Thursday, October 13, 2011

SMS Phone Frauds

This morning, I received a SMS stating that I won huge money. The message said I have won 2nd prize and that the price money is worth $500,000.00. It also states a name of a lawyer who I was supposed to call. This is crazy, I thought to myself. I have never been to a casino. I ignored the message and proceeded to what I was doing. After a few seconds, the message was resent again, and again. It was sent to me four times. I was getting irritated but ignored it altogether.

In the afternoon, I received the same kind of message stating I won big bucks. This time, I won in a livelihood fund of a famous boxer. Wow! Again, it tells me to call a lawyer whose name was included in the text message.

The things I noticed in the message are:

1. It says my cellular phone number won via electronic raffle.
2. It says to call a lawyer (casino) or a department executive secretary, as in that government official really have time to tell you how to claim your prize. ( the name provided)
3. It states the government’s department of trade permit number that “legally” raffle draws like these.
4. The number that texts you is just a usual cellular phone number. Phone numbers from telephone companies (which are usually contracted to perform electronic raffle draws) use a number format different from regular prepaid or post paid SIM numbers.

What is saddening about such SMS is that some people do buy them. They actually believe these SMS and fall into the trap of these scams. Once the victim calls the person that the message tells them to call, then, the crime finally takes its toll. The criminal will surely sponge out money from the poor victim.

A friend’s elderly neighbor did fall into this trap. As the old man is excited to get his alleged winnings, being in dire need of money himself due to his dialysis treatments, he called the “lawyer” who was so fluent in persuading him to deposit an amount which is supposed to pay for government taxes before he can get his prize bagged the money from the desperate old man. It was horrible. The only money left for the old man’s treatment was taken from him mercilessly.

Whenever I hear stories like these, I really feel so angry and frustrated. I cannot understand how these criminals can even think of such felony without thinking of the welfare of other people. But I guess that is the sad truth to that, they don’t care. Now, this old man only has to seek help and support from family, relatives, and friends for his ongoing dialysis treatment.

If you happen to receive a SMS like this one, ignore the content at once. Get the number and verify it via The site provides you with details about the phone number and crowd sourced comments to help you know more about such numbers. Although most of SMS like this are from prepaid SIM numbers, it is still good if you can get the number and verify it.  Get all the information you need and report it to the concerned agencies.  I guess the best thing to do is to keep my guards up and always bear in mind to be safe. I personally thought of really spreading news and information about such things if only that can somehow help others be aware of what is going on with regards to phone and internet scams and frauds. And with such awareness, may more people be more vigilant in stopping crimes like these.

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