Sunday, February 25, 2024

Northeast bombarded with email scams

All of a sudden luck seems to favour a large number of people residing in Northeast. They have started winning lotteries in far away Britain; at least that is what some emails would make them believe.
A young professional working in the tea sector in Assam recently received an email stating that he had won a lottery. The mail said, “…our legal department has obtained and notarized your claim processing form, from the High Court of Justice and your Certificate of Award from the UK Gaming Control Board.”
According to the email, that had been forwarded to the payment bank (a noted bank in London) “for the transfer of your funds into your private bank account.”
The official sounding e-mail then mentions that the winner should open an account in a certain bank with an amount of GBP 500, which according to the email “is not a fee of any sort as it shall be included in the winnings when the transfer is made.”
Interestingly, the email contained a convincing looking ‘winning certificate’ and a ‘copy of the certificate of deposit’ from the bank.
After the euphoria, the recipient of the e-mail, however, took the chance of contacting a relative and an official of the British High Commission. And their opinion saved him a sum of GBP 500, for they identified the e-mail as a clever hoax.
Somehow the young professional’s email address and some personal details were trawled from the Internet, and now he was being targeted by unscrupulous elements.
However, there are many like him who have already fallen prey to this scam, and lost money in the process. At times, people after corresponding to initial emails have even received reminders about payment to be made towards receiving a much larger amount. N Das, a former Assam Government employee, had received e-mails informing him of a lottery win, and within a month started getting phone calls on his cell phone. Becoming a bit more suspicious, he called up a friend then in UK, only to know that the London address that was provided in the correspondence simply did not exist.
In a related manner, another form of scam has attempted to target professionals at the early stages of their career. They have received e-mails from companies claiming to be based in UK, which mention they are being considered for lucrative positions. Some of the communications seem personalized, and the posts on offer fit in with their academic and professional qualifications.
In many such emails the recipients are asked to send money to an address in Mumbai or New Delhi, which, however, do not represent any genuine entity.

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