Advance Fee Fraud
Home ScamsAdvance Fee Scams ‘United Nations’ Advance Fee Scam Uses Skype

‘United Nations’ Advance Fee Scam Uses Skype

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Skype add request message purporting to be from the United Nations claims that your Skype name has been selected as the winner of $50,000 in the United Nations Poverty Eradication Program. 

Brief Analysis

The message is not from the United Nations. It is an advance fee scam designed to trick people into sending their money and personal information to cybercriminals.

Example

UNITED NATIONS would like to add you on Skype

CONGRATULATIONS…

your skype name has been selected as one of the lucky winner in the on going UN program..you have won $50,000 in the united nations poverty eradication program..here is your secret code number (3035).

please get back to us for claim with your secret code number through our personal email address (address removed) and you are advice to keep your secret code number as Top secret until you have receive your price.

please contact us through email only because we dont respond to anybody here on skype.

Best Regards
UNITED NATIONS

Detailed Analysis

According to this Skype message, you are the lucky winner of $50,000 courtesy of the United Nations. Supposedly, your Skype name was selected as the winner of the prize as part of the ongoing ‘United Nations Poverty Eradication Program’.

To claim your prize, you are instructed to contact the United Nations via an email address in the message. The message includes a ‘secret code number’ for you to use during the claim process.

You are told to keep the code number ‘top secret’ until you receive your prize.

But, of course, the message is not from the United Nations. There is no prize. It is an advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending money and sensitive personal information to online criminals.

If you send a claim email as instructed, you will soon be advised that you must pay upfront fees before you can receive your prize. The scammers will claim that these fees are required to cover legal, banking, and insurance fees or pay tax obligations. The scammers will inform you that the fees cannot be deducted from the prize itself for legal reasons.If you comply and send the requested money, more requests will likely follow.And, as the scam progresses, the criminals may trick you into divulging a large amount of your personal and financial information, ostensibly to allow your win to be processed.

This information may later be used to steal your identity. And, the criminals will pocket any money you have sent and disappear once the scam is done.

Advance fee lottery scams are still very common and new victims fall for such scams every day. The scams are most commonly sent out via email, but advance fee criminals also use social media messages, SMS, and – as in this case – Skype to reach potential victims.



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer