I’m a window shopper as far as phishing and email scams are concerned. I like looking, but I must be a disappointment to the ‘vendors’ because I never send my private data to anyone and I don’t click any links. The fact that many of the attempts are just so funny makes it that much easier to resist sending my info to claim the ‘millions pounds’ and other currencies that they tell me is mine, ALL MINE for the asking! (evil laugh)

This week, I received a couple of new ones – at least for me. One was supposedly from UPS about some sort of card that I’m supposed to use to collect a large amount of money. Because of all the typos in the first paragraph, this one was a disappointment.

The other was from the FBI. Wow! The F B I sending me email – it must be important!

I’ll highlight just a few of the things that quickly reveal the FBI one to be a fraud.

The agency the person supposedly works for:

Anti-Terrorist and Monitory Crimes Division.

Federal Bureau of Investigation.

J. Edgar. Hoover Building Washington D.C

In the address alone, I count at least 6 mistakes! Is there really a ‘Monitory Crimes Division’ or did they mean ‘Monetary Crimes Division’?!? I’m sure the FBI are ‘monitoring’ things, but my guess is that they were trying to say that they were concerned about money. The other 5 involve punctuation in the address – why would there be a period at the end of each line and after Edgar, but not after the C in D.C ? I would hope that the FBI would know how to write their address correctly. It may sound like the address stuff is insignificant, but it’s not: official agencies and businesses sweat the small stuff. Mistakes drive away customers, so they have to get it right. Scamsters aren’t as careful!

The email address of the person sending the message is at gmail.com – a free webmail service. Doesn’t the FBI have a domain for their own email? Do their agents really use free webmail for business correspondence?

In the text, they use both ‘ATM Card Center’ and ‘ATM Card Centre’. It doesn’t really matter which form they chose, as long as they stuck with it. I remember in high school, my teachers would take off extra points when I would try to weasel my way through by spelling the same word different ways in the same essay. I don’t think the ‘FBI’ should get a pass on trying the same trick! 🙂

For those who did not find enough in the text to STOP them from sending their info to this person, the last line of the email is one last try from the sender to snap anyone out of the daydream of what he or she will do with all that cash: ‘Final Notification from the United state Fbi’.

If you do receive an unexpected offer to receive cash or something very valuable in exchange for verifying your personal information – even if you do miss some of the trip-ups that give the culprit away – you can do some basic research of your own to see if what you’ve received is a scam. The following sites aren’t definitive, but they are a good place to do a quick check on scams that are out there – and there are a lot.

www.scamdex.com and www.snopes.com

Hey, be careful out there!

Peter L