Interpol Scam Emails: How to Track and Report

Receiving scam emails is not something new. As far as I remember, I have been receiving scam emails almost since over 10 years ago. I am not talking about the ordinary scam and spam emails that try to sell you something like viagra and… . I am talking about the scam emails that talk about transferring a substantial amount of money from a bank account which was belonged to someone like an army general in one of the African countries. I think it was in 2002 that I received the first email of this kind. These emails always claim that the money and bank account owner is passed away or killed and now they need someone from a different country to help them transfer the money to a third country.

It is an old, long and repetitive story that many of you should have already heard about it, or received these kinds of emails a lot. They are known as 419 Nigerian fraud emails. After a long time of not receiving these kinds of emails, I thought they got tired and are realized that nobody believes their repetitive stories anymore and they have given up. However, today morning I received a scam email which was completely different from what I was used to receive. The email I received today morning doesn’t talk about helping the sender to transfer some money from a country or bank account to another country and bank account. And it is not sent from an unknown and strange African name.

Surely, if such an email was received by someone who was not familiar enough with the internet and the related things like email addresses, domain names, email service providers, IP addresses and… it could make problems and might make the receiver think that the email was real and legitimate and he must follow the directions and orders mentioned in the email.

The world is full of scammers who are after your money and identity. And unfortunately internet is a good tool for them to reach people like you and me. If you want to live in this world and use the Internet, you have to educate yourself not to be fooled by these kinds of emails. I am sure these kinds of emails are sent to thousands of internet users and many of them become fooled and follow the emails directions. First please let me tell you what I received today, and then I will show you my proofs that assured me that the email was scam.

The email is sent from Interpol (international police). There is nothing in the email body. The email body is completely blank, probably to prevent the email from being stopped by the spam filters. The email subject is “Please read our attached letter and attend urgently”.

There is a PDF file attached to the email. You can download the attached file and see the screenshot and its body at the end of the article. The letter says that I have been involved in sending some reasonable amount of money to some special banks and organizations related to lottery prize winnings or inherited funds claim. And because all of these companies and banks are scams, Interpol wants to help me to receive my money back. Therefore, I should give them all the information I have about any bank that I have send money, about my bank accounts and… .

What Assured Me Instantly that the Email Was Scam:

1. The Sender Email Address:

The email is send from this address: [email protected]

The senders have done everything they could to fool the email receivers. The first part of the email which is “cyberservices”, and also the second part (us-interpol.us.ms) makes the receivers think that the email is from the cyber department of US Interpol which should be related to tracking the Internet and cyber related crimes. Whether Interpol has such a department or not, most of the email receivers reply the email without any investigation, just because they see these words: US Interpol

Unlike the ordinary internet users that either look at the first part of the emails they receive (cyberservices), or do not look at the email address at all and just reply the email without any attention to the sender email address, first I always look at the last part of the email: us-interpol.us.ms

The us-interpol is just a subdomain that can be added to any website address. For example I can create a subdomain for HowToee like this us-interpol.howtoee.com and then create an email address like this: [email protected]

If you receive an email from this address and you do not pay any attention to the last part of the email (howtoee.com), it can make you think that Interpol has email you, but you are wrong. That email has nothing to do with Interpol.

The last part of the scam email I received (us.ms) is just an ordinary domain name that can be registered by anybody. As soon as I saw it, I checked the WhoIs data of the domain. See what I found:

Domain Information

Query: us.ms

Status: Delegated

Created: 11 Nov 2003 07:00 AST

Modified: 16 Oct 2012 08:45 AST

Expires: 11 Nov 2013 07:00 AST

Registrar Information

Registrar Name: MNINET Registrar

Registration URL: https://secure.domains.mninet.ms

Address: Olveston Drive

Olveston

Montserrat

Country: MS

Phone: 1-664-491-6386

Customer Service Contact: MNINET Registrar Administrator

Customer Service Email:

Admin Contact: MNINET Registrar Administrator

Admin Email:

Registrant:

Name: Interdots International

Address:

c/o Marius T Strasser

P.O. Box 51

Nea Michaniona, GR-57004 GR

Email Address:

Phone Number: ++1-253-323-0927

Fax Number: ++1-253-323-0927 ext. ++1-253-323-0927

Admin Contact:

Name: Interdots International

Address:

c/o Marius T Strasser

P.O. Box 51

Nea Michaniona, GR-57004 GR

Email Address:

Phone Number: ++1-253-323-0927

Fax Number: ++1-253-323-0927 ext. ++1-253-323-0927

As you see on the WhoIs data of this domain, it is registered by an unknown person or company at Greece. Of course, I am 100% sure that the WhoIs data is fake and is not correct. Whether it is correct or fake, it shows that us.ms has nothing to do with Interpol or US government or any other officials.

That is the first thing that attracted my attention in the first second I got the email and it assured me that the email was scam and fake. However, I opened the attachment just to satisfy my curiosity and learn about the new methods of scamming in 2012.

2. The Email Body

The email body was completely blank indicating that they did not put anything in the email body, just to keep it from being filtered by the spam filters. When you receive an official email, they should mention your name on the email body and ask you to open the attachment. It can not be blank.

3. The “to” Address

They have sent the email to “undisclosed recipients” and not my personal email address specifically. It means the email has been sent in bulk and my email was just one of the email addresses among all the other “undisclosed recipients”.

4. The Sender IP Address

Depend on the email service you use, you can always check the original message and the email header to find the IP address of the email sender. I did it and I was able to find the sender IP address through this line found in the email original message:

Received: from [41.151.224.200] by web5711.biz.mail.ne1.yahoo.com via HTTP; Mon, 19 Nov 2012 02:18:21 PST

41.151.224.200 is the sender IP address. If you check the WhoIs info of this IP, you will see that it is related to South Africa. It means the email sender/senders have sent the email through an ISP in South Africa. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are physically there, but it indicates that the email was not sent by the US or UK Interpol, because these organizations never use a South African ISP to send their emails.

5. The Attachment Content

The letter they have attached (see below) has a lot of problems too.

First, I can not find my name in the letter which means they have sent the email in bulk and they did not bother to add each person’s name to each attachment and create a personalized letter and email for each person.

Second, something they are saying is absolutely wrong, and I have never been dealing with banks regarding payment of either lottery prize winnings or inherited funds claim. This email is sent in bulk to fool those people who have been dealing with banks regarding payment of either lottery prize winnings or inherited funds claim. Probably they have lost some money in these deals and when they see that “Interpol” has contacted them and wants to help them to receive their money back, they will get fooled and will reply the email and send the information that the sender wants.

Third, all of the phone numbers, names, addresses and… that you see in the letter are fake and I could not find any of them on any website and there is no clue about any of them at all.

These things are very easy to find out and this is what the scams who send these emails know very well. However, they send these email in bulk and to thousands of email addresses and they will be happy even with 0.1% of those who reply and send the information. I know that some people will be fooled by these email very easily. Specially when they see they are from the police (apparently), they will get scared and will reply immediately, whereas even if the email is really from police, you should not reply it without thinking and without consulting with a lawyer.

Even when you are really accused to something by the police, it is any of your right to have enough time to answer. You should always do it with the help of a professional lawyer. You should never answer on your own, because it can make the problem worse. Even if you are arrested by the police, you can say you will talk only with the presence of your lawyer. This is your right.

How to Report These Emails:

When you receive such emails, the best thing you can do is deleting and spamming them. You can report the sender IP address to the ISP but they usually don’t do anything useful for you. You can just educate everybody you know and spread the words. However, if you have made a mistake and have already replied these kinds of emails and have sent them some information, you have to take a proper action as soon as possible. If you have given them anything related to your bank accounts, credit cards and…, you have to block them as soon as possible and before they can make any serious problems for you. This is all you have to do.

Here below is the email attachment file content and screenshot. I have uploaded the attached letter here too. Please click on it to see it in full size. Read it carefully to see how the scams try to cheat people and take their personal information:

REF: USINTP-RF2012/73628940

19 November 2012.

Attn:

We have discovered that you are dealing with, or in the past have dealt with some institutions and banks regarding huge funds’ transfer into your bank account.

The US Interpol CyberServices in association with UK Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) wishes to notify you that your email communication /internet activities have been closely monitored for a period of time. We have intelligence reports and knowledge that you have been dealing with banks regarding payment of either lottery prize winnings or inherited funds claim. We are also aware of the large sums of monies you have transferred to some of these banks and their officials in several occasions and have never received your funds. We hereby instruct you to cease with immediate effect, further communication with these banks or any of their agents as they could be fraud and may have engaged you in fraudulent or illegal financial activities. The banks’ activities may be crimes which contravene the Global Financial Charter. We mandate you to forward to us every correspondence or your latest correspondences with these banks or agents for inspection, investigation and facilitation of your funds transfer if found legal afterwards.

The US Interpol CyberServices fight cyber crimes and we work in cooperation with all police services and financial institutions globally to track and clamp down on illegal or fraudulent financial transactions. We therefore need from you, detailed information of all the individuals and banks you have been dealing with regarding your funds transfer. All your correspondences with each of them are required right from the start (if possible), the slips/proofs of payments sent to each of them so far, the current stage you are with each of them, and any other relevant information you can provide that may be helpful to us in our investigation.

Please forward all relevant information, documents and your contact details to us by email: [email protected] or you can fax all to our UK INTERPOL Data Center: +44-844-500-2864.Please state your Reference Number: USINTP-RF2012/73628940 in your email or faxes.

As soon as we get the detailed feedback from you, we shall conduct due diligence and investigations, and work with the appropriate legal institutions to ensure that your funds’ payment are duly reinstated, repatriated or paid back to you. You will subsequently receive feedback from us without delay within a period of 24-48 hours of our receipt of your detailed email or fax.

It is important to note that in order that we assist you efficiently and make this service effective, we urge you to maintain absolute confidentiality with the INTERPOL at all times. You must not share our confidential information with you with these banks or third parties, or notify these banks about your communication with us, hence this service will be jeopardized and rendered ineffective.

Your absolute co-operation with us is required in order to track down fraudsters and fraudulent activities by these banks or institutions on you, and to enforce that all monies you may have sent to them are paid back to you, or that you receive due payment of your funds, if transaction is found legal.

Respond promptly.

Best regards,

Peter Briggs

US Investigating Officer

INTERPOL CyberServices

Washington Command Centre, DC 20530-0001

USA.

Tel: +1-202-616-9000 (US INTERPOL Command Center)

Fax: +44-844-500-2864(UK INTERPOL Data Center)

Email: [email protected]

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*