Another day, another $8.3 million coming my way. It's become so hum drum and expected that frankly, I rarely pay attention unless the offer is for $10-plus million because that's real money, you know.
Seriously, you'd think there's be no world economic crisis with the amount of currency that people are offering me.
Anyhow, we've often written here about the scam/spam email as a form of the shell game that I loved watching when I would take the L train into Chicago. It was illegal as it was a scam, but for the tourists taking the train to Wrigley Field, they were just naive enough to see this Chicago tradition as fun until they were out $20 or $50 bucks before they reached the Addison Street station.
You can't win the shell game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpfQEo2kxVU
The way it works in a scam/spam email is that there's so much going on, so much distraction that you tend to lose sight of the details, of what's really going on.
For example, in the email below, we have lots of numbers representing a Release Code, a "United nation Approval" number, a "White House Approved" reference number, a Password, a Pin Code, a Certificate of Merit Payment, an "Immediate Citibank Telex confirmation No," and then, my favorite: the "Secret Code No:XXTN013."
I'm told to deal with Rhoda Wilton, but the email came from someone named Felix, and then, after they ask for specific details of my bank account information, they say my contact is someone named Judith Rodin. They're telling so many lies, they've screwed themselves up.
In journalism, the KISS principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid) is encouraged. One thought per sentence. One topic per story.
Not a bad rule of thumb when it comes to these spam emails. Granted, the transfer of $8.3 million is likely a complex ordeal, but I'm going to guess you don't need a "Secret Code" if you ever encounter that kind of money.
Just hit delete.
From: Felix [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 4:50 PM
Subject: YOUR FUND TRANSFER FORM.
THE UNITED NATION ORGANISATION
LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
UNITED NATION PAYMENT APPROVAL
OFFICE Special Duties/Logistics Department
FOREIGN CONTRACT/WINNING PAYMENT BUREAU
Our Ref: GBT /USA/STB Your Ref 25321/imf/us/09/10
UNITED NATION AND EUROPEAN UNION OFFICIAL WINNING PAYMENT VALUED $8,300,000M
UNITED NATION ORGANIZATION AND EUROPEAN UNION ORGANIZATION do hereby give this irrevocable approval order with Release Code: GNC/3480/02/00 in your favor for your contract entitlement/award winning payment with the UNITED NATION to your nominated bank account. Now your new Payment,United nation Approval No;UN5685P,White House Approved No:WH44CV, Reference o.-35460021, Allocation No: 674632 Password No: 339331 , Pin Code No: 55674 and your Certificate of Merit Payment No : 103 , Released Code No: 0763; Immediate Citibank Telex confirmation No: -1114433 ;Secret Code No:XXTN013, Having received these vital payment number , therefore You are qualified now to received and confirm Your payment with the United Nation immediately within the next 72hrs.
As a matter of fact, you are required to Deal and Communicate only with MRS RHODA WILTON, NEW DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL REMMITTANCE CITIBANK OF UNITED KINGDOM, with the help and monitory team from the CITIBANK OF FEDERAL RESERVE ACCOUNT OFFICE IN US which is our official remitting bank, Committee On Foreign Payment Matters in United Nation, has look up to make sure you receive your fund valued $8.3m. So contact: MRS RHODA WILTON. on Tel:+447024089643 FAX +44 871 900 7516
Email: email@example.com for immediate release of your contract/inheritance/Award Winning claim Be informed that you are not allowed to correspond with any person or office anymore, You are required to send her the bellow information for your transfer.
1) YOUR FULL NAME:
4) COMPANY NAME(IF ANY) POSITION AND ADDRESS
5) BANK DETAILS:
SWIFT CODE :
6) PROFESSION AND MARITAL STATUS,
7) COPY OF YOUR INT'L PASSPORT/DRIVERS LICENSE
NOTE: YOUR PERSONAL CONTACT/COMMUNICATIONCODE WITH CITIBANK IS(022),YOU ARE ARE ADVICE TO SEND YOU FULL BANKING INFORMATION TO THE NEW CITIBANK OF LONDON INTERNATIONAL REMMITTANCE DIRECTOR HEADED BY MRS JUDITH RODIN AND MAKE SURE YOU ADHIRE TO HER INSTRUCTIONS,
WITH YOUR NEW PAYMENT CODE FOR RELEASE OF YOUR PAYMENT AND SEND HER ALL YOUR BANKING INFORMATION NOW. CONTACT CODE(002)
OFFICER: MRS RHODA WILTON
POSITION: NEW DIRECTOR,INTL,REMMITTANCE CITIBANK LONDON.
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org TEL: +447024089643 FAX +44 871 900 7516
MRS RHODA WILTON
(CHAIRMAN COMMITTE ON FOREIGN CONTRACT/AWARD WINING PAYMENT UNITED NATION AND USA GOVERNMENT).