Man falls for internet lottery scam
Mon, 18 Jun 2012 11:59a.m.
By 3 News online staff
A Christchurch man whose properties were seriously damaged in the February, 2011 quake says he fell for an internet lottery scam because it gave him "a flicker of hope".
Speaking to the Timaru Herald, the man – who chose to remain anonymous – says that hope turned out to be "a total friggin' disaster".
The first email arrived on April 25, from the west African country of Ghana, telling him he'd won more than $760,000.
At first sceptical, he became convinced the scam was real after receiving identification that appeared legitimate and talking to the scammers on the phone.
"Everything came across as being factual," he told the paper. "These people are so expert in persuasion."
He wired money for "administration fees" to the scammers through Western Union, but when they asked for even more, he again became wary.
But after receiving further emails from the "Infidelity Bank", and checking out their website, he was again fooled into sending more money, this time for "insurance fees".
The scammers then requested even more, and the man realised what was going on and disconnected his phone.
He estimates all up he lost around $20,000.
"It's a lot of money. I'm not a broke person, but I'm not a well-off person," he told the paper. "I'm totally pissed off about it."
He tried to get his bank to verify the scammers' claims, but says they laughed at him and refused to do it.
He says he hasn't informed police, as there is little chance they will be able to do anything about it.
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4/11/2012 5:13:42 p.m.
There are some people that seem to want to be scammed. A new friend of mine showed me his Rife high frequency generator ( a bogus medical device that is claimed to cure many diseases). You simply dialed the correct frequency on this classic quack machine to cure your ailment. Well, I actually managed to convince him it was a scam. Some time later, we discussed email scams. I was worried about him because he seemed so gullible. A few days later I decided to play a practical joke on him. I copied a lottery scam email that was sent to me, and with some changes, I sent it to him (I even included my real email address). The next day I was astonished when he called me and told me he won the lottery! He actually was ready to send the 'taxes' In.I think that some people are just gullible. In fact, he said he was not stupid, and he would insist the sweepstakes organization send him documentation! I told him they would send him anydocumentation he asked for. He never seemed to realize that with a computer, anyone with a little talent can create any document you want. I told him he should not communicate with any scammers at all. It is too dangerous to play with them.In reply to Joronda, who wrote that the man must have bought a ticket or they would not be able to claim he had won such a large amount of money- my friend is an example of a gullible person who wanted to believe he won something so badly that he stopped thinking rationally. He never considered the fact that he didn't enter a sweepstakes either.
19/06/2012 10:53:09 a.m.
Jorondo... who said the banks even real! Alot of the west african countries (Ghana, Nigeria) where scammers are from set up intricate websites, phone networks etc.
Yes... there is a stuff all the Police can do. In those countries the scammers are treated as heroes where its perfectly accepted that it's ok to scam off westerners in any way shape or form.
Sending money through to a western union account should have also raised eye brows
19/06/2012 1:18:42 a.m.
He must have bought a ticket or they would not be able to claim he had won such a large amount of money.Surely any fees would be deducted from the winnings before they were paid out -not asked for in advance.He should have reported this to the Police, because then the Police could inform the public and also request the Bank make at least some effort to following the banking trail.Scammers must be working through a specific bank with most of their "customers".
18/06/2012 9:51:11 p.m.
Hes 'pissed off' about it..its his own fault
18/06/2012 4:11:31 p.m.
"At first skeptical". Wow. You try and have some sympathy because of the people taking advantage of someone, but geez. Its really hard in these sorts of cases. I'm not sure how people who fall for this stuff actually live in and around us in the normal world. Be interesting to be a fly on the wall.
18/06/2012 1:30:13 p.m.
I am speechless but... The Infidelity Bank ??! Did that not give him some clue?
18/06/2012 1:15:32 p.m.
If someone is going to be stupid enough or greedy enough to fall for this then good. Consider it a stupidity tax.
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