Un-Trustworthy Scam Mail
By Norman Morrison
Calhoun Countians are pretty sophisticated. For example
we know better than to purchase the first watermelon of the
season. Likewise, when we're at a party, we never drink
directly from the passed fruit jar without carefully wiping
If you have been computing for awhile, chances are
excellent that you already know to veer away from emails
from desperate Nigerians offering to cut you in on a piece
of the nation's oil money.
However, what do you do when you receive a mail
purportedly from the bank informing you
that your account is screwed over and you only have one
chance to fix it? Our advice is to delete and run!
Below is a copy of just such a mail that GC
received the other day.... Our commentary continues below...
|Dear SunTrust Account Holder,
Recently there have been a large number of identity
tergeting SunTrust customers. In order to
safeguard your account, we require you to confirm your
banking details This process is mandatory, and if not
completed in the nearest time your account will be
subject to temporary suspension.
To securely confirm your SunTrust account details
please go to:
(Editor: The scam
url is left in for accuracy. Do not attempt to use it!
In the original email, the actual embedded link, which
does match the line below, spirits you off to the scam
*Because you are entering a secure area please
allow 10-30 seconds for page to load*
Thank you for your patience.
SunTrust Care Service
**Please Do Not Reply To This E-Mail As You Will Not
Receive A Response**
Copyright © 2004 SunTrust Corp. All rights
SunTrust Bank Member FDIC (c) 2004 SunTrust Banks,
Online Service Center,Orlando,
SunTrust is, of course, aware of these mails, and devotes a
page to them on their website.
Criminals are, by definition,
stupid. They depend upon the hope that you are even more
stupid than them. Don't be! A dead giveaway, besides the
fact that you got a mail like this in the first place, is
the word, "terget." Whoever wrote this, whether from the
prison computer, or from the Bangalore, India Internet Cafe
obviously didn't have a dictionary handy. But don't depend
on sepelling errors. The best way to protect yourself
against internet mail scams is to always use a healthy dose
of common sense. If you receive a mail eliciting personal
details like this and have the least doubt, visit, call, or
contact the company using verifiable information before
replying. Always. They want to hear from you.
Here is another one for you...
Recently, a GC friend offered a car for sale
and posted it on the internet. After some time he got a mail
from a fellow who said that he needed the old car very
badly. That was nice!
However...the car wasn't that nice, and the supposed
purchaser failed to say where he was from. Also he was
writing from Yahoo mail, which in and of itself is not bad
unless you are sending a questionable email in the first
place like you maybe have something to hide.
Ok, the friend followed up on the mail and after a
couple of back and forths, he got this one: (Keep in mind
that the actual selling price of the vehicle was well below
|From: Sam Scozzaro
Sorry for not contacting you on time,there is a
situation which has just come up.I contacted my client
in regards of the payment,which i instructed him to
raise and mailed out to you.
My client is owing me a refund from a previouse
transaction we had.The funds involved in the
transaction was six thousand,five hundred dollars,i
asked him to make out a check of three thousand
dollars and mail it out to you,but he cliams is thier
company pollicy to draw the whole amount on the cheque,
since is a single transaction we had,and a double
refund can't made for a single transaction.
So the whole amount has been written and about to
be sent to you. Which i instructed him to stop,because
i have to contact you on the situation before such an
amount can be sent over to you.And if the check refund
has to be cancelled,for telegraphic transfer ,it will
take thier company two months period to refund the
I refused because, i just can't allow such money to
go to some one i have never might to trust.I took the
decision to contact you to inform you of the sitaution
which has just come up.
So,for time factor and for the transaction not to
be delayed.I will prefer you confirm on this
sitaution,if the whole amount have to made out to you
my balance will be kept in safe hands untill pick-up
and collecting of the remainig balance.I have nothing
to worry about,i am ready to establish entrustment
with you. If i will only be convinced my funds will be
Hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks & best rgards..
The criminal, Semi-Literate Sam,
who is obviously not from anywhere close, and uses British
English spellings, made his move, which he had been working
on since the first mail.
The friend stopped the correspondence at this point.
However, had he continued, my internet research indicates he
may have received something like this bogus mail from
another scammer to another victim which I found posted on
another internet website as a public service. Note how
similar they are....
Thanks for the
reply, O.K I will buy it for $3500,infact i will like
to buy this car immediately if you will accept a
cashiers check, I can instruct my client presently in
the USA who is owing me the sum of $9,200. I may now
ask him to procure a cashiers check in your name for
this amount and have it posted to you.But i must count
on you to send my balance of the money back to me via
a western union money transfer. I will then instruct
my shipping agent to come over to your location in
order to pick the car up for shipment.If this is OK
please e-mail me now with your full name/address and
Tel # so i may pass it on to my shipping agent and my
For the information of the title document of the
vehicle and western union money transfer my full name
and address is follows:-
23 Isolo Road
If the friend had pursued the
matter he would have indeed gotten a money order, bank
draft, or certified check of some kind. It would have looked
good and been as bogus as a lead nickel. If the bank
accepted the check, the honest friend would have remitted
the remaining balance to Sam who would have grabbed the
money and run. Then, when the bank realized the check was
bad, they would have demanded the friend to make good.
Timing is everything, and the perverted scammer counts on
human goodness and honesty to make his nefarious schemes
work. In the end, in NO case would the certified whatsis
EVER clear the bank. You hate to say these things,
especially to the local guy we heard about who recently lost
$5000 to some fictitious bank in England where he didn't
even have a checking account...but IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO
In particular, this article is aimed at new computer
users who haven't been tempered in the busy arena of
internet scams. As President Reagan was often fond of
telling the Russians... "Doveryay,
no proveryay..." Trust but verify....trust but verify...
Actually, when it comes to helpful emails from sources
unknown (even though they make trustful claims) it may be
best to simply un-trust! Have all the fun, but be
aware of friendly unknown e-mailers offering miraculous hair
replacement. Don't get scalped! Laugh all the way to the