Suppose you receive an email from an unknown sender telling you an outrageously huge amount of cash is waiting to be picked up by you in Western Union, what do you do?
a. Pray and thank God for this windfall gain
b. Rush to a Western Union branch to pick up your money
c. Delete the email
If you answered letter c, congratulations! You won’t be victimized by these Western Union scammers.
Here’s a copy of the email I received yesterday about this Western Union scam, a variation of the infamous 419 or Nigerian scam.
Subject: PART PAYMENT VIA WESTERN UNION TODAY
Sender: Peter Van Hansen <email@example.com>
I just want to inform you that am on my way to New Zealand, I have just sent you the payment of goods you supplied me via Western union in your name as I do not have your account details correctly.
I also want you to have the payment information below:
Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN): 056-248-7412
Amount Sent: $375,000 USD
Text Question: Color ?
Sender Name : Peter Van Hansen.
You can go to any Western union location right now and pick up the cash . I hope that you have a Western Union Gold/Promo Card? You will need this to send or claim amount above $12,000 USD from any Western Union agent or location.
My company sent my team to New Zealand last week.
I am already on my way to join my team in completing the unfinished construction project in Christchurch, New Zealand.I may leave town tomorrow and I couldn’t go without dropping the payment information with you. We may spend 2 to 3 months there before the job would be completed.
Remember that if you do not claim the money before 9 days, they will call back the money to my card. And if you do not have the Western Union Gold/Promo Card, you cannot pick up the cash.
I may not be around to reply any of your emails now, since I will always be at the construction site but I will talk to you as soon as I return.
If you do not have a Western Union Gold/Promo Card, you may contact the western union postage department, with the agent details below so that they will provide a Western Union Gold/Promo Card for you immediately and also send you a copy of the voucher of the payment that I made, via email.
Contact the office below for your Western Union Gold/Promo Card:
Contact Person: Mrs. Susan Jefferson.
Send the requested details to him as indicated below:
Your Full Name:
MTCN number: (as above)
Address: (including state and zip code)
As soon as the office gets the above information, they will use the credentials to create your Western Union Gold/promo Card right away without any delay.
My best regards to you and your family,
Peter Van Hansen.
Why is this a scam? Because the moment you contact that “Mrs. Susan Jefferson” from the “Western Union Postage Department” to get your own Western Union Gold Card, they will surely ask you to send them a small amount of money as handling or processing fee.
After sending them payment, what happens? Nothing. Meaning, you won’t hear from them anymore and your money is gone. That’s the time you learn that you’ve officially been scammed.
FYI, the Western Union Gold Card is free and available in most branches of Western Union so there’s no need to contact “Mrs. Susan Jefferson” and definitely no need to shell out money.
In the first place, shouldn’t you wonder why someone will mistakenly give you $375,000? Are you really that lucky?
So there, make sure you don’t fall for this Western Union scam.
9 thoughts on “Don’t fall for this Western Union scam”
Shame on these Nigerian scams! But more shame on people who actually believe in these emails.
My officemate also received one of these emails stating that she won a Microsoft Lottery amounting to half a million euros last December. Luckily for her, we warned her that it was true.
Even funnier, the email address of the person was firstname.lastname@example.org. Now why would a guy working for Microsoft be using Hotmail instead of their office email right?
But still, thanks for the heads up!
Thanks for the heads-up, James. I have been receiving different scam e-mails, too. What I do as soon as I read the title of the e-mail and it sounded and looked like a scam, I immediately delete it permanently. Who knows? Maybe there’s a sort of spyware or virus in it, right?
An off-topic, I just like to make a follow-up regarding Asia Century. You mentioned before that you are going to write a post about my (and the others) encounter with them. You probably forgot about it. But it’s all right.
Well, I think I’m going to get my Western Union Gold card then, to avoid this scam. 😛
not well done, probably by a kid.
What I always do on similar email i received is to reply that, just send me 25% of the amount I won and the rest is for you and for whatever payments needed for processing the claim.
I received one similar to this except I didn’t need a gold card since the funds were no where near that much and I called western union and they told me the funds were available for pick up. They didn’t ask me to send anything, just gave me the money control number. What should I do?
I’ve been through a variation of this theme. I was trying t sell a motorcycle and was contacted via e-mail from a gentleman on a business trip to Milan. In the interest of expediency, he agreed to my price and would contact me about the payment. He did not reply to my quiry about when he would be returning from Milan (I’m not going to store the bike indefinately). The next day’s email provided instructions about contacting Western Union and pay a $200 tranfer fee (to be re-imbursed) to a third party for partial payment. Once paid the tranfer fee number would be sent to me. Western Union officals confirmed that this was not their fee payment protocal.
Just want to share this for public awareness too.
I received this email this morning. The first time I read this, I knew it was a scam.
The person(s) behind this scam is really desperate. He/They even use the logo of Western Union to persuade or allure people.
For the details, please see the copy I pasted.
Dear Sir / Madam,
For 156 years, Western Union has been connecting people. At Western Union, there’s so much more than money you’re sending. Every sender and receiver is important to us. To celebrate our 156th Anniversary Switzerland, we’re rewarding our customers with prizes of USD$425, 000.00
Because you sent money on-line, from an agent location or received money through Western Union/ or you banked with any of our banking agents you’ve been selected.
However, you are required to forward the following information for immediate payment of your US$425, 000.00
4.) Telephone/Fax: …………
6.) Reference number:……..
You will be contacted by a Western Union in the next 24 hours as soon as you forward your required information and you will receive the US$425, 000.00 prizes immediately from us.
(CONTACT CLAIMS CORDINATOR) EMAIL: email@example.com
Save time, send money, earn rewards! Western Union is a service people trust.
Thank you for using Western Union!
We endeavor to maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to guard your Information. We also endeavor to restrict Information access to our employees, agents and representatives that need to know it. Western Union will never disclose your personal or billing information to a third party.
Got someone on Facebook saying they are basically gonna black mail me if I didn’t send didn’t amount of money he/she asked for. Person is from philippines but has no profile pic or frends. I have skyped with the person but it was dark on the person’s end. This. Has been going on since last October and they want me to send it western union but they tell me different names to send it to. HELP!!