Sunday, September 2, 2012

Text Spammer With Inheritance Scam

I received this text on my cellphone, apparently from direct@bxnay.com. Another person in Honolulu also reported receiving this message, so I can assume that Honolulu cellphone accounts were specifically targeted by these scammers:
This is regarding a possible late relative's inheritance. Email 
allenrichy@live.com for info
another text message reportedly being received is
This is regarding a possible late relative's inheritance. Email alrichy@msn.com for info
Another email address associated with this scam is jtnlaw@live.com

The domain BXNAY.COM was created very recently, as shown by this WHOIS search
domain: bxnay.com
created: 10-Aug-2012
last-changed: 10-Aug-2012
registration-expiration: 10-Aug-2013

nserver: ns51.1and1.com 217.160.80.164
nserver: ns52.1and1.com 217.160.81.164

status: CLIENT-TRANSFER-PROHIBITED

registrant-firstname: Kathleen
registrant-lastname: Giver
registrant-street1: 8420 Gamma Ct
registrant-pcode: 45231
registrant-state: OH
registrant-city: Cincinnati
registrant-ccode: US
registrant-phone: +1.5137295288
registrant-email: directsoo@msn.com

Using one of my throwaway accounts, I sent a reply to the email address given and received this about twelves hours later from "Allen Richardson" using the address allenrichy@live.com to both send and as the Reply-To address. An IP trace indicates that this email was originally sent from Nigeria:

Thank you for contacting me. I am Allen Richardson, Account Officer in one of the banks here in the UK. We are contacting you in confidence regarding a late customer of our bank who bears the same last name as you .We got your contact after a thorough and long search on the internet and via phone directories for a possible relative of our late client.
Our late client died in the March 2011 Earth Quake in Japan. Please read more about this incidence by following this link:
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/09/see-how-japan-has-rebuilt-in-the-11-months-since-the-earthquake-and-tsunami/
Until his death, he was a Senior Director, Oil Exploration of British Petroleum (BP). He was aged 59, never married and had no kids. He has roots from Honolulu, Hawaii. His financial investments valued at 10.5 Million USD are on the verge of being declared nontransferable. With the expiration of the maturity clause on the funds, it becomes very important to have the funds inherited.
We cannot ascertain if you are directly related to Andrew (name redacted to maintain my cover) but I am contacting you with the hope of getting some assistance from you in claiming these funds. I propose that you stand as the next of kin to our late client to enable my bank release the funds to you. This is to avoid the funds being rendered unclaimed and turned over to the United Kingdom Treasury. My proposal to you is to partner with me to have the funds released and transferred to you. For your assistance in this, I'm offering 50% of the entire funds to you. The remaining 50% will be for me and my team here in the bank.
Let me know your thoughts on this as I expect a positive response from you. All relevant paper work to aid this claim in your favor and to reflect you as the next of kin/beneficiary of the funds will be provided by us. We do not have time on our hands as there is a deadline to get this done. Due to the confidentiality and sensitivity of this transaction, I have not shared much in this email. I hope you can totally understand this.
Please indicate your desire to assist and partner with us. I will be more than pleased to share more details and contact information after I have received a positive response from you.
Regards,
Allen Richardson

So, this is a typical inheritance scam, as done by many other scammers over the years. The big difference is that these scammers are initiating contact by texting people on their cellphones. 

To see how much information I could get out of him, I sent him a second reply and got this a few hours later:
Hi ____,
Thank you for your response and your desire to partner with me to see this through. I am delighted to work with you to ensure we get the funds released. The trust I'm bestowing on you is enormous but I do not have a choice at this point. Time is of the essence; we have exhausted all avenues and lost all hopes of locating Andrew kin.  
It is important for you to know that British Inheritance claim laws here stipulates that claim applications must be filed and processed through a lawyer/solicitor domiciled and registered to offer legal services within the UK. I will be forwarding your information to a reputable law firm who will be saddled with handling the legal process and paper work on your behalf. The lawyer/law firm will stand to represent you in totality for this inheritance claim as you do NOT need to be physically present at the bank or anywhere here to have the claim processed and funds transferred to you. The lawyer will be having a sworn affidavit (which shall legally put you in place as the next of kin) from the High Court of Justice here. Also, he will be saddled with obtaining all necessary clearances which will cover all claims aspects involved in this transaction from the British Authorities and Justice department. The lawyer shall be handling all matters of probate on your behalf and will be your sole representative here in all matters regarding to this inheritance claim. Please be rest assured, this is an accredited lawyer with who has handled several successful inheritance claims with my bank. 
On completion of all the necessary paper work by the lawyer, you will be sent triplicate copies of the inheritance paper work for your review and endorsement. You will be required to retain a copy for your records while the other two copies are to be sent to the bank and law firm respectively. For clarity, here are your role and our role after we have agreed on the lawyer you are to use for the inheritance claim process.
Your Role:

1. We will give you the reference number and the necessary details relating to the inheritance claim/investment deposit account with my bank-Metro Bank.
2. You make contact with the solicitor/lawyer and instruct him to act on your behalf in the pursuit of your inheritance claim by giving the Solicitor/lawyer the inheritance reference number and the details that I will give you.
3. You must never inform the solicitor/lawyer that you are working with me or any one at my bank for this inheritance claim.
4. Upon the successfully filing of a claim application by the solicitor/lawyer on your behalf, your role stops and my role begins.

My Role:
1. Advise and guide you through the whole process, giving you vital details when necessary.
2. Ensuring the application goes through the normal application process for verification and approval with Metro Bank. It finally stops at the desks of my colleagues and I for vetting prior to      final approval.
3. My colleagues and I will facilitate having the application processed at the Funds Transfer and remittance department.
4. After application is approved, payment is issued out to your nominated bank account with notification and all relevant papers and certifications stating that these funds have been released to your bank account will be forwarded to you via the solicitor who acted on your behalf. This finalizes the claim process with the US$10.5M hitting your account in 48hrs after the transfer has been made
The whole process normally takes between 5 to 7 working days. Upon your confirmation of the receipt of funds in your nominated bank account, we will be forwarding our receiving bank account details to you for the transfer of 50% of the funds back to us. I must not fail to take account of the lawyer's retainer fees which I propose must be covered by both parties (You and I) after the funds have been released to you.

With your full cooperation and assistance, I completely assure you of the success of the release of the funds to us. Being a professional banker for many years and with a perfect knowledge of how the system works, I'm certainly confident this is coming to fruition.

Below are my details
NAME: ALLEN RICHARDSON
BANK: METRO BANK, UK
ADDRESS; One Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HA
TELEPHONE: +44-793-701-7798 (Mobile)

Please let me have your details to commence the filing and paper work.
1. FULL NAMES
2. CONTACT MAILING ADDRESS
3. DIRECT PHONE NUMBER (MOBILE)
4. OCCUPATION
5. DATE OF BIRTH

Thank you again and eagerly look forward to hearing from you swiftly.
Allen. 
Duane Browning
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