In this type of scam, the sender, generally through an email, requests help in facilitating the transfer of a substantial sum of money. In return, the sender offers a commission, usually in the range of several million dollars. The scammers then request that money be sent to pay for some of the costs associated with the transfer. Once money is sent to the scammers, they will either disappear immediately or try to get more money with claims of continued problems with the transfer.
In such matters the victims normally allege that they have received emails from unknown sources wherein they have been informed that:
• Either they have won a lottery worth millions of dollars; or
• Their help is required for transferring of illegal money from some African Country; or
• They have been selected for an overseas job, generally a hotel job in some European/American country; or
• Goods are offered at throwaway prices; or
• In some cases, the victim’s address book in her emailing list is compromised and emails sent to all her contacts from her ID asking for money to bail out from a perilous situation;
The victims are trapped in a phased manner and are generally made to deposit a huge amount of money either as money transfer fee, payment of taxes or transportation cost.
The victims apparently receive a spam email and respond to the same and ends up paying money to some unknown persons for a nonexistent purpose.
Such crimes are generally carried out from foreign locations. Money is either deposited in offshore accounts or in some courier account in India.
1. Do not chat with strangers over net. Fraudsters and scammers prowl on the internet looking for victims.
2. Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust and never by email.
3. Avoid any arrangement with a stranger who asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency. It is rare to recover money sent this way.
4. Do not agree to transfer money for any unknown person. Money laundering is a criminal offence.
5. Verify the identity of the contact by calling the relevant organization directly – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Do not use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.
6. Check credentials of foreign entities through the concerned Embassies and High Commissions, Counselates etc.
7. Do an internet search using the names or exact wording of the letter/email to check for any references to a scam – many scams can be identified this way.
8. If you think it’s a scam, don’t respond — scammers will use a personal touch to play on your emotions to get what they want.
9. Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is a trap.
Advise for victims
1. Immediately send blocking request to the concerned service provider through their support or help desk and try to retrieve the access by following the procedure mentioned by them.
2. Immediately send an email to all your contact from any alternative email not to respond to emails coming from the hacked email.
3. If any transaction was made, immediately contact the concerned bank to stop the transfer.
How to make a complaint
1. Take a print out of the alleged email along with its full header of the email
2. Take full header only from the first recievier email account (not the forwarded one).
3. Take Bank statement from the victim’s account.
4. Collect Details of the alleged transaction made.
5. Lodge a complaint in your nearest Police Station explaining complete incidence along with the above mentioned documents.
6. Save the soft copy of all above mentioned documents and provide them to the Investigating Officer on a CD-R.