Let’s Play Spot the Scam

IMG_0235I just received an SMS message on my phone from +37240017000:

call for free your number has been selcted [sic] to win 50000$ call us 0037240017000 now this is your chance

Based on the country code that SMS originated from Estonia. I don’t know anybody from Lithuania and my phone is on the Vodafone network in Ghana. Occam’s Razor says this is most likely a scam rather than my newfound Estonian friends wanting to send me $50,000.

I don’t know exactly how this scam works. Is calling the number enough to somehow have charges placed on my phone? I don’t know. My bet is that it is a flavor of 419 scam where I have to give these nice people my bank wire details and then rather than wire transferring money into my account the wire money out.

Remember kids, if someone has your account number and routing code, they can initiate the transfer in either direction.

Also, you should always avoid replying to SMS messages for “contests”. These can be set up to charge you a fee for the SMS just like you can text the Red Cross or NPR to make a donation.

For people with more time than I have, there is a scam baiting community which aims to make the 419 scam unprofitable for the fraudsters. Its pretty entertaining to read.


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