Co-incidence or not? I just signed up to iiNet, gave them my mobile number, and one and a half hours later, I get spam/scam messages on my phone. Anyway, I think it will be a co-incidence.
Anyway, I got a sms message saying that I have won $250000 in prize money.
You won $250,000 in September 09 Glo Mobile Draw with REF: GVT/4. Send ur REF NO to email@example.com & call +66880802526 for more info to claim your money.
I decided to do a Google search, just to double check that it is a scam, and I found that most of the people who received this message are living in QLD, Australia. Although I am not currently living their, my mobile account is registered their. So maybe it was Virgin who gave my mobile number our?
Anyway, me being me, I am sometimes bored and have nothing to do. I decided to reply to this message. (Oh, by the way, if you want telemarketers to stop calling you, here’s a little trick. “Don’t hang up on them, make them hang up on you.” I’ll talk about this later in another post, but you might get the gist from my email.)
So here is my message.
Hello, Finally I win something. It is not often that I do.
My reference number as stated in the subject of this email is: GVT/4
Please reply to my email telling me how you are going to transfer this prize money into my bank account or paypal account.
Since you have stated in your SMS that I have won, you have now entered a legal contract stating that you will pay me $250000AUD since I am located in Australia, and have not provided me with any terms and conditions in your contract (sms message).
If however, I do not receive a reply within 3 working days, I will assume that you have broken the contract, and I will be forced to talk to my lawyer to get what is truthfully mine, as stated in your SMS message.
It is Victorian law, that if you send any kind of electronic message, you automatically stated that you have to keep your word, thus giving me $250000 in prize money.
I await your reply within 3 working days. Thanks again, I will spend this money to pay off my house.
By the way, I don’t have a house.
So a few hours later, I receive a reply from them.
We the Board of Award Presentations and the entire staffs of Glo Mobile Lottery deeply congratulate you once again on your winning. All participants’ Mobile numbers in this lottery program were selected randomly through a computer ballot system, drawn from 85.000.000 individual mobile phone numbers from all registered networks around the world. Your Mobile number was picked by the automated computer ballot system, which was programmed for this random selection. This random selection has eventually qualified you for this year’s Annual Glo Mobile lottery Winning.
Our promotional program takes place annually, and is being promoted and sponsored by eminent personalities like Chaleo Yoovidhya, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, and Bill Gates of Microsoft Inc. With the support of other corporate companies and organizations in Thailand to encourage the use of Mobile phones and computers systems worldwide. Attached to these email is an International Transfer Form which you are required to fill and scan back to us with a copy of your government issued identity, to enable us identify you properly as the real winner and commence with the processing of your won prize of $250,000USD.
Your Mobile number was attached in the B category which qualified your winning balloting ball numbers and fall in our Asian regional center in Bangkok Thailand. The prize fund is temporally deposited with our paying bank in Thailand for payout to the category B winners. For further informations.
Please endeavor to come forward on time to enable the bank make the transfer before the last date for the remittance of this prize fund to the lucky winners.
So with the email, they included a .doc file. Being a bit suss, I replied back to them with this message:
Thanks for your reply.
Unfortunately, I cannot open .doc files. Can you please send the attachment as a PDF?
Which they reply back soon with:
We sent the form to you as provided by our paying bank in microsoft word for easy writing. If you find any difficulties downloading it again, we’ll send you a form from the Lottery office.
Which I than replied back:
I am still having difficulties. Can you please send me a form from the Lottery Office?
So they then gave me another version of the form that asked for my back details, in which I replied with:
Thanks for that, just before I give you my bank details and other personal information, all these current affairs shows that I watch say that you should get some information from them first?
Can I have your contact number in case I have any issues filling out the form, your address, and this competition’s authority number (I don’t know what it is called, but the number given to who to allow you to do this contest.
Thanks very much. When I get these details, I will be sure to send you my personal details so you can deposit this money into my bank account? By the way, do you do PayPal? It will be much easier? If you don’t, just visit www.paypal.com, register an account, and transfer me the $200000AUD to my paypal account.
In which, they replied:
We will transfer the money to your bank or issue you a check after filling the form. Kindly fill the attached form and send back to us through email.
We dont accept paypal payment due to theft and please be informed that our company are not engaged in any fraudlen activities. You can visit our office here in thailand for cash payment and more details. Contact us on +66880802526 for more info.
Which I thought “Hmm, don’t use PayPal due to theft? How do people steal from PayPal? I would have thought that PayPal is one of the most secure online merchant? So then I replied:
How can paypal be used for theft? If the transfer has been fraudulent, then you can get your money back from them. Can you please send me your address so I can visit your office for a cash payment?
So a few days later, they replied back with:
Sorry for the delay in responce. You can visit us at GLO LOTTO PLAZA,INTRAMARA SOI 12 BANGKOK 10400 THAILAND. Inform us of your flight schedule before your arrival.
Which I replied:
So is this your location? Link to google maps
Then a few days later I get an email confirming that the location in the map is their address. So then I replied:
Thanks for your reply.
What time would best suit my visit?
Also do you have a website I can look at for your company?
I am about to book the plan tickets now
And from that last email, I never received a response back. In my replies, I was trying to be perceived as a dumb, gullible person, to see how far they will go to get me details. In the end, I nearly got a free trip to Thailand. In the end, with all the emails back and forward, they used the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org.
So have you replied back to a scammer? What was your conversations like? I would love to hear about it in the comments.