'United Nations' Advance Fee Scam Uses Skype
Skype add request message purporting to be from the United Nations claims that your Skype name has been selected as the winner of $50,000 in the United Nations Poverty Eradication Program.
The message is not from the United Nations. It is an advance fee scam designed to trick people into sending their money and personal information to cybercriminals.
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UNITED NATIONS would like to add you on Skype
your skype name has been selected as one of the lucky winner in the on going UN program..you have won $50,000 in the united nations poverty eradication program..here is your secret code number (3035).
please get back to us for claim with your secret code number through our personal email address (address removed) and you are advice to keep your secret code number as Top secret until you have receive your price.
please contact us through email only because we dont respond to anybody here on skype.
'United Nations' Skype Message Claims That You Have Won $50,000
According to this Skype message, you are the lucky winner of $50,000 courtesy of the United Nations. Supposedly, your Skype name was selected as the winner of the prize as part of the ongoing 'United Nations Poverty Eradication Program'.
To claim your prize, you are instructed to contact the United Nations via an email address in the message. The message includes a 'secret code number' for you to use during the claim process.
You are told to keep the code number 'top secret' until you receive your prize.
Message is Not From United Nations - Advance Fee Scam
But, of course, the message is not from the United Nations. There is no prize. It is an advance fee scam
designed to trick you into sending money and sensitive personal information to online criminals.
If you send a claim email as instructed, you will soon be advised that you must pay upfront fees before you can receive your prize. The scammers will claim that these fees are required to cover legal, banking, and insurance fees or pay tax obligations. The scammers will inform you that the fees cannot be deducted from the prize itself for legal reasons.
If you comply and send the requested money, more requests will likely follow.
And, as the scam progresses, the criminals may trick you into divulging a large amount of your personal and financial information, ostensibly to allow your win to be processed.
This information may later be used to steal your identity. And, the criminals will pocket any money you have sent and disappear once the scam is done.
Advance fee lottery scams are still very common
and new victims fall for such scams every day. The scams are most commonly sent out via email, but advance fee criminals also use social media messages, SMS, and - as in this case - Skype to reach potential victims.
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Last updated: March 10, 2015
First published: March 10, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
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