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January 2004

   Dynamoo 2004

 

 

 

equityinvestment.org.uk
  - Equity Investment Limited Lottery Scam

Important note: this page relates to a fake company set up by scammers under the name of Equity Investment Limited, www.equityinvestment.org.uk and NOT to any company of a similar name or with a similar sounding website.

The Million Dollar Lottery Scam

Many people are familiar with the Nigerian 419 Advanced Fee fraud, which normally starts with an email or letter allegedly from an associate of a corrupt banker, government official or army officer, offering millions of dollars in return for your bank details and a release fee of several thousand dollars up front. Dozens of people every year fall for this scam, but many people are wary of it.

For the past couple of years, there's been a twist to this under the guise of a lottery win notification, typically by email or sometimes by post, typically operated from Amsterdam, and allegedly by expatriate Nigerians.

The basic pitch is this - the email or letter informs you that you've won a sum of money, typically around a million dollars, on some sort of global lottery and that you have been picked at random to receive a prize - but you must keep the win to youself. (Note the www.dayzers.nl site mentioned appears to be an innocent party).

    Return-Path: <DAYZERSPROMOS@netscape.net>
    Received: from unknown (HELO netscape588.com) (62.234.2.151)
      by {munged} with SMTP; 14 Jul 2003 09:18:59 -0000
    From: DAYZERS GLOBAL LOTTERY <DAYZERSPROMOS@netscape.net>
    To: {munged}
    Reply-To: dayzerslotto@netscape.net
    Subject: CONGRATULATIONS!
    Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 11:19:15 +0200
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="a5d0c703-4a4c-4186-95a5-18b14089afb6"

    DAYZERS GLOBE PROMO LOTTERY
    KLANTENSERVICE DAYZERS
    POST BUS 3313,
    5902 RH VENLO,
    THE NETHERLANDS
    website: www.dayzers.nl

    FROM: THE DESK OF THE PROMOTIONS MANAGER,
    INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT,
    REF: DYL/ EKS255125600704
    BATCH: 24/00319/IPD
    ATTENTION: RE/ AWARD NOTIFICATION; FINAL NOTICE

    We are pleased to inform you of the announcement of
    winners of the
    DAYZERS PROMO LOTTERY,THE NETHERLANDS/
    INTERNATIONAL, PROGRAMS held on 23rd
    June 2003.

    You are attached to ticket number 023-0148-790-459,
    with serial number 5073-11
    drew the lucky numbers 43-11-44- 37-10-43, and
    consequently won the lottery in the 2nd
    category.

    You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay
    out of US$1m (one million U.S dollars)in cash
    credited to file REF NO. GLP/25041238013/02. This is
    from total prize money of
    US$30,400,000.00 shared among the seventeen
    international winners in this category.

    All participants were selected
    through a computer ballot system
    drawn from 25,000 names from Australia, New Zealand,
    America, Europe, North America
    and Asia as part of International Promotions Program,
    which is conducted
    annually.

    CONGRATULATIONS!

    Your fund is now deposited with a Bank in Amsterdam, the nertherlands
    insured in your name. Due to the mix
    up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep
    this award strictly from public
    notice until your claim has been processed and your
    money remitted to your
    account.

    This is part of our security protocol to avoid double
    claiming or unscrupulous acts by
    participants of this program. We hope with a part of
    you prize, you will participate
    in our end of year high stakes US$1.1 billion
    International Lottery.
    To begin your claim, please contact your claim
    agent; Mr. Johan Owen, lnternational Service Manager,
    EQUITY INVESTMENT CONSULTANT NETHERLAND,
    Email: JOHAN@CONSULTANT.COM Or Telephone  +31645172449 More info at (www.equityinvestment.org.uk}.

    For due processing, Notarization of  claim and
    remittance of your prize money to a designated account
    of yourchoice. Remember, all prize money must be claimed not
    later than 23th july 2003.
    After thisdate, all funds will be returned as unclaimed.

    NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and
    complications, please remember to quote
    your reference and batch numbers
    in every one of your orrespondences with your agent.

    Furthermore, should there be any change of your
    address, do inform your claims agent
    as soon as possible.

    Congratulations again from all our staff and thank you
    for being part of our promotions program.

    Sincerely,
    MR. HANNS VAN HOEVEN
    THE PROMOTIONAL MANAGER, DAYZERS GLOBE PROMO LOTTERY,THE
    NERTHERLANDS.
    N.B. Any breach of confidentiality on the part of the
    winners will result to
    disqualification.
    THANK YOU AND SORRY FOR THE LATE INFORMATION.

Too Good To Be True?

This seems to be too good to be true - simply, because it isn't true. But the twist on this one is that it backs it up with a reference to the website of a bank which is supposed to handle the transaction. Although different scams use different sites, they all tend to be very low quality. This particular one is called www.equityinvestment.org.uk and anyone reasonable skilled with a decent search engine can track down the original sources for all the text and images and easily prove that it's a fake.

equityinvesment1.png

equityinvesment2.png

equityinvesment3.png

equityinvesment4.png

There are other sites, such as "Fortune Trust and Securities" - www.fortunetrust.com - and Brabant International - www.brabant-international.com - which are similarly faked and are exposed in this article in The Register.

Things to Look Out For

The quality of a site doesn't necessarily indicate if the institution is bogus or not. Although no financial institution would have a site made up of such ill-fitting and clearly ripped-off elements such as those listed here, it's quite possible that future sites will be more convincing.

Taking "Equity Investment" as a case study, under their "Legal" page it claims that its details are:

Equity Investment Limited. Registered Office: 4 PATER NOSTER ROW, ST. PAULS, LONDON EC3M, UNITED KINGDOM. Company Number: 3263713. Registered in England.

Quite apart from errors in the address, such as the road name and postal/zip code, the biggest give away is the "Company Number". All UK companies are registered at Companies House, where you can search for company details using this form (0700 - midnight UK time). A search for the company number 3263713 gives:

ALLIANCE & LEICESTER PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY

CARLTON PARK
NARBOROUGH
LEICESTER
LE19 0AL

The Alliance & Leicester is a UK bank which is in no way related to this fraud, except that the fraudsters use its company number, and also steals some of the text and images from their web sites.

You can use the same form to look for Equity Investment Limited - this shows a number of similar sounding companies, but none is an identical match and all have different addresses.

You can also use BT Directory Enquiries to look for details (pick London as the town), and you'll find no match there either.

If the company is Netherlands-based, you can do a similar telephone number lookup here - "Naam" is company name, "Woonplats" is place and then just click "Zoeken" to search. You can also search for companies registered in the Netherlands here - so with a little persistence you can find out if the company you are dealing with is bogus or not.

Never Deal With Spammers

The bottom line is this.. never deal with spammers. Nobody is going to email you at random with the offer of a million dollars.

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