Regions Bank Scam

I have the worst luck when it comes to receiving spam/scam mail.  From earlier today:

Regions scam

So what makes it a scam?  Well the first small clue is that I don’t have accounts at Regions.  Second, that hyperlink in the middle that appears to be directed at http://www.regions.com actually redirects to  www.lapuertacarpinteria.com.  Regions doesn’t redirect customers to third parties…..particularly third party websites that appear to be owned by a a carpentry business in Mexico.  Third, neither Regions nor any other banking institution sends emails telling you to update and verify your account information.  A financial institution would already have your information.  Forth, unlike me Regions typically doesn’t send out email with spelling deficiencies.

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Weekly spam from scammers

Received these this week.  I am sure they are legit…….a legit way to lose your money!

 

First, from mscrystal@iprimus.com.au

Please do you handle cases on failure to obey court order of property settlement ?

Ms Crystal

 

Then, from matthew_shilton@yahoo.co.uk

Our organization is in search of a lawyer that handles civil and breach of contract matters. Please advice if your law office handles such matters.

Regards,

Matthew Shilton

These follow the same pattern from previous scams discussed here, here, here, here and here.

password security

A recent post by William Peacock on the Technologist at Findlaw points out that WordPress sites have been targeted by a botnet seeking to hack passwords.  If you are reading this, chances are they didn’t hack my password.

For some reason, bloggers were using combinations containing the word “admin” as a password.  Probably not such a great idea.  Short combinations of letters, numbers and symbols apparently are not worth a dang either.  As the following demonstrates, use a few random words.  Much easier to remember and much harder to hack.

 

comic

Today is the day…

for scam email directed to lawyers.  First, Ms. Trump (probably no relation to The Donald), writes:

Dear Counsel,

My Name Is Sharon Trump. I wish to file an enforcement petition against my ex-spouse for breaching the court’s decree with regards to payment of property settlement. If you are available for such case Kindly Advise immediately.

Regards,

Sharon Trump

shatrump@comcast.net

Her return addresses from the email she directed to me are shatrump@iprimus.com.au  and sharontrump28@iprimus.com.au  As of yet, I have never received a legitimate email from that domain.  One day it may happen, but I wont hold my breath.

Next up is  SN.

I really need you to respond to my emal because i want you to represent me in a legal case

In case you want to respond to her “emal” her return address is sapphirekori@qq.com.

More #legalscams

The names change, but the scam remains the same.  The latest comes from zkumura1@ymail.com  and asks for replies to be sent to kzukerberg@e-mail.ua.

I am contacting your firm in regards to a divorce settlement/contract enforcement/collections with my Ex Husband who resides in your jurisdiction. Can you be of help?

Regards,

Ms.Kumura Zukerberg

Now had she been married to Mark Zuckerberg, I would have been all over this.  That dude is worth gazillions.

Elena Kinoshita meet Harmony Young #legalscam

It would appear the legal email scam has a new face.  Elena Kinoshita has been replaced by Harmony Young.  Ms. Young sent the following from harmony1young@iprimus.com.au

Dear Counsel

I want to know if your firm can handle contempt petition against my ex-spouse for failure to make court ordered payments of Child Support, Spousal Support and Medical support. Kindly advise.

Regards

Harmony Young

There is also a new one from BellaK (ellaqqb@gmail.com) :

Good day Attorney,

I seek urgently the services of your law firm in a bid to bringing up legal charges against my ex-husband who now resides within your state,reason been that he has not been able to meet up the payment of spousal support,child support and medical support bills.

Do get back to me if you can be of services to me.

Thanks,

Bella.

If for some reason you have the inclination to send money to any of these people for any reason, do us both a favor.  Send half of it to your Church and keep the other half.  That way you will only be out half of your money, get a tax deduction and the Church will be quite grateful.

On a related note, According to the FBI there is another more sophisticated scam making the rounds:

Lawyers’ Identities Being Used for Fake Websites and Solicitations

09/14/12—A recent scam has surfaced in which the identify of a Texas attorney, who had not practiced in years, was used to set up a fake law firm website using the attorney’s maiden name, former office address, and portions of her professional biography. Other attorneys have complained about the use of their names and professional information to solicit legal work. All attorneys should be on the alert to this scam. If you become aware of the same or a similar situation involving your name and/or law firm, you should immediately report the incident to local authorities, your state Bar, and the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Additionally, be sure to closely monitor your credit report or bank accounts to ensure that your identity is not the only thing being stolen. If you have been a victim of an Internet scam or have received an e-mail that you believe was an attempted scam, please file a complaint atwww.IC3.gov.

A new email scam for lawyers

Dear Counsel,

This is a request for your possible Representation in a breach of contract matter.I’m Peng Chen, I like to know if your schedule will permit you to handle a case of breach contract between us and a customer in your jurisdiction.

If there are processes new clients are meant to go through before a case is accepted please advice, or if you accept case base on referral I would want to know also.

It is important we hear from you as soon as possible so we can decide on what to do. If you have any questions or concern do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours Sincerely

Chief Accountant

Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Corporation.

Qingshan District of Wuhan,

China.

Email: wuhangroup50@gmail.com

Website: http://www.wisco.com.cn/wisco_en/

Sounds about as legit as an honest politician.  Have a good weekend everyone and if you are hunting, be careful in the dove field.  Due to tropical storm/depression/hurricane Isaac, the biggest danger this year may be ankle injuries from walking in mud!

Rest assured that you and I are 100% safe……..right

 

 

Checking my email this weekend, it appears I have been selected to help someone in South Africa move $25.5 million and I get 30% of it.  Awesome!  To make matters even better, it is 100% safe.  I think I am going to pass, but “if this offer appeals to your positive response” (whatever the heck that means), give them a call and watch your money disappear.

I won the British Microsoft Select Email Award ——-right

Some of the email scams going around these days looks somewhat legit.  That accounts for a few of the people who get separated from their hard-earned money.  Other email scams are so obviously fraudulent, one can only wonder how in the world someone could fall into the trap.  Last week, I received an email informing me that I had won the British Microsoft Select Email Award in the amount of eight hundred twenty thousand British Pounds.

Think about that for a second before you even look at the pictures below.  First, have you ever heard of Microsoft giving away that kind of money?  Have you heard of anyone giving away that kind of money in a contest that didn’t require you to even enter?  Why would an American citizen even be included in a British contest?

Now take a look at the first page of the scam.

All of a sudden, the Microsoft contest has become affiliated with Hotmail and Yahoo (UK and Ireland no less).  The prize is being administered by Microsoft, but it says I won it from Yahoo and Windows Live.  Do you think Yahoo would let Microsoft hold its money and co-brand a contest?  The document says seven winners are selected monthly.  I guess everyone gets the same prize so we are to believe that these nice people are giving away 5.74 million British Pounds a month or 68.88 million British Pounds a year.  No way.  Not gonna happen, but lets move further down the scam.

Somehow, my winning number falls into the “South African File.”  Dang.  First it was to be handled by a London processing center, but now I will have to deal with a South African “fiduciary agent.”  One would expect that contacting Mr. Morgan would result in communication with someone who is anything but a fiduciary.  Now, moving on to the second page, we find:

I am not sure if these individuals work for Microsoft, Yahoo or anyone else and their placement within the email adds little.  Best guess is that they were thrown in as an attempt at a little authenticity.  FAIL!  Then I am instructed not to disclose my winnings.  If I do, it could result in “disqualification that will arise from dual claim.”  What?  If I tell someone of my great fortune it will result in a double claim?  That makes less sense than Microsoft and Yahoo partnering to give away 68.88 million British Pounds a year.

Finally, check out the pictures of past winners.  The first guy is holding up a Powerball check.  The difference between this scam and Powerball is that people actually win Powerball.  Of course you have to buy a ticket rather than being randomly selected as an email user.  The second picture contains a lady holding a check.  In the background you can clearly see some wall art for the Michigan Lottery.  You reckon the Microsoft Yahoo award from London and South Africa has partnered with the Michigan Lottery in addition to Powerball?  That would be slightly less likely than actually hitting the Powerball which statistically is a  1 in 146,107,962 proposition.  Your odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime are much better at 1 in 10,000.   The third picture doesn’t have enough detail to determine what was won, but you can bet it didn’t come from Microsoft or Yahoo.  The fourth picture is just a couple of guys hugging while some other guys look on.  If you ever reply to one of these scams you should hug your money in the same manner because it will be the last time you see it.

You may be thinking “how will my money go to them if I won a lottery?”  Simple.  If you respond to this type of scam, someone on the other end of the phone is going to inform you that you must pay some form of tax, transfer fee, agent fee, or conversion fee to get your British Pounds converted to US dollars and wired to you.  Or, they will send you an advance against your winnings via check for the amount of taxes you will need to pay.  You will be instructed to deposit the check in your account and immediately forward the money to them for payment of the tax.  When you do, your money is gone.  Shortly thereafter your bank will notify you that the check they sent to you is fraudulent.  Your odds of recovering  the tax money you sent them?  ZERO. 

Spotting scams by content (and lack thereof)

The email scams continue.  Previously,  Valerie Yasushi and Elena Kinoshita needed assistance with a collaborative law agreement in a divorce action.  Lauranne Chinatsu and Theo Trescher needed help with debt collection.

I guess those scams have become known so it is time to move on to a new name and story.  This morning I received the following from marshagarrison40@gmail.com:

Dear Sir,

This is a request for your services in respect of a dispute between our client and a shipper in your state.

We provide surety bond services for freight shipping from pick up through safe delivery and would be very glad to retain your services in resolving our claim.

We appreciate your services to review our request as we await your prompt response.

Yours sincertely

Marshal Marrison

America Surety Bonds

5523 River Road

Suite 154

Louisville, NY 34337

As stated in a previous post, all of these scams have a common theme.  Someone owes the potential client a sum of money for some reason (divorce and business debt have been the most popular).  The potential client wants you to contact the debtor and secure payment.  If you are dumb enough to contact the alleged debtor, he will quickly agree to pay the amount due via check, money order or some other worthless paper.  Your client will instruct you to deposit the check and quickly forward his share less your contingency fee.  You think everything is going smooth until your bank calls to let you know that the check or money order is a fake.  At this point, getting your money back is about as likely as winning the powerball lottery.

Another couple of things should alert your fraud radar.

  1. Being contacted via email for legal representation by a person you have never met.  That just doesn’t happen much unless there is some sort of referral mentioned in the email (“Bob said you did a good job on his case and I wonder if you could help me with……”).
  2. Business people using free email addresses rather than company email address.  If you tell me you represent some company called Dynacorp, but your email comes from the gmail.com domain, it raises flags.
  3. Numerous grammatical errors.  Yes, I know we all make mistakes.  I will probably have at least one in this blog post because I try to do these as fast as possible.
  4. English appears to be the second or third language of the writer.  How many times do you get email that looks like it was sent through translation software? (“We appreciate your services to review our request as we await your prompt response”—-what the heck does that mean?).  It is even more unbelievable when the author of the email has an all-American name and lives in South Dakota.
  5. Failure to have a phone number.  I don’t plan on calling any of these folks (or maybe I would just to waste some of their time), but not many people are going to embark on a business transaction with nothing more than email communication.
  6. Quick money.  There have been days that I made a decent amount of money in a short period of time.  Those days help balance out the days when no revenue comes in.  These scams typically involve a promised amount of money in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour when calculated on an hourly basis.  That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen (or if it does, it doesn’t happen to me!).

Be smart.  Don’t get scammed.

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