Very recently a friend of mine posted on his Facebook page about a mail he got from Google Corporations UK wherein he was informed that his email ID had won a whopping 950,000.00 GBP. (Wish it was real). To claim it, all he had to do was fill in few details, keep it confidential till the money was credited into his account and deposit few thousand rupees for verifications.
Hola! And we have got another scam in the making!
However, for this friend of mine, every comment on his Facebook status warned him of scam and I am sure that saved him. But it's not every day that people like him are warned by friends and they end up losing their hard-earned money to some fraud.
Soon after this incident, I received a series of fraud mails and they all came from the most reputed companies and organisations of the world -
1) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI): The mails (two different mails) from the central bank of India via email ID firstname.lastname@example.org said I was a beneficiary to a sum of £500,000.00 GBP by the British Government. It also took the name of RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. All I had to do was fill up some documents, provide some details and abracadabra! The cash was all mine.
Interestingly, this mail came just days after reports said that scamsters were posing as RBI chief to lure people.
2) World Bank UK: This came straight from the Desk of the Secretary-General of the World Bank UK via email ID email@example.com. The mail said I was being provided a fund of £500,000.00 GBP. A copy of a NATWEST BANK PLC check of the same amount was attached too.
3) Facebook: The mail came straight from none other than Mark Zuckberg, the founder of the social networking site, via email ID firstname.lastname@example.org. It had his picture at the end of the mail. The prize was bigger too - £750,000.00 GBP along with one Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. One couldn't be luckier than this.
4) Maruti Suzuki India: The mail which came with from Mr Shinzo Nakanishi, Director of Employment, was a pleasing one as it offered me a new job with a pay package of Rs 70,000 to Rs 200,000 p.m. including HRA + D.A. + Conveyance and other Company benefits. Oh! I wish it was real. All I had to do was fill in the form and DEPOSIT Rs 19,200 only in cash towards the company.
All these mails came in beautiful letterheads which made them appear genuine. What was more tempting were the cash prizes; it could make you filthy rich within a short period of time. But that's about it.
Many have ended up losing a large chunk of their hard-earned money over the years while falling for these scams.
The RBI has also warned that it does not carry out any business with an individual, whether it is through bank accounts, fund transfers from abroad or anything of that sort. It also further warned that scamsters were using the names of public institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Income Tax Department etc.
Therefore, beware of such mails from RBI, IMF, Facebook, Google etc. Or for that matter, any mail which promises huge cash rewards, lottery wins, job offers abroad, "Will", asking for passwords of bank accounts etc.
Such scams are also being effected by luring people using SMSes.