Interesting Phishing – Churches are targets – Beware!

Phishing has finally gotten more interesting.  I am tired of the Nigerian phishing schemes that continually enter into my mailbox.  In the last week, I have received two new phishing ploys.  I want to post them so that others will be aware of them and also to point out that phishing artists are becoming creative again.  Below are both messages.  Let’s take a look at both emails to find out how you can tell if it is a phishing message.

 

Message #1

My Beloved one In Christ,

Greeting’s in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ. I am Mrs Rebecca Thomas,69 years old widow & a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the blood (Leukaemia According to my doctor my condition is critical and I might not survive.

Although as a Christian, I believe in God and I know that I will not die, but will live to declare the glory of God. My late husband (Dr Martins Thomas) and my only son were killed during the ABIDJAN-BOUAKE Crisis some years back(take a look) Our Lord Jesus Christ is my only comforter.I have the sum of Five million, One hundred thousand US Dollars($5.1m) The fund is presently deposited with a financial company for security reasons and all the documents concerning the fund are in the custody of my lawyer.I inherited the money from my late husband who was an industrialist and international businessman. I have prayed concerning this donation for God’s guidance and if in your heart you genuinely and faithfully desire-to use this fund for the propagation of God’s work in any form whether for charity, ministry, evangelical work or otherwise in relation to God’s work, do get in-touch with me for further arrangements with my lawyer on how you will receive my Charity donation.God bless you once again and as you receive, give and give God all the Glory.

Remain blessed in the Lord Yours in Christ;

Mrs. Rebecca Thomas,DIVINE CALL.

This message appeals to Christians and those interested in taking money from Christians.  The first tip that this message is a fake can be found in the grammar errors.  There should be an ending bracket “)” after Leukaemia and the later placement of “(take a look)” just makes no sense.  The next hint can be found in the reply-to address.  The sending address is listed as mrs-rebeccat69@hotmail.com, but the reply-to address is mrs_rebecca@gawab.com.  Gawab.com is another free webmail service, but if you go to the site, you will notice that all the ads are in Arabic.  Wouldn’t this seem odd for a Christian woman named Rebecca Thomas to have an Arabic email account?  Lastly, who puts Mrs. before their name?  The only time you see a title before a name is when you are writing to someone else or when you are a doctor, teacher, or member of the clergy. (ex: Dr. Rev. Pastor. Prof.)

 

Message #2

Dear Friend,This letter confirms my understanding of the mutual present intent of my client (Jan Andrew Stecko), who wants to deal with you in respect to his investment portfolio in canada.

Mr. Jan Andrew Stecko is a British National you assisted some time ago during his active business life. One good turn deserves another he says, he gave us your names and mandate to work with you. He has chosen to entrust his investment portfolio to you as his apparent heir who will manage his resources as a result of his deteriorating health condition.

However, he was unable to provide us with your current address, but I carried out a detailed search on the names and location he provided from which I got your address. We hope that you are indeed who I are looking for and you will be willing to handle this brief in spite of your busy schedules.

Mr. Stecko is currently on a sick bed suffering severely from leukemia and stroke. He is unable to carry out his normal business activities effectively and needs you to act in his place as he is confident that you can manage his investment portfolio in charity work effectively.

Before his ailment struck, he was a philanthropist who was consistently involved in humanitarian projects and also the Executive Director of Gazprom Ltd., a gas company in Moscow Russia. He had most of his business activities in Russia, Canada, the United States of America and United Kingdom.

Over the years, I have worked indefatigably and uncompromisingly to locate any of his immediate relatives but to no avail hence, the need for this correspondence. Though I do not know you in person, I have decided to take this chance with you as instructed and hope you will not let us down. We would be delighted to have you as the apparent heir of my client to claim and manage his charitable investment portfolio in fulfillment of his last wishes.

Considering the volume of money involved in this transaction, there is need for us to have proof of your credibility and your age rang as proof of maturity. Please endeavor to provide us with detailed information about yourself and/or your business life that will enable us verify whether you are indeed the person he referred to have deserved another good turn who he always talked about.

Meanwhile, I have worked out the logistics and modalities of realizing this goal and details shall be discussed with you in due cause.

We need your courage and commitment to actualize this transaction and together I can make it happen.

My earliest response is imperative as my client is currently on life support hence he has a very limited time to live. We can be reached by phone, fax or email.

Thanking you for your attention in anticipation of your response ASAP!

 

Most Sincerely,

Marlene O’Malley,

Campbell Law firm

32-43 Chart Street,

4th Floor, London N1 6EF, United Kingdom.

Tel: +44 – 70 0596 8740

Fax: +44 – 70 0596 8744

E-mail: ma2malley@aol.co.uk

URL: http://www.campbell-law.co.ukWARNING: The information on this email sent from a law firm and it may be legally privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient you are notified that any use, disclosure, copying or distribution of the information is prohibited. If you have received the message in error please notify us immediately, delete the original and all electronic copies, and destroy any hard copies.

This message also suffers from bad grammar and odd sentence structure.  Complex words are used when common words would make more sense. Indefatigably, for instance, means tirelessly.  I have never heard anyone use the word indefatigably in normal writing.  Consider the following example of an odd sentence structure:

Considering the volume of money involved in this transaction, there is need for us to have proof of your credibility and your age rang as proof of maturity. Please endeavor to provide us with detailed information about yourself and/or your business life that will enable us verify whether you are indeed the person he referred to have deserved another good turn who he always talked about. We would usually write: Considering the amount of money involved in this transaction, please provide documentation of your identity and age.  A driver’s license or birth certificate will be satisfactory.

This sentence here We need your courage and commitment to actualize this transaction and together I can make it happen. It sounds like a poorly written motivational statement.  I also love this statement: Thanking you for your attention in anticipation of your response ASAP!

It is also odd to ask for this information since the law firm apparently knows who I am.  They also claim that their client did business with me in the past.  I know I never did business with him.  This might appeal to someone greedy which is a common appeal phishing emails use.  Both emails referenced Leukaemia, but I find this to be a coincidence.  Anyway, there are some other ways to determine that this is a phishing message, but I think I have pointed out enough.  Please do not be fooled by such messages.

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