Hey, Aussie Dopers! Can you pick up my new car for me?

According to an e-mail I got, I won a new Honda! Yippee!

(bolding mine)

It’s a bit inconvenient for me to travel to Australia right now. Can one of you print this out and toddle off to Melbourne for me? We’ll figure out shipping later.


I am ATTICUS FINCH, son of former Australian Prime Minister PIG IRON BOB MENZIES. Due to coup type upheaval in my country, and recent madness of evil former leader MARK MANBOOBS LATHAM I have large stash of AUSTRALIAN CURRENCY DOLLARS in SECURE BANK ACCOUNT due to former AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT FUNDS. I HAVE OVER 5 million in AUSTRALIAN CURRENCY OF DOLLARS AND CENTS. VERIFIcation number of verification is 502894HH.

With THIS MONEY I can purchse or RECEIVE for you HONDA motor vehicle of

I CAN ARRANGE RECEIPT OF HONDA for YOU receipt number H3948 IF you place $5,000 USD in shipping costs into my account at EARLIEST CONVENIENCE. Please respond to phone numbrer 10293-23920 as soon as possible.

Regard of happiness and sincerity,

MR former son of Prime MINISTER,

I’m sorry, Atticus. I’m not falling for it. You don’t have nearly enough typos or poor language construction in your post. I’m afraid I can’t trust you with my personal info.

Astoria Honda is located at:
961 North Rd, East Bentleigh, Melbourne Victoria

So they’re close, but on the wrong side of the road.

The phone number is valid. When you call it you get:
“Please leave your name and contact details after the tone.”
I didn’t leave a message.
So they’re doing kind of OK with the phone number.

Bentleigh is about 20 minutes away from where I am at the moment.

If you could give “ME” the personal details requested in the email (as well as many, many pictures) I could take a trip down there and see what WE’VE won :slight_smile:

Tell you what, Caught. If you’re willing to drive to the dealership and show them the e-mail for me, and if they actually give you a brand new Honda, you are welcome to it with my blessings.

I’ll bet they’ll be happy to see some phisher is using their name in vain, and may be able to take steps to catch them.

Hmm. I drive past this place every day. Astoria Honda is real - my wife used to drive a Prelude, and these folks administered the last rites. Nonetheless, this is almost certainly bollocks. If Caught can’t make it, I’ll see what I can do. Email is in profile.

Check your e-mail, hawthorne. I’d love to know what happens.

P.S. I love the internet.

You must to respond of it soon, hawthorne, or your winning is be canceled! Canceled!!

It would be interesting to see the reaction if you sent the spammer a staged picture of yourself outside the Honda dealership holding the keys to a new car, with the message: “Thanks for the alert! We live down the road and we’ve already picked the car up!”

Aw, dude, you’re screwed. You’ve violated the spirit of the agreement. Too bad, it’s probably a pretty nice car…

You will be shocked to learn that I’m not driving a new Honda. I did score a bottle of wine, though.

I printed off the email and popped down this afternoon. I noted a couple of things before setting off: Melbourne phone numbers do not have the format given in the email. Maybe it’s a local mobile number, but it’s clearly not Astoria’s land line. Second, right-clicking the photos in the email suggested they are hosted at http://israfish.com/ which, fabulously, claims to be the First Israeli Carp Fishing Association. Most of the site is in Russian. Who knows whether those people have anything to do with the scam.

After this, I decided against walking in and saying brightly, “So, where’s my free car?” I walked in and was approached by a woman. I told her that I’d brought a print-out of an email that involved their business in what I assumed was someone else’s scam. I was glad I had taken the approach I had, because she seemed pretty grateful. She knew what I was talking about and immediately fetched a guy from a nearby office to talk to me about it.

He also knew about the existence of some scam, saying that there had been four or five other cases he was aware of. It wasn’t clear whether anyone had previously been in to see them. I gave him the printed email and told him I’d be prepared to be contacted if they decided to talk to the police - maybe some email headers could be found if desired.

He seemed annoyed about the whole thing, but somewhat bemused about how the scam might work. I suggested it was probably either a “give us your details” thing or a “we just need a small, up-front handling fee” or both. I tried to be a bit encouraging about contacting the appropriate authorities, but it’s up to them.

I didn’t mention man-boobs at all.

I left fairly quickly - it was a hot day, wife and baby were in the car, and we hadn’t done any Christmas shopping - but as I went, the woman who’d first come up to me gave me a bottle of red wine as a little thank-you. A small, but rather nice gesture. I think we done good.

Perhaps the red should be consumed at the next Melbourne Dopefest, with thanks to ivylass.

Wonderful! Enjoy the wine, and Merry Christmas!

We’ve struck a blow against the phishers! As my daughter would say, “Wootness to the internet!”

You see, that’s where you went wrong. How are the authorities ever going to take this seriously now? They’re out there catching REAL crooks. Mention man boobs however, and they’ll drop everything.