Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!


Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

DividerDivider
Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    Subscriptions    Contact
DividerDivider
Bookmark and Share





Issue 84 - August 2008 - Page 12

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Barack Obama in Afghanistan Protest Email
  2. 'Buy Airplane Ticket Online' Trojan Email
  3. Rottnest Island Great White Shark Hoax
  4. Robert Mugabe Mansion Photographs
  5. Not Able to Deliver UPS Package Malware Email
  6. Prime Minister Howard - Muslims Out Of Australia
  7. Lightning Storm Meets Volcanic Eruption Photos
  8. Ball Girl Wall Climb Catch Video
  9. Google Workplace Photographs - Google's Zurich Office
  10. Google AdWords Phishing Scam
  11. German Truck Art
  12. Lottery Scam Payment Requests - Sky Express Couriers
  13. Diamond Covered Mercedes Photographs
  14. Incredible Chinese Love Story
  15. Johan Lorbeer Gravity Defying Street Performance Photographs
  16. Nadezhda - Russian Dating Scammer
  17. Fake $5 Off Target Coupons

Issue 84 Start Menu

Previous Article            Next Article

Lottery Scam Payment Requests - Sky Express Couriers

As I have discussed in a number of other Hoax-Slayer articles, advance fee lottery scams are one of the most common types of Internet based fraud. Typically, these scams consist of an initial email that informs the recipient that he or she has won a large sum of money. The victim is instructed to contact an "agent" listed in the email for further instructions. If the victim does contact this bogus "agent", he or she will then be instructed to send payments that are supposedly required to procure the release of the prize. The scammers use a variety of excuses to explain why the fees must be paid before the "prize money" is released. They may claim that the fees are to cover such things as delivery, banking and insurance fees and they will insist that the fees cannot be deducted from the prize itself for legal reasons. However, the supposed lottery is entirely bogus. There is no prize and any money submitted in the form of "fees" will be pocketed by the criminals responsible. The scammers may also collect enough personal information during the course of the scam to allow them to steal their victim's identity.

Many Hoax-Slayer readers have submitted sequences of emails that serve as good examples of how these scammers operate. I have included a typical lottery scam sequence below. To make the sequence a little easier to follow, I will refer to the potential victim targeted in these scam messages as "Jim" (not his real name - "Jim" is an amalgam of several contributors). It should be noted that Jim was aware from the outset that the emails were an attempt to defraud him and was only "baiting" the scammers to glean more information about the criminals responsible.

Part 1: Initial Prize Notification Email

Jim first received the following prize notification email claiming that he had won a large prize in the "UK National Lottery". There is a perfectly legitimate National Lottery that operates in the United Kingdom, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with this scam email. The promised prize of 715,000.00 does not exist. The sole purpose of this initial message is to trick potential victims into making first contact with the scammers. Identical copies of these initial prize notification emails are randomly distributed to many thousands of recipients in the hope of reaping just a few victims:
From: UK NATIONAL LOTTERY

Subject: Prize Notification


Attention:
You have won 715,000.00 on UK online promo!
contact the online claims agent. Name:
Barrister Goward Esq,
E-mail: barr_godward@hotmail.com
Co-ordinator
Sir. Richard K. Lloyd

Part 2: Delivery Options Email

After Jim contacted the "agent" via the email address listed in the prize notification message, he then received the following request for an advance payment, supposedly from "Sky Express Couriers". He was instructed to choose one of several delivery options and inform the "Courier Company" of his choice so that appropriate payment instructions could then be sent to him. In order to add a patina of legitimacy to the message, the scammers used a name similar to a genuine UK based courier service. To further the illusion, they also included logos stolen from the genuine courier's website (omitted in this example):

From: Sky Express Courier Company

Subject: Welcome to Sky Express Couriers**Indicate Your Delivery Option**


Hello Jim

Welcome to Sky Express Couriers Company

At Sky Express Couriers company we provide a full range of courier services, including international courier services, Europe overnight services and someday courier services. As one of the most experienced and reliable courier companies in London.

Our international courier network provides delivery throughout the world on a someday, timed or standard service. What makes us different from the competition is that you can custom fit our service to what you need: When the need arises you can upgrade your delivery simply by notifying us by e-mail, fax or telephone call that you want to change your option of delivery and it will be automatically effected.

I have just confirmed that you have been officially cleared for payment by the Verifications Department at the headquarters of the UK National Lottery.

All your winning documents which include your certificate and a covering document (Money Laundering protection and Letter of Affidavit for Claims) from the British government, stating that the money was obtained legally through the National Lotto will be sent to you as soon as you meet with any of the option selected.

You can now begin the final step of the claims process, which is the transferring of your winnings to you. With regards to this, there are two options open to you; you are required to select the most affordable and convenient of the two. The options together with their associated conditions are presented below. Due to popular demand, we have introduced the overnight delivery service which is only opened to clients within some parts in Europe. This practice was introduced by the UK National Lotto Commission to enhance speedy delivery.

Option 1:
Receive your package via any of the channel below:

OVERNIGHT DELIVERY
Mailing...............................................350.00
Insurance..........................................358.00
Vat (5%).............................................32.50
TOTAL...............................................740.50

24 HOURS DELIVERY
Mailing...............................................250.00
Insurance..........................................350.00
Vat (5%).............................................22.75
TOTAL...............................................622.75

48 HOURS DELIVERY
Mailing..............................................250.00
Insurance.........................................250. 00
Vat (5%)............................................21.95
TOTAL..............................................521.95

72 HOURS DELIVERY
Mailing...............................................300.00
Insurance...........................................111.00
Vat (5%)............................................89.00
TOTAL...............................................500.00

When you have choosen your option of delivery you would be given proper guidelines on how to go about sending the payment and note you are advice to keep this winning information confidential, to avoid double claiming or delivery of funds to the wrong person.

Regards,

Danny Wells
+44 704 579 3545
Courier Officer
Sky Express Couriers Ltd

Part 3: Payment Request

After Jim informed the "courier" of his choice of delivery options, he then received the following email with payment instructions for his chosen option:
From: Sky Express Courier Company Subject: 48 HUR PAYMENT INFORMATION

53 Ormesby Way, Harrow
Middlesex HA3 9SE.

Hello Jim,
Welcome to Sky Express Couriers Company
In response to your email, we have received your option for claims, which is the 48hur delivery which amounts to 521.95 GBP.

For Speed and same day confirmation, the payment for your choosen option, should be paid via any western union money transfer in any location close to you. The payment should be made to our account's officer's name and address given below :

Name.............Brown Walter

Address..........150 Strone Road
Forest Gate
London
E7 8ES
Hence you have chosen Timed services, once we have commence the delivery of your funds to you, we will notify you by email within 2 hours of dispatch.

Do note that your funds will be delivered to the designated address information immediately our account officer confirm your payment. So you are to provide your full residential address on the receipt of this email.

You are to ensure that you make the payment immediately so that we can facilitate the delivery of your cheque to you immediately.

On the delivery of your cheque, our dispatch agent will explain to you all you need to know, and how to cash your cheque.

As soon as you make the payment, do send us information such as:
Sender's Name:
Amount Sent:
Money Transfer Control Number(MTCN)(10 Digits)

Note that your winnings information should be kept confidential, and not to be revealed to anyone or group of people till you finally receive your winnings. We await your payment details to proceed, and congratulations once more from our staff here.

Regards,
Danny Wells
+44 704 579 3545
Courier Officer
Sky Express Couriers Company
Part 4: Follow-up Email after Recipient Refused to Pay

When Jim refused to pay the requested amount and asked that the fee be taken out of the "prize money", he then received the following vaguely threatening message demanding at least some payment within 48 hours:
Subject: ATTENTION you have been given 48 hours to comply!

Hello Sir,
Welcome to Sky Express Couriers Limited

I am in receipt of your email, I only want you to know that we do not allow our customers influence our policies against our favour. So, we shall be giving you just 48 hours to tell us how much is readily available by you so we can see how to help you and proceed with the delivery, or we may have to take a final drastic action on your package, which may not be in your favour as we operate a "payment before service" policy.

We hope to hear from you at the receipt of this mail.

Regards,

Danny Wells
+44 704 579 3545
Courier Officer
Sky Express Couriers Limited

Part 5: Disclaim Form Email

Given that Jim was already aware that the operation was a scam, he quite naturally still refused to pay even after receiving the above "payment deadline" message. In a last ditch effort to spring their trap, the scammers then sent Jim an official looking "Disclaim Form" that he was supposedly required to fill out and submit. According to the message, Jim was obliged to submit the form to legally relinquish his claim on the prize money since he had refused to pay the requested delivery fees. Scammers regularly use this tactic with the goal of panicking an unsure victim into paying up. Some recipients may be swayed by the seemingly official and legal nature of the form:
From: Sky Express Courier Company Subject: DISCLAIMER FORM** Fill and get back to us**

Hello Sir,
Welcome to Sky Express Couriers Limited

It has gotten to our notice that you are no longer willing to comply to the principle governing the delivery of your package to India. We contacted the UK NATIONAL LOTTERY GAMING BOARD on this earlier in the week, and we just receive words from them that you should be served a DISCLAIMER FORM, which will legally disapprove you from been able to lay claim to your lump sum of money in certified cheque of (715,000 British Pounds). It will also help us in proving that we are not in anyway liable for the refund of your money to the UK NATIONAL LOTTERY, and we will not be held liable for any form of misplacement of funds or double payment of any kind.

There is an attach copy of the disclaimer form, as soon as you fill the form you have then agreed that you do not want to lay claim to your money anymore, and it will be returned to the GAMING BOARD. But if you have decided you want to go ahead with the claims proceedure, you can indicate so I can know how to be of help to you.

Regards,

Danny Wells
+44 704 579 3545
Courier Officer
Sky Express Couriers Limited
Bogus Disclaim Form


Lottery scammers may vary their approach greatly. They may use many different excuses to explain why it is necessary to send payments in advance of receiving the supposed lottery prize. They may also use many different names for their bogus lotteries and claim that their activities are endorsed or supported by a number of different entities, real or imaginary. Beneath these superficial differences however, all advance fee lottery scams are basically the same. Internet users should be cautious of any unsolicited email that claims that they have won substantial cash or prizes in a lottery that they have never even entered. Genuine lottery organizations do not operate in this way.

For more information about lottery scams, see:
Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information
UK National Lottery Scams



Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 84 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
    1. Barack Obama in Afghanistan Protest Email
    2. 'Buy Airplane Ticket Online' Trojan Email
    3. Rottnest Island Great White Shark Hoax
    4. Robert Mugabe Mansion Photographs
    5. Not Able to Deliver UPS Package Malware Email
    6. Prime Minister Howard - Muslims Out Of Australia
    7. Lightning Storm Meets Volcanic Eruption Photos
    8. Ball Girl Wall Climb Catch Video
    9. Google Workplace Photographs - Google's Zurich Office
    10. Google AdWords Phishing Scam
    11. German Truck Art
    12. Lottery Scam Payment Requests - Sky Express Couriers
    13. Diamond Covered Mercedes Photographs
    14. Incredible Chinese Love Story
    15. Johan Lorbeer Gravity Defying Street Performance Photographs
    16. Nadezhda - Russian Dating Scammer
    17. Fake $5 Off Target Coupons