Monday, August 3, 2015

Spam email: Red Flags

Other than a SPAM: alert that may be provided by your email software, how can you tell this message isn't real?

Good Day,

My name is Mrs Linda Walker and I work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), I am writing you to let you know that finally your ATM Card worth $650,000.00 USD has been delivered through UPS to Mr Hart Leroy, who works with the IMF where it is going to be activated before final delivery to your home address. You can use the tracking number with the tracking site below to track the ATM Card to be sure it has been delivered to Mr Hart for activation.

UPS Tracking number: 1z2876490390947593
UPS tracking site:

Below is the contact information to Mr Hart Leroy

Contact Name: Mr Hart Leroy
Contact E-mail:
Contact Number: +1 347 298 9752

You are to contact Mr Hart with his email address above then he will guide you on how your Card will be activated and delivered to your home address.

Note: The only fee you are to send for the activation fee is just $280 USD so make sure you don’t send him more than $280 USD. Your card is already with him and you can track it with the tracking details given to you above for confirmation.

Congratulations once more.

Best Regards,
Mrs Linda Walker
International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Before sending in $280 to activate this card, how can you check its validity? Here are some Red Flags:

On the surface,
Too good to be true: Experience teaches that few things in life are free.
It costs something: Be wary when a stranger asks for money.
It sounds complicated: Why would the IMF send a card to someone else at IMF that you have to contact? Why not just send you the card?

Below the surface,
Sender: If you look closely at the sender's email address you'll find this: "International Monetary Fund (IMF)"   IMF actually uses this email:, which can be found on their Website.  
No Data Found: If you look up registration information for, you won't find any. It appears to be a smoke screen.
Third Party Review: Copy the first phrase of the email: "My name is Mrs Linda Walker and I work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)" and google it. There is an exact match from › Scam Mail Depot › Government scams.

There may be more Red Flags, but it's clear that this is not going to result in your receipt of an ATM card.

Have students identify Red Flags -- what others can they find?

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