Internet users warned about $800,000 scam
A man targeted by fraudsters has warned fellow internet users to be on their guard.
The would-be victim received a Facebook message claiming to be from the electronics firm Samsung notifying him he had won $800,000.
He said that he was told he must provide his bank account number and swift code to be eligible for the award. He complied with the request.
The man said he later received WhatsApp messages appearing to show a photograph and video of people celebrating after winning $800,000 in similar circumstances.
He continued communicating via WhatsApp until he finally became convinced it was a scam when he was asked to pay $500 as a “VAT fee” for his bank.
Police confirmed they were aware of such scams and warned the public not to share their personal details with strangers.
The man, who asked not to be named, told The Royal Gazette: “I was already suspicious and had looked on the internet to see if this could be a scam, but continued to communicate with them because if it was true it was a lot of money.
“When they told me they needed the VAT fee for the bank, I said ‘yes, it’s a scam’.”
The man said he had contacted police and also wanted to spread the word to alert potential victims.
A Bermuda Police Service spokesman said: “This is a variation on a well-known type of scam where the recipient is contacted by an unknown individual and informed that they have won a sum of cash and or other prizes from a reputable company, after being randomly selected.
“However, in order to claim the prize(s), personal information must be provided. Such requests via unsolicited correspondence online, over the phone or through traditional mail, should be ignored.”
The spokesman said personal information such as dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers and banking details should never be passed over the internet, phone or by post to unknown people.
• To report suspected fraud, contact the Financial Crime Unit on 247-1757 or e-mail address email@example.com. For advice on how to avoid and report scams, visit gov.bm/how-avoid-and-report-scams
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