The BBC Watchdog programme continues its series on phishing and scamming. We report from a LWD subscriber on a classic scamming attempt
My first semi-smart phishing message purportedly from an old friend was realistic. It said that he was trapped, having lost his wallet and passport in a hotel in Singapore. We had worked together there, and it was at least possible that he was there on a business trip.
This was a few years ago, before the scam became tiresomely obvious. Its slight error was to leave the impression through its style that it was that phoney. It was not quite how my friend would have written it (no mention of our shared experiences, for example, although these would not ‘prove’ much).
I can’t remember when my initial suspicion turned into certainty, but I ignored the message.
Since then I have had various versions, including the classics on:
The billions available to me in Africa
The unpaid bills I must pay
The inheritance awaiting confirmation
The ‘check’ on my corrupted bank account.
These are mostly implausible A few I report to the IT department of my employer, whose name I will not mention here. These have always turned out to be rubbish to be deleted.
My advice is: do not reply directly. Never supply information of a sensitive nature. Check by other means where your friend is.
Suggestions welcomed, although I hesitate to publish any that might incur wilful scamming from malicious spirits out there [TR]