Interpol Funds Recovery Scam
Email claims that an agent from international police organization, Interpol, is attempting to recover and return funds stolen from the recipient during previous scam attempts (Full commentary below
(Submitted, March 2008)
FROM INTERNATIONAL POLICE UNIT, REGARDING RECOVERY OF YOUR LOST MONEY.
My name is Mr.Frank Adam. I am fraud investigating international police, attached with United Nations international police unit LONDON . I cover Europe Asia and African countries with my men. We discovered that you are among the list of foreigners that fell victims of fraudulent activities of some scam men, and they clame they where doing legitimate transaction with you. From our investigation, we discovered that you have lost a lot of money, which included money borrowed from friends to fulfill your financial obligation with these criminals.
I discovered that a lot of names have contacted you,and they claimed to be YOUR PARTNERS AND FRIENDS IN BUSINESS. They used your money and do away with it. Though they are now on the run,but they that might be writting you from hiding due to mobile internet services.
Please we want to know how much you send to them, to enable us include it in the money we are proposing to return to you immediately.They are the people that told you series of endless sweet good stories we gave you all these evidence to enable you know we have first class information of what you did with them, and we need your absolute cooperation to enable us recover your fund and send it back to you to enable you reposition your damaged financial life.
We have seized the properties of these men that were on the run, and have submitted their properties to government for auction sales to enable us recover your fund, but this will be possible if we hear from you,to enable us advise you on how to apply for recovery of your fund and if possible give us more details that will help us to arrest them. PLEASE DO NOT DISCLOSE THIS EMAIL TO THEM TO ENABLE US ARREST THEM.DO NOT INFORM THEM, JUST MAINTAIN REGULAR CORRESPONDENCE WITH US AND ALWAYS UPDATE ME ANYTIME THEY WRITE YOU.
Your reply to us is very important.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Chief inspector of crime and fraud Interpol.
Contact Number: [Removed]
Interpol is the world's largest international police organization, with 186 member countries. Created in 1923, it facilitates cross-border police co-operation, and supports and assists all organizations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime.
Interpol aims to facilitate international police co-operation even where diplomatic relations do not exist between particular countries. Action is taken within the limits of existing laws in different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Interpol?s constitution prohibits ?any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character. Interpol's Leadership The President of Interpol and the Secretary General work closely together in providing strong leadership and direction to the Organization
According to this email, a fraud investigator working with Interpol and the United Nations is attempting to recover and return stolen funds that have been identified as belonging to the victim. The message claims that steps are being taken to return money that the recipient has lost after becoming a victim of a previous Internet scam.
Emails purporting to from law enforcement agencies that claim to be concerned with scam victim reimbursement may themselves be scams.
The agent claims that the criminals responsible are now on the run and that their property has been seized and will be sold at auction in order to raise money to reimburse victims. The recipient is requested to reply to the agent so that the process of returning the funds can be initiated.
However, the email is itself a scam of the same type that it pretends to be combating. The message is not from Interpol and has no connection to the United Nations. And claims that recovered money will be returned to victims is a lie. No such recovery fund exists.
These scam messages may be deliberately targeted at people who have previously fallen for advance fee scams and sent money and personal information. Some of these victims may be quite desperate to recover the money they have lost and therefore willingly grasp at what they perceive as even the slimmest of opportunities to get their money back. Of course, the same Internet criminals are quite likely to be responsible for both the original scam and the supposed "funds recovery" follow-up scams. There have been cases in which victims have been repeatedly scammed again and again over months or years because they have become increasingly desperate to recover their stolen money and have become more and more irrational.
The scammers may also rely on pure greed to reap new victims. At least a few recipients would certainly be greedy and gullible enough to pretend
to be previous scam victims in the hope of receiving easy money from the supposed recovery fund. The recipient may believe that he has been misidentified by Interpol as a previous scam victim. However, he may be quite willing to go along with the pretence in the chance of receiving a payment.
In either case, the motives of the scammers are likely to be the same. As with countless other variants of the advance fee scam, the victim will sooner or later be asked to send money in order to facilitate the release of the funds. In this case, the scammers may pretend that the fees are necessary to cover insurance or legal fees related to the processing of the recovery fund. In the pretext of meeting legal obligations, the victim may also be asked to supply a great deal of personal information that could later be used to steal his identity.
Interpol, the United Nations or any other such organization would never attempt to communicate with a scam victim via an unsolicited email. The scammers have included references to Interpol and the United Nations in an attempt to make the message sound more legitimate. The email includes a link to the genuine Interpol website in a further attempt to appear genuine. It also uses contact email addresses associated with a popular law enforcement related website, and this may fool some recipients into believing that the message is from a real police officer. However, since the site offers free webmail addresses to visitors, anyone, including scammers, can create an email address that uses the site's domain name.
Moreover, the email's poor spelling and strange grammar are strong indications that it is not an official Interpol message. Internet users should be very cautious of unsolicited email that promises any sort of reimbursement for scam victims. Scammers have used this tactic before
and are likely to continue to do so.
Last updated: 18th March 2008
First published: 18th March 2008
Write-up by Brett M. Christensen