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Hyundai Boss Scam
An Advance-Fee Fraud from South Korea!
The following scam message is so utterly ludicrous that it wouldn't normally be even worth mentioning on here or including in the list of scams. However, the scamsters have taken it upon themselves to spoof me, making it look as if the messages are from my account, and resulting in my e-mail system receiving many tens of thousands of "Mail Delivery" bounce messages. However, it has meant I have been able to warn a few people about the scam directly, and also the reaction of the scamster shows that I have made a difference. It now seems evident that scamsters have a weakness, which is their drop-box , and so therefore I have written a page about that as well. Really, if scamsters had a modicum of good sense, they should try to avoid annoying people at scam-busting sites, as it attracts attention to them, and where their scams are laughably poor, it brings ridicule upon their business.
Here's the original scam message...
Original Message -----
From: "Hyundai Motor Company" - MY ADDRESS FAKED-UP HERE!
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 6:26 AM
Subject: Congratulations! Hyundai Boss makes a Donation to you.
This is to notify you that you have been chosen By the seven-member committee to fulfill Chairman Chung Mong-koo's promise to donate One trillion won (US$1.1 billion) to charity, contingent to a suspension early this month of his three-year prison sentence for embezzlement and breach of trust. The ruling meant that the 69-year-old chairman will not be thrown back into jail as long as he remains clean during the next five years. In suspending the prison sentence, the Seoul High Court ordered Chung to fulfill the pledge of donations. Chung, want this money used for the protection of the environment and to build art and cultural facilities.
click below for further information.
As one of the final recipients of this Cash Grant/Donation for your own personal, education and business development. The Hyundai Company is the world's largest shipbuilder and 6th largest automaker and owns Hyundai Group, the parent company for all Hyundai Motor. The company has decided to randomly select email addresses that would benefit from this donation. Based on the random selection exercise from internet service providers(ISP) and millions of Super market cash invoices worldwide, you were selected among the lucky recipients to receive the award sum of US$2,000,000.00 (Two Million United States Dollars) as charity donations/aid from Hyundai Group.
You are required to expeditiously Contact the head of committee (HOC) below for qualification documentation and processing of your claims, from Monday through Sunday. On contact with head of committee (HOC), You'll be given your payment pin number which you will use in collecting the funds. Please endeavor to quote your pin number QN(HM-145-5611) in all discussions.
Head of committee: Mr. Jason Perks
On behalf of the seven-member committee kindly accept our warmest congratulations
Mrs. Alice Goon
What a Joke!
Besides such obvious things as the misquoted news story, and the unbelievability of the whole thing, there's also the ridiculous idea that someone would give away money by random e-mail address selection! This never happens, in case you hadn't guessed. Besides, in the Hyundai case the chairman had given away a lot of money to Charity. Charity is good causes, and that is not the same as giving away money at random to any fool who happens to have an e-mail address. It doesn't take a lot of commonsense to realise this whole scheme is ludicrous, and it's a wonder the date isn't April 1st!
The e-mail addresses were not selected from "super<space>market receipts" but were instead harvested by some very poor harvesting techiques, which is why the database yield was so poor. They even included Amstrad phones, which have been gone a while now.
To get an idea of how poor the whole scheme was, the scamster sent a very large number of these messages. I received many tens of thousands of bounced messages, which suggests that the number of messages sent originally must have been in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions. So, if you receive such a silly message, don't go thinking you are anything special. You have not been specially selected by any seven person team on the board of Hyundai or any such thing. You are simply the victim of a spam campaign, and one of the lower quality ones at that.
It is interesting to see how poorly-performing any spam campaign is these days. If an analogy were to be applied to fishing, it would be like dumping truck-loads of maggots into the water just to catch a handful of minnows. To see the nature of poor quality spam returns on investment, see spam4 or even spamware. Nevertheless, the scamster persisted in sending vast numbers of these embarrassingly poor scam spam messages, presumably in the hopes there would be some punters out there so gullible that they would fall for the scam.
The scam is, in case you hadn't already guessed, an advance-fee fraud, a bit like those Nigeria Scams, except this one is based in South Korea, which is a bit unusual.
Well, I say "based" in South Korea because the news story's ludicrous premise in about something in South Korea, and the drop-box is at an ISP in South Korea, www.yahoo.co.kr , but let's have a close look at the e-mail headers...
- MY ADDRESS FAKED-UP HERE!
Envelope-to: - ADDRESS HARVESTED FROM WHOIS DATABASE HERE
Delivery-date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 23:27:14 -0700
Received: from relay3.mail.timico.net ([18.104.22.168] helo=relay.timico.net)
by server.vivostar.net with esmtps (TLSv1:AES256-SHA:256)
(envelope-from MY ADDRESS FAKED-UP HERE!)
for ADDRESS HARVESTED FROM WHOIS DATABASE HERE; Sat, 21 Apr 2012 23:27:14 -0700
Received: from [22.214.171.124] (helo=User)
by relay.timico.net with esmtpa (Exim 4.72)
id 1SLqDM-0007Wz-OK; Sun, 22 Apr 2012 07:24:04 +0100
From: "Hyundai Motor Company" - MY ADDRESS FAKED-UP HERE!
Subject: Congratulations! Hyundai Boss makes a Donation to you.
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 02:26:36 -0400
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
It's interesting to note that the time zones are in such places as -0700 Denver Colorado. Most spam senders are in the USA, as we know. We know this because they take time off on American holidays! Anyway, I'm not going to bother to dig the scamster out. If you want to do that you can read through the headers yourself and do the detective work.
A few other points:
* Hyundai is not to blame.
* The chairman of Hyundai was to give away money to charity some considerable time ago.
* It's old news anyway. Even some of the stories are dated 2007, and the scam message was sent in April 2012.
* Chung Mong-koo was forgiven on 15th August 2006, according to this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chung_Mong-koo . This is probably more reliable than the sensationalist news, some of which was "borrowed" from other sources.
* Also, take a look at the style of the message. This is not the sort of way representatives of a company would refer to their chief. The message is disrespectful and the way the story is told appears to have pieces cut out of newspapers. Besides obvious split-infinitives and badly formed terms such as "PIN Number", the phraseology contains newspaperisms such as ", the 69 year old chairman, " mentioned in passing. Arithmetical note: Chairman Chung Mong-koo was 69 years old in 2007.
* There is no such thing as your e-mail address winning money. To win a lottery, you have to enter. There are no e-mail ballots or chances by which a specific e-mail address can win money. Any messages claiming "your e-mail has won" can be regarded as scams.
Update: What happens if you send a message to the drop-box? You get this:
To: [our friendly correspondent]
Subject: Claims Validation
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 06:28:09 +0000
This is to acknowledge the receipt of your claim request. Your qualification number has been verified and you have been validated for the claim .
As you have already been informed, this donation is given out randomly to world wide individuals, for their personal business development and enhancement of their educational plans.
To immediately further your claim, and facilitate the immediate release of your donation funds to you likewise other recipient around the globe, You are required to assist in the documentation of your donation by filling the requested information stated in the form below.
Kindly provide all required information.
AGE/DATE OF BIRTH:
Mr. Jason Perks
This is the first stage of the phishing, where the scamsters try to get your personal information. If you decide to bait the scamsters, it's important to use false information, because otherwise it gets to be an ID theft problem. Baiting the scamsters, messing them about, and wasting their time, is worthwhile, as they are generally childish impatient people and can easily be annoyed by polite comments and responses. While they are tied up corresponding with you, they are taking time out of abusing poor innocent gullible people whose money they are trying to defraud. I say "trying", because the response rate on such nonsense spam campaigns is so poor that the scamsters are having to work. It would be so funny if they had to work so hard that they were working as hard as the honest people have to!
In the unlikely event that any gullible person is fooled and sends their personal details, the scamsters will then go on to the next stage which is at some point to get them to pay an advance fee. That is why it is called the Advance Fee Fraud.
Now bearing in mind that the scamster had spoofed my address in the spam e-mail (faked-up the e-mail to pretend the spam/scam was FROM me), this had a lot of people fooled. It did not do the scamster any good at all, as I then reported their subsequent drop-boxes, and I created this page about the ridiculous "Hyundai Boss Scam" to warn people and also to humiliate the perpetrator of this injustice.
However, I was somewhat surprised when a few days later I received this unusual message...
Original Message -----
From: Mister Gomer
To: This Site:
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 9:18 PM
Subject: THIS RUBBISH FORMAT OF YOURS
IBO FOOL, NO HAUSA OR YORUBA WOULD THROW A JOB WITH SO RUBBISH A FORMAT. YOU IBOS ARE LOSERS AT THIS GAME, SMALL STREET RATS WITH NO STYLE.
YUR JOBS ARE EASY FOR US TO CUT CUZ WE RULE THIS GAME.
WE LET YOU SMALL BOIS BOMB FOR US WHILE WE WATCH WIT OUR REELTIME SPYWARE. THEN WHEN WE HACK YUR MAGA'S BOX, WE LOCK YOU OUT AND REWORK THE CLIENT WIT OUR OWN FORMAT. EASY MONEY FOR US, NOT A KOBO FOR YOU.
IBO IDIOT, YOU SHOULD LEAVE THIS GAME FOR THE BIG MEN AND GO BACK TO YUR BIAFRA VILLAGE IN SHAME, BUT IF NOT, KEEP BOMBIN FOR US, OK.
FOOLISH IBO MONKEY WITH CLOTHES ON.
CHAIRMAN OF THE GOMERBOYZE
This is, from what I can see, a message from a rival Nigeria scamster! He is somewhat derogatory in his critique of his rival's work. In his attempt to mock his rival, he "replied", except that as the original naughty spam-sender had used spoofing, the reply came in to me instead. I run a scambusting website, and so I am showing you folks out there in the wider world the message so you can see an insight into Nigeria Scamster Culture!
I wrote a polite reply to Chairman Olatunji Gomer, and I even included some advice about the types of scams which I find most vexing and therefore report, and the types I sometimes turn a blind eye to. No reply was forthcoming, so therefore the message is now opened up for the world to see.
The first thing you notice is that the character has a website. Well, even Nigeria scamsters have a right to have a website. I have not reported this to Google. Maybe Google doesn't mind hosting scamsters.
His website gives a remarkable insight into the culture. He obviously considers himself a big-shot, a bigtime gangster, and a street-credible hip-hop culture dude. He owns a car, and he drives around the streets of Lagos showing off his bling. He's got considerable gall to have a public website for his club, as it appears to be some sort of wannabe organised crime syndicate, and the members of the club are listed in a membership list, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses! Some people may take a great delight in having a talk with these people.
Now looking at the content of the message, it takes a bit of translating. Firstly, KOBO = money, MUGU = fool, MAGAS are gullible victims of the Nigeria Scam, and IBO means Igbo. The Igbo are an oppressed minority people in Nigeria and were subject to a brutal repression following the attempted independence of Biafra. Really, Biafra should be independent of Nigeria, like Kuwait should be independent from Iraq! Also, Hausa and Yoruba are different peoples. These peoples have tribal distinctions, and it is not right that the artificial country of "Nigeria" continues, unless is can become a much looser federation with proper progressive devolution. Nigeria was a fiction fabricated during British occupation. It's time to redraw the boundaries and have some new countries with sensible "we the people" based borders, rather than everyone being lumped-together in a legacy of colonialism.
The critic rubbishes his rival's "format". "Formats" are templates of Nigeria scams, the flim-flam shpiel of scarcely credible waffle which they send out as spam. I agree with him on that; it is quite poor.
However, I am appalled at the racism of the message. It's like saying "You idiot! Not even the Muslims or the Country Bumpkins would turn out a scam so badly written!". Also, referring to the Igbo people as "Monkeys with clothes on" is a deplorable racist comment.
The style seems to be a heavily macho gang-culture, with tribal rivalry and severe racial prejudice. Racism in Nigeria, between different tribal groups, is one of the many problems of the region. This needs to be resolved one way or another to get the folks of Nigeria out of the appalling condition the place is in. OK it's not as bad as Somalia or Rwanda/Burundi, but it is quite bad. Nigeria is a basket-case African Republic, and unless things improve a lot, there will be terrible trouble. Solutions are required with diplomacy, not authoritarian imposition of force. The "Nigerian Government" is looking a bit like Dictator Tito in old Yugoslavia, gripping together different peoples by totalitarian might. Well, at some point it's going to fail.
It's also interesting to note how Nigeria scamsters have such bitter rivalry between each-other, and talk of stealing the other's magas (victims). Maybe the supply of gullible fools is starting to dry-up now that there is more online education about these rackets.
More worrying is that Nigeria scam people are forming into gangs like this. It wouldn't surprise me that some scamsters will apply to join Chairman Olatunji Gomer's gang via http://sites.google.com/site/thegomerboyz/ in the hopes of being in with the big-time money. We the honest folks in the world will have to be even more careful now.
There's a prototype Nigerian Slang Dictionary at http://www.nairaland.com/1167/nigerian-slangs but it's got mistakes in.