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Overdue Payments Advance Fee Scam

Summary:
Message claims that the recipient is owed payments of $5.5 million dollars and he or she should contact a specified "representation officer" to arrange transfer of the funds (Full commentary below).



Status:
Message is a scam designed to trick victims into sending money and personal information to Internet criminals

Example:(Submitted, July 2009)
Subject: Long Awaiting Outstanding Payment

External Review Committee on Debt Statistics
And fund audit Balance Debt
IMF-World Bank Collaboration
Davos-Klosters, Switzerland
Email; commissions@ercods.net

Re: Outstanding

We the cooperate world financial body have received all the overdue outstanding payments owed to the following: firms, contractors, inheritance next of kin and lottery beneficiaries that was originated from Africa, Europe, Americans, Asia including Middle East. Among the list are individuals and companies that their unpaid funds have been located to our authorized official paying bank, the AGRICULTURAL BANK OF CHINA(ABC).

Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a part-payment of $5.5Million and has been approved already as concluded in World Economic Forum. You are requested to get back to this office for verification and immediate approval of your fund release.

We have discovered reasons why you are yet to receive your payment. It is because of irregularities and complications discovered on your payment file by our technical experts in respect to your contract / inheritance payment requirements which have just been duly rectified. Meanwhile, we have been informed that you are still dealing with impostors and unaccredited officials in the bank. Such acts must stop for security reasons if you wish to receive your payment, hence we have decided to bring a solution to your problem.

This development was as result of new Payment Policy Revolution of 2009 carry out by the world financial bodies in collaboration with World Bank Audit Unit and United Nations Policy Maker Unit under World Bank payment constitution and the World Economic Development Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 28 January - 1 February 2009 "Shaping the Post-Crisis World"; The G-20 summit,31 March, 2009 held in London United Kingdom and the just concluded 19th World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town held on 10th to 12th June,2009.

This effort is to help tackle world financial crisis which resulted in global rescissions in the entire world financial system.

1) Your full name
2) Your current postal address
3) Your phone/ fax number
4) Total amount expecting
5) Photocopy of your passport.

Instead of losing your fund, please indicate to us the total sum you are expecting and for your information, you have to stop any further communication with any institution or office until you receive your payment.

This development is as result of the effort made by World Bank , the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to relief and erase debt of up to $55bn (?31bn) owed by African banks and other several international banks world wide as it has been backed by one of the main international lenders(International Monetary Fund) through Debt Relief and Settlement Package. Moreover, this program is in line with our financial effort to enhance circulation of funds which will quickly erase recession from the global financial system.

For enquiry, kindly contact our East Asia & Pacific Regional Senior Vice Representation officer Andrew Yeap through direct contact Tel: 0086 13480194429

We await your urgent response.
Ms. Alexis Kohler
Chief Auditor / Secretary




Commentary:
Advance fee scammers used many covers stories as the bait in their scam attempts. They may claim that money is owed to the victim due to an unpaid contract. They may claim that the victim can apply for a large inheritance supposedly from a person who shares the victim's last name. Or they may claim that the victim has won a large cash prize in an international lottery. This scam email attempts to combine all three of these bogus cover stories into one. The message claims that an official "world financial body" has managed to collect outstanding payments from various sources, including "firms, contractors, inheritance next of kin and lottery beneficiaries" and is now attempting to get these supposed outstanding payments to a list of "beneficiaries". According to the message, the recipient's name appeared on this list and he or she is owed the princely sum of $5.5 million.

However, this rather convoluted story is just one more attempt to fool victims into sending money and personal information to Internet criminals. Those who fall for the ruse and reply to the message in the hope of receiving their supposed overdue payment will soon be asked to send upfront fees, ostensibly to allow the release of the funds. The scammers will claim that these fees must be made prior to the release of the funds to cover such expenses as insurance, banking, or administration costs. The scammers will insist that these fees cannot be deducted from the fund itself. Requests for these bogus fees will continue until the victim belatedly comes to realize that he or she is being scammed. In the guise of procuring the release of the funds, the scammers may also trick their victim into providing a large amount of personal information which might subsequently be used to steal his or her identity. Of course, the supposed overdue payments do not exist, nor does the international financial entity that is supposedly overseeing the collection and distribution of these fictional overdue payments.

The promised money is simply the bait used by the scammers as a means of tricking victims into replying to such scam messages. Scammers often weave the names of real entities or well-known people into their bogus stories as a means of making their claims seem more believable. In this case, the scammers have mentioned the World Economic Development Forum which indeed took place in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland in January and February 2009. They also mention the G20 Summit and the World Economic Forum on Africa, both real events that took place in 2009. Of course, none of these genuine and totally legitimate events have anything whatsoever to do with the bogus claims in the scam emails. The names of these events and other entities such as the Agricultural Bank Of China have been added by the scammers simply to further the illusion that their message is legitimate.

Internet users should be very cautious of any unsolicited email that promises them a large sum of money from an inheritance, lottery win, or unpaid contract. In fact, advance fee scammers use dozens of different cover stories to find new victims. Any message that claims that the recipient may be eligible to receive a large amount of money and should contact a specified "agent" to begin the process of claiming their supposed windfall should be treated with the utmost suspicion.

More information about advance fee scams:
Nigerian Scams - 419 Scam Information
Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information




Last updated: 30th July 2009
First published: 30th July 2009

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen