Friday, October 23, 2009

Scam Messages (1)

A scam is a "dishonest scheme". It follows therefore that a scammer is a person who performs dishonest schemes.

It is not news that there are scammers every where and everyday they (scammers) come up with new "schemes". For the past 7-8 months I have been receiving emails from a group of scammers posing to be "Interswitch" officials. In Nigeria, Interswitch is the premier transaction switching platform. When the word "Interswitch" is mentioned, the first thing that will come to a lay man's mind is ATM cards.

One of such mails read was notifying their "valued customers" that their services are currently being upgraded to a more secured system. In that same mail, the reader is expected to click on a link to register all debit cards, X-change cards and ATM cards. The email further warned that only registered cards will work on the ATM machines.

At first I panicked. But when I remembered that I do not have a functional ATM card at that time, I just ignored the message by deleting it immediately. By the next day when I opened my mail, I saw 2 more of such scam messages. Are people this desperate? Na wa o! Anyway, this time around I took my time reading through the message, thinking it could be true after all. I put my cursor on the link and a very different web address was displayed on my tool bar! It was then I confirmed it was a scam mail.

Some days later, while I was discussing the issue with some friends, I discovered that some people have actually fallen prey to this bait and their accounts were "cleaned" by these fraudsters! But come to think of it, why would anyone reveal his/her PIN to anyone??!!

Although these mails go directly to my bulk mail, some still filter into my inbox. I even received one purportedly sent from the Central Bank of Nigeria. Here are some of the recent scam mails I have received:

Message 1:

Dear value customer,


You have received 1 new message waiting in your inbox folder.


click here to read


PS: To switch off email notifications of new messages, go to 'My Account' after you've logged in.


Regards


Message Depertment.


INTERSWITCH LIMITED.

Message 2:

Dear value customer,


We regret to inform you that access to your ATM CARD "POWERED BY INTERSWITCH"


has been temporarily limited.


To restore your account please click the link below and provide us with the required information:


click here to restore your account


PS: Your account will be restore in the next 48hrs.


Regards


Online Services.


INTERSWITCH NIGERIA LIMITED.

Message 3:

Verify Your ATM Account Statement Now..
Mon, October 19, 2009 7:09:20 AM
From: Central Bank Of Nigeria


Dear ATM Card User,


This is to hereby notify you of the recent Central Bank of Nigeria Directive to all banks to switch to the new and secured chip ATM cards.


With this directive,all old ATM cards shall be inactivated. With the new Cards,there shall be no more transaction charges when you use your ATM cards and it is more secured.go to the website below to register for your new card;


http://atmcardupdate2009.4t.com/online/cbn.html


You are getting this mail because you have not updated.


REGARDS


Mr.Tony Ede
Assistant Director,
LAGOS OFFICE
Office Address:Tinubu Square,Lagos
Postal Address:P.M.B. 12194,Lagos.
Fax: +234(1)882 617
So I guess since I did not "update", by clicking the link, the messages will not stop. The most recent is this one:

Please note that Your Interswitch ATM Card is about to expire
Please note that Your Interswitch ATM Card is about to expire.
In order for it to remain active, please Use the button below to
Activate and get Unlimited Access on your ATM Card.
click here to re-activate your account


PS: Your account will be re-activate in the next 48hrs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notice that the messages are laced with gramatical errors. This show how "literate" the scammers are Also, when I put my cursor on the links, different web addresses are displayed. Some of the links have the following addresses:

"tanway.cz/components/login.html"; "tatarmoscow.ru/html/images/forum/login.html"; "ussonline.free.fr/uss/administrator/components/com_remository/login.html".

Now, note that the above addresses have no link to the real interswitch web address which is "interswitchng.com".

Interestingly, Interswitch has denied ever sending any of such messages. The caveat is found on the real interswitch website.

Some banks have also published and circulated several warnings, advising that no one should disclose his/her PIN to anyone. For instance, I received a mail that read thus:

Dear Friends,


We have been alerted to a fraudulent email purporting to originate from Central Bank of Nigeria and advising customers to log on to the following website http://onlinecbnservice09.t35.com/CBN-OnlineService.html to download individual forms that must be completed to upgrade their ATM cards to the new ATM machine code including your mobile number and email address where verification codes will be sent.


Please note: On no account should you visit any website in order to upgrade your ATM card based on an email purporting to either represent Interswitch, the bank or Central Bank of Nigeria . Such an act would immediately compromise your ATM card and render your account vulnerable to fraudulent withdrawals.


The claim that failure to upgrade your ATM card will render the card unusable is totally untrue and is merely a way of luring you to divulge your ATM card details.


If you have already responded to such fraudulent email, immediately notify your relationship manager or call CIC on (01 – 2800822, 01-2644754- 59, 08035606000, & 08025606000) to disable your card to prevent fraudulent withdrawals from your accounts until such a time that you can safely change your PIN.


Forwarding this alert to friends and family members would also help inform them and combat this fraud.


Thank you.


IT Risk Management

I can not asertain the authenticity of the telephone numbers, since I have not had cause to call them. However, my advise to all is this: DO NOT DISCLOSE YOUR PIN TO ANYONE!

10 comments:

simeone said...

the scammers seem to very determined people ..just yesterday i deleted another batch of thier messages and said to someone..if they were not making profits..they would have given up..
hope you cool? :)

HYAW said...

i get such mails too, some of them are so obvious that i wonder whyanyone would fall for such

Favoured Girl said...

I get those emails too. Thankfully I know all about "phising" so I would never reveal my bank details to any dodgy website. My goodness, some of the websites they even link to are so obviously fake! I wonder who still falls for such scams?

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

yes oh! these scammers are working over time to take people's hard earned money. na wa.


NIGERIAN CURIOSITY
IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN I ONLY HAD ONE...

Bibi said...

imagine that!and they all look so real. amazing. thank God you didn't fall for that sha. i had an issue with my credit card the other day too. its just a jungle out there. survival of the fittest.lol

Dee! said...

My peeps the scammers are so determined! They come up with all sorts of tricks everyday! They just don't give up. This issue of identity theft is becoming more alarming.

I have taken steps to alert everyone I meet, particularly the "uneducated" ones... I always tell them not to disclose their PINs to anybody!

May God help us!

Writefreak said...

Scammers are always on the prowl but they usually almost always give themselves away!

Remi, United Kingdom said...

Hey Dee, how are you girl? Yes scammers are always on the prowl.

As there are God vessels, so there are satan vessels.. and they are relentless in their work for their master.. that's why we must be relentless in doing ours to expose and stop them! Well done, and thank God you did not fall for them.
Have an awesome weekend. Much love x

Myne Whitman said...

Just found your blog. Nice one...So when are you going to update? Have a great week...

Afronuts said...

LOL...I get lots of these in my mail from time to time.

And I know a scam when i see one

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