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Indian Government Award Advance Fee Scam

Outline
Email purporting to be from the Indian Government claims that the recipient is eligible to receive the sum of eighty five lahks as a government payment to enable him or her set up a business.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from the Indian government and the promised award does not exist. The message is a scam designed to trick recipients into sending money and personal information to Internet criminals.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



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Last updated: 21st December 2010
First published: 21st December 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
From: INDIA GOVERNMENT COMPENSATION

Subject: MESSAGE FROM THE INDIA GOVERNMENT


THIS IS TO BRING TO YOUR NOTICE THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA HAVE CONCLUDED TO COMPENSATE SOME INDIA CITIZEN JOB SEEKER WITH THE SUM OF EIGHTY FIVE LAHKS (85LAHKS) TO ENABLE THEM SETUP THEIR OWN BUSINESS OR FIRM OF THEIR CHOICE. 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 AND IT WAS MAINLY SELECTED FROM THE TIME JOB OFFICE IN INDIA.

WE THE INDIA GOVERNMENT ARE TO PERSONALLY CONGRATULATE YOU FOR THIS GREAT AWARD FROM THE INDIA GOVERNMENT. ALL YOU ARE ADVICE TO DO IS TO USE THE FUND AWARDED TO YOU JUDICIOUSLY AND EMPLOY OTHER JOB SEEKERS TO WORK FOR YOU IN YOUR BUSINESS FIRM OR ORGANIZATION THAT YOU ARE TO ESTABLISH WITH THE AWARDED FUND. YOUR WRITTEN CHEQUE OF EIGHTY FIVE LAHKS (85LAHKS) HAS BEEN ISSUED TO THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA (RBI) FOR THE TRANSFER TO YOUR ACCOUNT.

ALL YOU ARE NEEDED TO DO AT THIS POINT IN TIME IS TO CONTACT THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA (RBI) VIA EMAIL WITH THIS BELOW DETAILS STATED BELOW.

FILL THE BELOW DETAILS TO THE FINANCE MANAGER 1. BENEFICIARY FULL NAMES:
2. BENEFICIARY FULL HOME ADDRESSEE:
3. BENEFICIARY TELEPHONE NUMBER:
4. BENEFICIARY BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS:
5. BENEFICIARY AGE:
6. BENEFICIARY RECENT PASSPORT OR PAN CARD:

CONTACT THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA RBI WITH THE BELOW DETAILS FOR THE TRANSFER OF YOUR AWARDED AMOUNT.
SHRI G. PADMANABHAN,
CHIEF GENERAL MANAGER
DEPARTMENT OF PAYMENT AND SETTLEMENT SYSTEMS RESERVE BANK OF INDIA.
EMAIL: rbi2@accountant.com

AS SOON AS YOU CONTACT THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA (RBI) WITH THE BELOW DETAILS, YOUR AWARDED FUNDS OF EIGHTY FIVE LAHKS (85LAHKS) ISSUED TO YOU BY THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND THE INDIA MINISTRY OF WORK WILL BE TRANSFERRED INTO YOUR ACCOUNT. BE INFORMED THAT YOU ARE TO START ACCESSING YOUR EMAIL EACH AND EVERYDAY AT THE CONFIRMATION OF THIS AWARDED FUND TO ENABLE YOU KNOW WHEN THE AWARDED FUND WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO YOUR ACCOUNT BY THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA (RBI).




Detailed Analysis
According to this email the recipient has been chosen to receive a substantial sum of money from the Indian Government. The email, which purports to be a message from the Indian Government, claims that the recipient has been awarded the sum of eighty five lahks as a government payment to enable him or her to set up a business and possibly employ "other job seekers". In order to claim the "award" the recipient is instructed to email personal and financial details to a "finance manager" at the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI). Supposedly, after the recipient provides the requested information, the award money will be transferred by the RBI directly into his or her bank account.

However, the email is certainly not from the Indian Government and the promised award is simply the bait designed to fool victims into sending money and private information to Internet criminals. Those who fall for the ruse and contact the bogus "finance manager", will soon be ask to send upfront fees, ostensibly required to allow the award to be processed. The scammers will insist that these fees cannot, under any circumstances, be deducted from the award itself and must be paid in full before the fund can be transferred. As the scam progresses, the scammers will invent more and more fictitious fees and charges - such as supposed insurance costs, tax payments, bank transfer fees and others - until the victim either runs out of money to send or finally realizes that he or she is being conned.

Moreover, if a recipient replies to the message as requested the scammers may also gather enough personal information to allow them to steal their victim's identity. The scam message asks for contact and banking details along with a copy of a recent passport or the victim's PAN details. The PAN or Permanent Account Number is a ten-digit alphanumeric code issued as an identifier by the Indian Income Tax Department. Such information is very valuable to identity thieves. The scammers may also request even more personal information from victims during the course of the scam.

If you receive an email like the one above, do not reply or respond to the scammers in any way. Do not send any personal information. Do not send money. Advance fee scammers use a great many cover stories to reap new victims. Be wary of any email, fax, letter or social network message that claims that you are eligible to receive a large sum of money through a supposed lottery win, government grant, charitable award or international business deal. Any such offers should be treated with suspicion. Follow the links below for more information about scams of this nature:
International Lottery Scam Information
Nigerian Scams - 419 Scam Information

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Last updated: 21st December 2010
First published: 21st December 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer