What’s scamming this week?

ESET Ireland warns of a few of the most prevalent scams that appeared in Irish mailboxes in the past few days.

Accomodation Needed

Ireland is full of hotels and BnBs, being a tourist destination, so the cybercriminals send out a bunch of emails hoping some end up in the right mailboxes. Here’s an example.

Subject: Vacation Acommondation needed
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2014 02:11:42
I am writing a letter to make a reservation in your hotel my name is Mrs Abriana Badrick  from u k.Me and my family decided to spend vacation in your hotel its a 8 days ,we will arrive on 10th February 5pm to 18th of February we are four member,  1 double room and 3 single room i will be happy if u will check availability and email me all detail regarding your hotel service.
I need to know room rate for this date, if you have any good package for family it will be great news for me. Also i will like to know type of payment you accept for advance payment as we will like to make full payment in advance by my credit card.waiting to hearing soon
best regard
Mrs Abriana Badrick

Often this plays out that if they receive a response, the reservation is paid by cheque, then cancelled and refund requested, but as the cheque doesn’t clear, the owner gets scammed. Several other scams may also be attempted on the owner, but all with a predictably unfavourable result for them.

Syrian Civil War

Sometimes it was a “Nigerian prince”, sometimes it was the “Spanish lottery”, now it’s a “Syrian general” that wants to give you twenty millions.

Subject: Dear friend
Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2014 23:28:32
Dear friend.
Greetings to you and your family.
I am General Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal a respected Syrian Army General. I have good and lucrative business of $20,000.000 Million United State Dollars to invest in your country.
If you are interested and ready to assist me invest it in your country, please get back to me, I will give you full details on how the fund will be transfer to you. It’s my pleasure to advise you to think of this great life time change opportunity.
Please if you are not interested do not waste your time to reply.
General Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal.

A representative of the typical advance-fee fraud, where the victim is asked to transfer various amounts of money to the scammer in advance in order to facilitate the transfer of promised millions, with various excuses that it is needed to “open bank accounts”, “bribe officials”, “pay taxes”, etc. Unfortunately as obviously fraudulent as it is by now, we still get examples of people falling for these scams.

Tax Return

We have already written about this scam, pretending to come from Revenue Irish Tax and Customs, but the scammers are still trying their luck.

Subject: Tax Return : ID Customer- 46498
Date: 30 Jan 2014 18:25:58 +0000
From: Revenue Irish Tax & Customs
Dear Sir/Madam ,,
I am sending this email to announce: After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax return of:
Ģ 271.91
To receive your return, you need to create a Government gateway account.
Please click the link below and follow the instructions:
The contents of this email and any attachments are confidential and as applicable, copyright in these is reserved to HM Revenue & Customs. Unless expressly authorized by us,
any further dissemination or distribution of this email or its attachments is prohibited.

The page the mail directs victims to then asks them to “setup an account” which includes disclosing their bank account information, to the great delight of the receiving cybercriminals.

Ulster Bank Survey

“Banking scams” were a bit fewer lately, except for this quick and simple bank-impersonating mail, which directs victims to a fraudulent website.

Subject: Customer Satisfaction Survey! 100E
Date: 29 Jan 2014 22:16:00
Ulster Bank Internet Banking selected you to take part in our quick survey.
Please click here and complete the form to receive your reward. Thank you.

ESET Ireland recommends that any such emails you may receive should be deleted immediately and links in them should not be clicked. Also worth remembering is that, when we recognise the scam we often feel inclined to reply something (possibly unkind) to the scammers. But we advise against it. Any reply they get, confirms they sent an email to a valid address and next time they may prepare a custom one for that address.


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