The following email structure was sent to me by a scammer. I want you to go through and extract the trend you must watch out for. This mail is a classical way those fraudster design their ‘genius’ emails. At the end of the sample email, I shared tips how I scrutinize every email.
***The email begins here***
Subject: ACCRUED INTEREST PAYMENT FROM IBTC BANK
Head Office Branch I.B.T.C. Place Walter Carrington Crescent P.O.Box 71707
Good day to you.
It is with trust and most good faith that I write this message to you. I wish to solicit your understanding and co-operation in a proposal which I have carefully analyzed and which will be of mutual benefits to us. My name is Dr. Steve Martins, Managing Director of IBTC bank Nigeria. Be informed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal ministry of Finance (FMF) have designated our Bank as one of their reserved paying banks to assist in offsetting debts owed to Foreign Contractors/Beneficiaries. To this effect an arrangement was entered into between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and my Bank.
This arrangement was made as a result of the problems faced by the apex bank in respect of incessant claims being made by Contractors and which have till date remained unsettled. The Apex Bank then designated various Banks to assist it in its responsibility to the customers who have genuine claim. Consequently, your payment file is among those forwarded to our bank for effective payment. But due to protocol which occasioned unnecessary delay, the funds ear marked for the settlement of these claims and lodged in our bank for over 12 months have accrued some interest which was discovered during our banking year auditing exercise for the year ended July 29 th 2011.
I am writing you primarily to reach a mutual understanding with you to enable me approve the accumulated interest totaling US$2,500 , 000.00 for immediate payment to you, pending the settlement of your original claim. The Central Bank of Nigeria is not aware of this accrued interest and rather than adding it to the original sum, I can assist you in receiving this interest without unnecessary protocol. This is however subject to a mutual understanding that I shall receive a compensation of 20 % of this sum, As soon as the payment of the interest is effected. Endeavor to contact me immediately to enable us discuss this issue more elaborately. This opportunity will benefit both of us a great deal and should be treated with seriousness as the procedure is not expected for more than 4 working days. Note that the fund can be paid to you via Draft Payment/ Key Tested Telex (KTT)/ATM CARD.
***The email ends here***
Tips to Protect you from Scam Emails
1. Disclose your personal email address with caution. Prevention is a first-line solution.
2. Subscribe to services offered on credible sites. Hey! Pay no attention to packages with unrealistic benefits; they are never true.
3. For every email you receive, check the ‘To’ field. Once you see ‘undisclose-recipients’, click on the ‘delete’ button without giving it a second.
4. The ‘from’ field can contain marsked email address or name just like in the sample scam email. To disclose the true sender email, click on ‘reply’ button, and see what email appears in the ‘to’ field.
5. YOU MUST NOT REPLY TO ANY EMAIL SUSPECTED TO BE SCAM! Why? These scammers don’t know you exist. They harverst emails from the internet and send out bulk mails to them. Any reply from such emails will validate that they exist.
My Secret to out-smart Scammers
“Do not be greedy.”
These four words superceed every other advice you may ever get. Thank you for reading up to this point.
My word to Scammers out there: you are an inspiration to this type of article, and a wake-up call email clients.
Scammers will soon be out of job.