people. The criminals sets up temporary office in a town, publish loan scheme. The crooks operate for couple of months. Collects processing fee from many people and then will shut office and vanish. Simple strategy. But rakes in lakhs, in couple of months.
Example: Lost Rs.1Lakh.
Other popular fraud offers:
– Walk-in Job Offer (Invites candidates by Local Ad / SMS as IT Company. Collect Registration fees and Vanish from one town to reappear in another)
– Holiday Home/ Time Share offer (Makes phone calls asking to attend meeting with company staff and get surprise gift. The weak ones are offered fancy schemes and membership is charged to credit card. That would be the last the victim hears of the company)
– Fake Share Trading Companies (Lures people by Mails/SMS and classified ads to fraud website to become members. After taking registration fees operates for few months, shuts down and disappears)
– MLM Schemes (Most people know for sure that MLM schemes are illegal and will fold up any moment. Still they seem to have thrill in signing up and losing money! For example Visarev scheme)
– Offer to Sell Machinery to make different Items like Paper Cups (The buyer tries to contact the seller who vanishes in quick time after the buyer finds out that he has bought junk)
– Offer to source chemicals and other materials from India (The victims would have paid legal fees and other charges before realizing that they are being led up the garden path!)