Mobile phone users are currently being spammed by text messages claiming that they have been selected as a winner in a supposed Air New Zealand promotion.
The text message instructs you to claim your prize by emailing a specified address.
However, the text message has no connection to Air New Zealand. In fact, it is the first act in a scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to online criminals.
If you do send an email as instructed, you will soon receive a reply claiming that you have won $100,000 in the “New Zealand Air miles Promo”. The message urges you to contact your claims agent to process your prize. It asks that you supply your name and address details as well as an identity document such as your driver’s licence or passport.
Once you have submitted the requested information, you will then receive a reply claiming that you must pay various upfront fees before you receive the promised prize money. The scammers will claim that you must either pay this money in advance or forfeit your prize. They will insist that the fees cannot be paid from the prize money itself “for legal reasons”.
If you do send money, requests for even more money will likely follow. And, as the scam unfolds, the criminals may demand that you send even more of your personal and financial information, ostensibly as a means of verifying your claim and proving your identity.
Of course, the promised $100,000 prize does not exist. Once the scammers have milked you for as much money and information as possible, they will simply stop communicating with you. You are very unlikely to ever get back the money you sent.
Moreover, the scammers may use the personal information that you provided to steal your identity.
Advance fee scams like these continue to be very common. Criminals distribute them via email, private social media messages, and even surface mail as well as via text messages.
If you receive one, just delete it. Do not reply or respond in any way. Do not follow any links or open any attachments that it may contain.
An example of the initial text message:
Your mobile number has been selected as a lucky winner at the ongoing Air NZ reward promotion. For claims, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
An example of the follow up email:
We are pleased to inform you that your mobile number emerged as one of the winners in the second category of the New Zealand Air miles Promo, also known as the Australian Reward Promotions which was held on July 4th, 2018. Entry NZ-L16-2018 was randomly attached to your mobile number hence this made you a winner! You have therefore been approved for a payout sum of $100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Australian Dollars) payable to you via our affiliated BANK within Australia.
This draw was conducted and sponsored by a list of donors from all over the World. Also various Airlines Cooperation, organizations within Australia and the United States over a period of Five years. This organization most notable includes Salvation Army, RSL Club, Red Cross; honor our troops, and Mercy corps Etc.
To Make Your Claims, Kindly email your claims agent with your details below to avoid unauthorized claims by a non-winner.
* FULL NAMES.
* MAILING ADDRESS.
* WINNING MOBILE NUMBER.
* ANY FORM OF IDENTIFICATION, DRIVERS LICENSE, MEDICARE OR INTL PASSPORT.
YOU CAN SEND YOUR DETAILS TO YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER WITH THE CONTACT EMAIL BELOW.
NZ AIRMILES REWARD PROMOTION.
CONTACT PERSON: MR. Basil Haeata.
Please note that our office hours are open Monday – Saturday………..7am to 10pm ((AWST; UTC+08:00))
Please note that all prize money must be claimed now. If you don’t get your claim processed, all Winnings will be returned to the treasury of the Air Newzealand Reward Promotion as unclaimed.
Thank you very much for your understanding and once again congrats!