This is a follow-up story to yesterday’s post. At the time of writing, I am still in contact with the Scammer to understand how they operate. After talking to a few other people since my post yesterday, I had a theory on how the scammers operate and what is happening behind the scenes. Stay tuned or follow my Instagram as I will share some small updates there.
Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to edit my photo ID requested by the scammers as my sister was busy with her work.
(Don’t want to disturb her productive hours for my writing fantasy).
I didn’t get a reply from Kimberly Prost since 2 pm yesterday. I thought that the Scammers had figured out I was trolling and gave up on me since I did not provide the documentation that is needed by them…
…until this morning.
Approval Letter: “We sincerely congratulate you.”
I woke up and check my phone, as usual, looking at WhatsApp messages, emails, and notifications from my social media platforms. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Until I remember, I just created a new WhatsApp account with my old contact number.
That account is on another phone of mine. When I look at the message, there she was – Kimberly Prost, Authorised Attorney from the IDA Financial Assistance Grant Program.
“Did you receive your approval letter?”
Ah yes, she forwarded a PDF file, titled “APPROVAL LETTER” at 6.17 am in the morning.
At this point, I am wondering how someone could lose so much money to a scam that is so obvious.
From the above screenshot, the Red Flags are so glaring that it almost blind my eyes.
You have my email, I created a new email account for you to send me official documents, and yet, you decided to send the Approval Letter via WhatsApp.
And, you didn’t even send it properly, you used the forward function.
Okay, never mind, let us look at the approval letter, shall we?
Again, let’s play Spot the Red Flags. Do comment below if you discovered more than what I found.
Here are some red flags that stood out to me:
- If this is a legit company, why would they use a generic Gmail account?
- The format of the letter. I don’t always receive a formal letter, but I am quite sure the format is a total mess. This includes the ugly spacing and paragraphs.
- The content is garbage. Shouldn’t the letter sound more uplifting or at least try to explain the purpose of the grant again? This looks like an internal memo to me.
- Multiple reference numbers. Gosh, why so many numbers? This is even more complicated than the paper that comes with my Shopee order.
- Inconsistent font size. What’s with the huge “PM”?
- Grammar. Need I say more?
- Lack of a signature.
- Lack of a designation. If you look back at all the screenshots, Kimberly’s position is not consistent throughout the entire process.
What the heck is a “Winning No.”? Can someone tell me if this means something?
It sounds like those random numbers generated by lottery operators when you are feeling lucky. If you strike the lottery from this number, please consider buying me a meal.
Notice the last paragraph in that letter? Agent Kimberly Prost instructed me not to change the information I provided to her yesterday.
So, it is likely they are trying to hack into my account using the details that they phish from me yesterday.
While I was reading the letter…
She gently reminded me to keep the Reference number so that the FedEx delivery guys will do the verification process before handing me the cheque.
FedEx delivery men… Verify… Wow, great internal control!
Not sure if you remember, back in the days when LHDN send cheques for tax refunds, I don’t remember they ask me to verify myself. Because the cheque that is directed to me, can only be deposited by me, no?
Lastly, she emphasizes the importance of not sharing this out… in CAPS.
The reason is obvious, she didn’t want someone else to pierce through the scam.
YES.. I said…
The Prize – Choose your scam package.
After all the groundwork and warning is done, here comes the prize we are all waiting for.
But, to claim the grant, I will need to pay for the “processing and delivery fee”.
I realised I wasn’t giving much resistance to the Scammer so far. Therefore, I decided to throw them a curveball, wondering how she will respond.
Well, if she can approve my “grant” without my official ID, I guess a delay in the collection of grant will not change the process.
Meanwhile, Agent Kimberly also sent this list to me. So, it looks like the amount of grant that I am entitled for will be based on the amount of “processing and delivery fee” I am willing to pay.
If the grant is in the form of Cash… Yeah, probably the fee structure makes sense. Because the bigger the amount of cash, the higher the cost of transportation, insurance, security fee, etc…
However, as shown in my article yesterday, I told her I wanted a cheque. The cost of transporting a $150,000 cheque and a $3,000,000 cheque shouldn’t be too much of a difference. Why is there a huge difference in the fee?
I guess the scammers are using a standard template for all their victims?
Anyway, I am getting tired of spotting the red flags by now.
So. Freaking. Obvious.
Honestly, when I was writing the story yesterday, I was hoping for an eye-opening scam tactic that will blow my mind away.
But, as you can see, their tactics are just too “typical” … Anyone can easily see through their scam.
Just when I decided to give up on writing a follow-up story (this story), I had a realization. I’m not sure if this is true, but I have a theory.
Before I share the theory that is brewing in my mind, let me show you the conversation that I had with Agent Kimberly that made me think a little deeper.
As I was asking how I should make my payment. To my surprise, I can actually pay by cash.
Earlier, I didn’t think much about the mode of receiving the grant, because let’s be frank, I ain’t gonna receive a single cent.
But, mode of payment, how are they going to collect the cash from me?
Does it mean the “FedEx guys” will look for me physically and collect the cash from me?
Previously, I thought that the scammer is based outside of Malaysia.
Now, my gut is telling me that they are a lot closer to us or possibly, AmongUs…
(to be continued…)