With March being Fraud Prevention Month, our Content Team thought we would share a few of the many emails received weekly to our email accounts from fraudsters/scammers in an attempt to rob people of their hard earned money and identity. As you will discover from the first example, there is obviously no limit to how low these people will actually sink in their attempts!
We’ve included some interesting stats as well as some useful resources to help protect you from these predators at the end of article.
Fraudulent Email Attempts We’ve Received Over the Past 24 Hours
Attempt #1: Distribution and storage of pornographic electronic materials involving underage children.
Alisia Atwood – Case #96387241 (also received from Clementine Haines – Case #93467185 & Africa Farrow – Case #64195738 to other Superior Media email addresses)
My name is Arica Farrow and I am a technical collection officer working for Central Intelligence Agency.
It has come to my attention that your personal details including your email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) are listed in case #64195738.
The following details are listed in the document’s attachment:
- Your personal details,
- Home address,
- Work address,
- List of relatives and their contact information.
Case #64195738 is part of a large international operation set to arrest more than 2000 individuals suspected of paedophilia (mispelled?) in 27 countries.
The data which could be used to acquire your personal information:
- Your ISP web browsing history,
- DNS queries history and connection logs,
- Deep web .onion browsing and/or connection sharing,
- Online chat-room logs,
- Social media activity log.
The first arrests are scheduled for April 8, 2019.
Why am I contacting you ?
I read the documentation and I know you are a wealthy person who may be concerned about reputation. (I seemed to have forgotten where I placed my wealth… if you can help me find it, i’ll let you keep 50%!)
I am one of several people who have access to those documents and I have enough security clearance to amend and remove your details from this case. Here is my proposition.
Transfer exactly $10,000 USD (ten thousand dollars – about 2.5 BTC) through Bitcoin network to this special bitcoin address: 3AjDXQ6bqqkh6ck7tpsUXXhVtxL2GPBAZb
You can transfer funds with online bitcoin exchanges such as Coinbase, Bitstamp or Coinmama. The deadline is March 27, 2019 (I need few days to access and edit the files).
Upon confirming your transfer I will take care of all the files linked to you and you can rest assured no one will bother you.
Please do not contact me. I will contact you and confirm only when I see the valid transfer.
Attempt #2: Be sure to read this message! Your personal data is threatened!
I’m a programmer who cracked your email account and device about half year ago. You entered a password on one of the insecure site you visited, and I catched it.
Of course you can will change your password, or already made it. But it doesn’t matter, my rat software update it every time.
Please don’t try to contact me or find me, it is impossible, since I sent you an email from your email account.
Through your e-mail, I uploaded malicious code to your Operation System. (This is completely possible if you make the mistake of opening an email and don’t have adequate virus and/or malicious software protection applications installed on your computer. If you don’t recognize the sender or weren’t expecting correspondence from them, please err on the side of caution and delete any emails you receive that are suspicious, especially ones with attachments such as media, invoices, statements, job applications, etc.)
I saved all of your contacts with friends, colleagues, relatives and a complete history of visits to the Internet resources. Also I installed a rat software on your device and long tome spying for you.
You are not my only victim, I usually lock devices and ask for a ransom. But I was struck by the sites of intimate content that you very often visit.
I am in shock of your reach fantasies! Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this! I did not even know that SUCH content could be so exciting!
So, when you had fun on intime sites (you know what I mean!) I made screenshot with using my program from your camera of yours device. After that, I jointed them to the content of the currently viewed site.
Will be funny when I send these photos to your contacts! And if your relatives see it? BUT I’m sure you don’t want it. I definitely would not want to …
I will not do this if you pay me a little amount. I think $741 is a nice price for it!
I accept only Bitcoins. My BTC wallet: 1EVe67RXBA28s14cnnsVv1WkxhtoXMjCTy
If you have difficulty with this – Ask Google “how to make a payment on a bitcoin wallet”. It’s easy. After receiving the above amount, all your data will be immediately removed automatically. My virus will also will be destroy itself from your operating system.
My Trojan have auto alert, after this email is looked, I will be know it!
You have 2 days (48 hours) for make a payment. If this does not happen – all your contacts will get crazy shots with your dirty life! And so that you do not obstruct me, your device will be locked (also after 48 hours)
Do not take this frivolously! This is the last warning! Various security services or antiviruses won’t help you for sure (I have already collected all your data).
Here are the recommendations of a professional: Antiviruses do not help against modern malicious code. Just do not enter your passwords on unsafe sites!
I hope you will be prudent.
Cyber criminals are often well organized and are simply predators! They rely on sheer volumes of fraudulent email attempts (phishing) in order to get sensitive personal information such as access to web banking credentials or even spook you into sending them your hard earned money.
Regardless of your age, where you live, whether you work or are retired, everyone is a potential target and it only takes a few of us to make it worth their efforts.
In 2017, over $95 million was lost to these predators by us Canadians in online/phone scams and only about five per cent of victims came forward to even report a crime. In 2018 over $22 million was lost to Romance Scams alone where fraudsters created enticing profiles on well-known dating websites or social media platforms to lure victims into online relationships. As the relationship continues over time, they build trust with their victim before asking for money under any number of pretenses. Sadly, the greater the trust gained by the fraudster, the greater the losses suffered by most victims. Ontario was the hardest province hit here in Canada, with just shy of $12 million lost.
Email is one of the easiest ways for cyber criminals to target ordinary citizens. So, as with anything in life, if something seems suspicious, go with your instincts. A good rule of thumb is to automatically delete anything that looks out of the ordinary. If the email was actually from someone you know, they’ll either try again or find another way to get in touch with you.
Here are a few risks to always be aware of when it comes to your email:
- A weak email account password could leave your personal information vulnerable. In fact, a weak password is a cyber criminal’s best friend so it’s essential to create passwords that protect you.
- Spyware may be sent as an attachment in an email and allow criminals access to your information.
- Viruses can spread through email to your entire contact list without you knowing it.
- Email phishing scams can trick you into opening attachments or giving up personal information. They appear to be emails from organizations or companies you trust, but they’re often the gateway to identity theft.
- Spam can get through your filter and inundate you with unsolicited email.
- Your identity could be compromised through email in a number of ways.
Visit https://www.getcybersafe.ca/ for more information and to learn how to better protect yourself when it comes to fraudsters and scammers.