Monday, 13 March 2017

Hoax email - not a Quotation from Anglo American Platinum

Whether you're looking for ways to earn money or simply going about your everyday business, if you spend much time online you're sure to encounter a lot of scams. Often you need do no more than check your inbox to find a con artist hoping you are gullible enough to believe that it's really possible to get rich without doing anything. Or you may find an email disguised to look like a genuine business deal.

I found one of the latter in my inbox this morning.

I'm not a business person. My interests lean more towards the arts, so when I saw an email with the subject "QUOTATION" my first thought was the someone was sending me some words of wisdom from a famous person. But no, this one was all business, allegedly coming from Anglo American Platinum, a company with which I'm not qualified to do business. Clearly there was something 'phishy' going on here.

This was the body of the email:
Good Day,

You are hereby invited to submit a quotation for the item on the RFQ DOCUMENT Please find attached herewith a request for quotation for your kind attention.We require these components at your earliest convenience. We now await for your urgent response.

Kind regards,
Mpumi Sithole
Procurement Officer 
 A Google search for "anglo american platinum hoax email" quickly yielded all the proof I needed. Anglo American Platinum had published a warning about this particular scam as far back as 17 November 2016. That's nearly four months ago! Clearly this scam is catching some people or the con artists would have moved on to a different one by now.

Alarmingly there really is a Mpumi Sithole working for Anglo American, but in media, not procurement.

The email address is cleverly constructed to look legitimate at first glance. It's only when you stop to look more closely that you notice the two spelling mistakes - a common feature in hoax emails.

I have no idea what information is requested in the RFQ document, I don't open attachments from con artists for fear that there may be a virus lurking inside them.

If you receive this email, I suggest you delete it immediately. I've already done just that.

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