October 13, 2019

Twitter Winning Scam

There’s a new scam going on Twitter that’s being done by a group called the “Pioneer Capital Group.” There is someone claiming that you are a winner of a huge amount.

This is the instant message that got from a user called Linda Powell Overton (@anitaja33645035) {Account has been deleted by Twitter}:

Attention Beloved in christ,

Now you are now the next winner of the huge amount of 16.2 Million Dollars, I am legit and this transaction has been 100 percent clarify so i got 10 of your contact information through the public records while searching for a last name similar to our late client a business magnate who lived in Florida, USA for Ninteen years he died along with his family during the Hurricane Dorian. Do not be amazed by this letter. Psalm 128. Happy are those who obey the lord, who live by it commandment, John 14:1. Let not your heart be troubled you believe in God

Thanks
Linda
Pioneer Capital Group.

The Boat Transportation

In my conversation with Linda Powell Overton, she mentioned that the money is being shipped by boat. She included a picture of the boat in my Twitter Chat:

The Boat Scam

Fact: This is American Glory - the website has the exact picture. American Cruise Lines' 49-passenger cruise ship American Glory at sea. The ship sails the rivers of Florida in winter and New England in summer.

The boat never ports in Michigan and It doesn't transport goods.

This was a scam.

Next Steps

I gave them a throw-a-way email account to continue the communications. Within a few minutes this appeared:

Pioneer Capital Group
Screenshot of the Email from the "Pioneer Capital Group."

Clearly there's a lot of problems with this email. One of which, the email came from capitalfinancecompany8@gmail.com and not from pioneercapgroup.com.

I Must Pay for Shipping

After many back and forth conversations, the "Lawyer" (Barrister Frank) let me know that I had to pay them $100 in an Amazon Gift Card to receive the goods. ( That's $50 to get a Pin Code so that I can open the container and $50 the delivery charges.)

Factoid:

The amount of $ 16,200,000 in 100 dollar bills would have a total weight of 162.00 kg (357.15 pounds) - not including the weight of the container. Pioneer Capital Group manage to find a distributor to ship 357+ pounds of cargo for $50. That's a heck of negotiation in shipping cost!

Five Signs that this was a Scam

  1. Contacted by Twitter as the first notification. I won $16.2 million dollars and the first means of communicating the news is via IM in Twitter. I would expect a phone call maybe a visit with a camera crew. Seriously people really fall for this?
  2. Email address is Gmail and not from the company. Why couldn't this come from the Pioneer Capital Group domain? Oh Right because it has nothing to do with them.
  3. Sending money in a box on a boat. Yup. In 2019, we will still use a boat to ship the money. Forget about using electronic means - shipping by boat is the cool way to get the money.
  4. Won a prize but no taxes? In all the communications with the people, nobody talked about the tax impact of the money. Which isn’t surprising since I wasn’t ever going to get any money.
  5. Misspellings and Grammar. This was the big give away that this wasn’t the real deal. All communications with the scammers had spelling and grammar mistakes. The “Lawyer” said it was autocorrected that was causing the issue. Seriously? This is a multimillion-dollar transaction and you can’t manage your autocorrect on your phone?

Here's The Deal

This is what the scammers were trying to sell me:

  • I won 16.2 Million Dollars
  • Something about having the same last name as “our late client - a business magnate who lived in Florida, USA for Nineteen years. He died along with his family during the Hurricane Dorian.”
  • All the money is in a box on a boat
  • The boat is in Michigan and will take 2-days to get to you by sea.
  • In order to get the money, I need to pay $50 to get the pin code from the Supreme Court
  • You will need to pay $50 for the delivery of a box of cash.
  • The fund is comes with a clearance certificate so I won’t pay any taxes

What's Next

If you get any type of communication that request money for a "winning" you should report the account to Twitter. Remember, that anyone ask to pay for transactions using an Amazon Gift Card is lying to you - Checkout Amazon Phishing page.

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