A pretty standard 419 scam, where they want you to pay $500 to receive $5.5 million. It is an old scam updated to take account of Donald Trump, the new US president’s inauguration in January 2017.
What caught my attention ( apart from the shouting by using block capitals) is the alleged sending email address is also the To: address and must be using BCC to send to you ( or me). Any spoofed Government email address is always worth looking at to see where it leads.
Note: I use single inverted commas ‘ around email addresses to stop them being parsed and incorrectly getting me added to spam lists.
The domain ‘gov.us.org’ was registered 24 September 2016 to a UK based person who looks to have a shady history with several dissolved companies over the last few years. https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/officers/OC7jxhzAxwypbKBtRu4DTp24LwQ/appointments. Now I am not saying that he is in any way connected with this fraud attempt. It is indeed quite likely that he is a victim by having his email address spoofed and used in this way.
However I cannot see any legitimate reason for any individual to register a domain name that closely resembles or imitates a government body. The only reason that they are normally used is, for phishing, fraud or other criminal intent.
Follow the domain ‘gov.us.org’ and you get this webpage that is quite hard to read with green type on a black background. His other sites ‘zero.net.uk’, ‘1uke.net’, ‘as49962.net’, ‘default-free.zone’, ‘funklan.org’, ‘lwb.se’, ‘offkey.net’ and ‘lwbnet.com’ all on IP 184.108.40.206 also have the same content
Other searches for the name “Luke Batchelor” and the address 19 Bromfield Road, Redditch, Worcestershire, B97 4PW turn up a site ‘MIDCORE.EU’ 220.127.116.11 which also contains ‘midcore.co.uk’ and ‘as16089.net’ all with a similar webpage. The registration address for these sites are 20-22 Wenlock Road, N1 7GU which is well known as a virtual office having literally thousands of companies registered to its address. This address comes up numerous times in searches as hosting companies involved in scam, fraud and dubious activities.
Many of these sites might be for legitimate projects that are under development, but several of the domain names are perfect candidates for phishing, fraud or malware related activities. Beware!!
Now getting back to the 419 scam. We must be in a period of extremely high inflation. The last time this scam was around in April 21016, involving the US ambassador to Benin, but using less believable email addresses, they only wanted $65 upfront payment to give you $10 million. And later that month dropped it to $50
Email looks like:
From: LUCY TAMLYN <‘firstname.lastname@example.org’>
Date: Fri 16/12/2016 23:42
Subject: FROM AMBASSADOR LUCY TAMLYN
FROM OFFICE OF USA AMBASSADOR TO BENEIN REPUBLIC
LOT 10 HAIE VIVE RD. 04 BP 0879 CENTRAL DISTRICT AREA, COTONOU
I SHALL BE COMING TO STATE FOR AN OFFICIAL MEETING ALSO DONALD TRUMP INAUGURATION ON JAN.20, 2017 AT THE U.S CAPITOL AND I WILL BE COMING WITH YOUR BANK DRAFT OF $5.5M ALONG WITH ME BUT THIS TIME I WILL NOT GO THROUGH CUSTOMS BECAUSE AS AN AMBASSADOR TO BENIN, I AM GOVERNMENT AGENT AND I HAVE THE VETO POWER TO GO THROUGH CUSTOMS. AS SOON AS I AM THROUGH WITH THE MEETING BEFORE THE INAUGURATION I SHALL THEN PROCEED TO YOUR ADDRESS. (SEND YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER AND THE ADDRESS WHERE YOU WANT ME TO BRING THE PACKAGE).
YOU HAVE REALLY PAID SO MUCH IN THIS DELIVERY. YOU ARE A VERY LUCKY PERSON BECAUSE I SHALL BE BRINGING IT MYSELF AND THERE IS NOTHING ANYONE CAN DO ABOUT IT.
YOUR PACKAGE($5.5M) MUST BE REGISTERED AS AN AMBASSADORIAL PACKAGE FOR ME TO DEFEAT ALL ODDS AND THE COST OF REGISTERING IS $500. THE FEE MUST BE PAID IN THE NEXT 50 HOURS SO THAT ALL NECESSARY ARRANGEMENT CAN BE MADE BEFORE TIME WILL BE AGAINST.
SEND THE FEE VIA MONEY GRAM OR WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER.
NAME: ANABUIKE MCANTHONY LOTANNA
COUNTRY: BENIN REPUBLIC
TEXT QUESTION: HONEST
AS SOON AS YOU SEND THE FEE MAKE SURE YOU SEND ME THE PAYMENT INFORMATION.
MY FLIGHT WILL BE MIDLE OF THIS MONTH AND I EXPECT YOU TO COMPLY BEFORE THEN SO THAT THE DELIVERY CAN BE COMPLETED. IF YOU DO NOT COMPLY, THEN IT WILL NOT BE MY FAULT IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE THE PACKAGE
AMBASSADOR LUCY TAMLYN