Real-life internet scammers dissected

Real-life internet scammers dissected

Summary: Listen to audio recordings of conversations with real-life internet scammers in this guide to their history and recent activities.


You win, you lose: the lottery scam
Similar to next-of-kin advanced fee fraud scams, lottery scams rely on victims believing it's their lucky day.

In this recording by security firm MessageLabs' researcher Mark Sunner, would-be victim "Alistair Ben" has responded to an email from a person claiming to be Pepsi's promotions manager, who advised him he had won €1.5 million from Pepsi's annual award.

Listen to MessageLabs chat with an alleged scammer

Alistair Ben was asked to give his name and quote a reference number, which rather than being used to authenticate the caller, was likely used to identify the sender. The promotions manager who answered the call claimed to be Pepsi promotions manager, Michael McAllister.

After the confirmation process McAllister warned Ben: "Please be informed that all winners of this promotion are liable to pay for the cheques to have this delivered to their location," said McAllister.

"How much is that?" asked Ben.

With some uncertainty, McAllister said it would be around €300. "How do I pay that?" asked Ben.

"When you contact the Universal Experts [courier], they are going to tell you how to pay it. If you give me a call in the next 15 to 20 minutes, I can tell you what to do, and exactly how much to pay," said McAllister.

When Ben called back, McAllister confirmed the total charge for the courier would be £221 to be paid via Western Union to a "Kenneth Peterson" of 151 Canada Sq, Canary Wharf, London E145DY.

Nearing the end of the conversation, McAllister took the opportunity move to the next stage of the scam by obtaining the caller's home address.

"Just try to make the payment at Western Union today. Do not forget to send me your complete mailing address," he told Ben.

Topics: Collaboration, Security

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Warning: Undercover Black Deeds in Japanese Corporations

    Frauds and Scams are politely offered by famous Japanese Enterprises 'representatives" of Toshiba, Mitsubishi, MCLogy, Funai, Fujitsu

    The 'schemes' are equial in common way -
    Japanese companies are famous for their high-quality service provided worldwide. Any partner of a Japanese company expects a discreet and trustworthy business way. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as it seems.

    In our case, Japanese corporations’ representatives working in Russia and the CIS have elaborated an excellent fraud scheme including money-laundering, kickback clients and employees, asset misappropriation etc.

    The scheme runs as follows:

    1. Toshiba Corporation serving as a cover generally doesn’t sign official distribution contracts in Russia and the CIS. Russian nationals such as Mr. Vadim Danilov (Toshiba fake official trader) are hired by the corporation. In addition, all transactions are based on pledging Toshiba managers’ word of honor.

    2. “Official” supplier - NAC Trading Ltd. - delivering appliances to Media Markt Saturn, located in Moscow, doesn’t have any procuration from Toshiba Corporation.

    3. Defective appliances covered by an insurance company are sent to Russia from a warehouse Kouvola, Finland as new ones via a fake Toshiba trader.

    4. Toshiba Corporation issues invoices on official blanks in which written payment requisites of third parties (Nana Europe OY) responsible for payment transfers to Toshiba Corporation and MCLOGI (Mitsubishi Corporation LT, Inc.).

    5. It is strongly recommended by the Japanese companies to make all payments using off-shore banks since Toshiba prefers not to be responsible for anything if its Russian clients have any claims and complaints.

    6. So, there is a bundle: Toshiba Corporation (Supplier) represented by Mr. Natsume - MCLOGI (delivering service) represented by Mr. Baba - Nana Europe OY (Toshiba “agent” in Finland supplying appliances to Russia) represented by Mr. Ogawa - NAC Trading Ltd. (Nana Europe branch in Russia responsible for financial flows in Russia), at a final stage RCAS (a private company of Mr. Baba and Mr. Natsume) located in Estonia transfers the cleaned funds from off-shore banks to Toshiba and MCLOGI.

    So, it has been shown the Japanese corporations use fraud schemes and transactions to snatch large sums and frame up hired managers and Russian big companies.
  • gooood afternoon sir

    that sounds so much like a fonejacker skit...