419 scammers are tempting unsuspecting users with a fake offer of $60 million in exchange for adopting their teenage son.
The scam begins when a user receives a Twitter DM from the account of someone who appears to serve in the armed forces. Such unexpected correspondence could (and should) strike the recipient as odd. But the United States, the Caribbean Islands, and several other regions are still recovering from historic natural disasters. Given this tumult, the user could make an exception and decide to contact the fake account’s email address provided in their DM.
A few days later, the user can expect to receive an email message from the scammers with a most unusual request. As quoted by Malwarebytes lead malware intelligence analyst Christopher Boyd:
“Welcome my dear, I received your letter and well understood by me, Due to my present condition i am not available to care for my Son, and i don’t want him to grow up in my family home, Now am facing medical treatments which i never know if i will get feet from it, I want you to take good care of my Son , in this case i directed you to receive the sum of $60 Million usd from Africa development bank of Togo, so that as soon as the funds entered into your account my Son will join you. 13 years old boy. dearest I want you to keep this within you to protect the project.
“I will give you full contact information of the bank where the funds deposited so that you will contact them and have to transfer the funds to your account.
“Provide me your personal details address and i code of your id card, as i received it i will forward it to the bank and instruct to conduct the funds to your account.”
We know from past experience that scammers oftentimes stoop low in an effort to trick unsuspecting users. But using the adoption of a young teenager as bait? That’s a whole new level of reprehensibility.
In this particular case, the scammers want to steal a user’s personal information, address, and copy of their ID card so that they can try to steal access to the victim’s bank accounts.
Users can prevent these instances of unauthorized access by familiarizing themselves with the most common types of Twitter scams. With that new awareness, they will know to exercise caution around correspondence sent from unfamiliar accounts and research such users before they decide to reach out to them outside of the social media platform. They will also know to never provide personal information to anyone whom they don’t know.