How Come These Internet Fraudsters Are So STUPID? | How My Email Won 800 Thousand Dollars in An America Lottery

Lottery

The dumbest fraudsters I’ve come across in life are those internet ones who send random emails out—trying to get you to open some file, send you some huge money they claim to have, those saying you’ve won a lottery and lastly, those who claim to be from a certain bank.

Sometimes, I spare a minute to ask myself this; do these people ever get to scam anyone out there with these old widespread lame tricks? But, it must be working for them somehow—else, why have they not decided to alter the same old obvious scam they’ve been peddling for many years?

To me, they are deeply stupid and lazy—you must also be deeply greedy or stupid to fall for their tricks.

If you have an email address, I am sure you’ve received several emails from some people who claim to be surviving spouses, children or relatives of a rich African billionaire who left behind huge sums of cash—and they intend to transfer this cash to you or intend to make you the beneficiary.

This line of scam has been going on since emails became available and yet, they continue to push it. I even got an email like this yesterday from a certain Hussein from Libya. I don’t even believe that email came from Libya…

And then we have those who work for a big unheard-of lottery organisations, carrying the good news of your huge winnings.  A few years ago, I decided to play a little dumb to one of these emails to see how far it will get for an experience purpose—and it was really interesting.


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Out the blue, I got an email from a certain Elizabeth who said she was in charge of accounts at a lottery firm in Ohio, USA and that my email address had somehow been selected randomly as a winner of their annual lottery. She added that, I had won 800,000 dollars so she was writing to congratulate me and ask for my details so they can swiftly send out my cheque.

Of course I knew this was one of those stupid attempts at scam; because no one will give out such a huge sum of money to anyone for free—more also, for a lottery that you did not even enter into. But I decided to play along and quickly wrote back…

In my reply, I mentioned that I was really excited to have heard the news—and in fact the timing was so right because I needed a bit of money to add to a large loan I had taken to purchase a Yacht as I was moving to Liechtenstein. Take note of the country I picked, I doubt a Yacht will be of any good use there—but they were too stupid to even spot my sarcasm.

Within 10 minutes, I got another email from the same Elizabeth but this email was brief. She basically said she was going to pass on my email to someone from another department who would take my postal address, full name and send out the cheque by mail.

This was getting interesting and since I work from online, this was just happening around my working time—and soon, another email popped up from a certain Kennedy, a typical American name. But I am sure, these guys I was dealing with where nowhere near America.

Kennedy asked for my postal address and full name for the cheque to be issued—I quickly provided my full name which was already in my email’s signature but sent out some phony mailing address.

And then I got another email within 30 minutes, saying my cheque was ready to be sent out by post. In fact, a bank of America cheque with my name and the amount of 800,000 dollars written on it for me was scanned and attached to the email. That was a little smart and they obviously intended to excite me with the image.

Soon, a second email came through—I was expecting that.  The email started that before the cheque can be put into the post, I have to pay 3,000 dollars administrative fee for the processing —this was compulsory and the lottery scheme demands that it’s paid before the cheque is cleared. Kennedy provided a link for me to CLICK, where I would have entered my credit/debit card details for the deduction to be made.

Is this not interesting and at the same time stupid? I have out of the blue won 800,000 dollars but to get access to this money, I have to pay 3,000 dollars first.

I wrote back and said, No problem—“I am by this email authorising you to take 3,000 dollars from the 800,000 dollars that I have won to cover the processing fee and then send me the reminder.” Kennedy wrote back and said, that couldn’t be done…

So I wrote back, saying, it’s really sad that such a deduction cannot be made. All the same, they can send me the cheque and the moment I cash it, I will be able to write another cheque of 3,000 dollars and send it to them or they can actually meet me in Liechtenstein where we can party on my Yacht—and then take the money after.

At this stage, Elizabeth or Kennedy did not write back again—and I believe Elizabeth and Kennedy are the same person, sitting in some internet café somewhere trying his luck with whatever email he can find online.

Apart from this back and forth with such a dumb scammer, I continue to receive so many emails each day from such people—and the emails are largely the same or follow the same pattern. Mostly, these emails are full of spelling mistakes.

The bank ones are what I cannot even bring my head to understand their motive—they can’t be bothered to reason/research a bit yet they want success with such scams? I get emails from Bank of America saying ‘something’ about my bank account held  with them when I’ve never come any close to such a bank before. I don’t have a bank account with Fidelity Bank but there always seem to be an issue with my bank account held at their end…

Even the online robots are getting smarter but these online fraudsters continue to remain dumb, throwing rotten baits with the hope that they will catch some cotton-headed human being.

What has your experience been with these email fraudsters or what sort of emails do you get from them?

Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri

I am a Freelance Journalist/Blogger, a Film Critic and a Human Rights Advocate. I am the author of the popular eBook “Success is a Right, Not A Privilege.” Currently, apart from this blog, I am the Editor of the Biggest & Premium Ghanaian Entertainment online media property-GhanaCelebrities.Com and the vibrant truth-saying blog, BrutalyUncensored.Com.