“Opportunity makes the thief” goes the saying, suggesting how people can take advantage of a particular situation to illegally exploit it. We get some screenshots of a conversation delivery boy where a certain “Sudhakar Kavvampalli” pretends to be Canadian despite the Indian name David I McKay, CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada, aiming to offer what he hopes will be his next victim a “huge and easy win”. We entered the “negotiation” and found the apparent scam hatched by the Facebook user and the risks you could be taking by following his instructions.
A quick search reveals that the name of David I McKay appears on various websites dealing with online fraud. That CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada In fact, it is one of the faces most commonly used by this type of scam, even when asking for small sums of money to unlock phantom accounts for those who fall for the scam. A system based on the identity of people enjoying a certain credibility, as in the case of Giorgia Meloni and Roberto Saviano, to convince people to invest in online commerce.
The scammer’s first contact
The history of Sudhakar it seems to be taken from a book. Ettore Rossi (real name) introduces himself as CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada in broken Italian and says that an Italian named Alex Rossi, “Owner of a Gold Mining Company in Canada” and “one of the main shareholders” of the bank, would have died leaving an account right away $78 million. In the absence of an heir, he suggests that Ettore Rossi pose as Alex’s next of kin, since both are Italian and share the same surname.
Sudhakar, also using the alias of Canada’s CEO, says he already has an understanding with the bank and that the operation is entirely legitimate and free of legal ramifications. In order for the deal to go through and claiming that he is not a greedy person, the fake banker proposes Divide the total: 30% for Ettore, 40% to the bank and a 30% commission to help him start his “new project”. Given such an “attractive” offer Sudhakar urges you to contact us urgently by e-mail at [email protected] (Of course he writes it twice in a few lines). The email was sent to him but not by Ettore.
The scammer’s request
Using a Gmail address, we wrote to Sudhakar pretending to be Mr. Ettore’s agent. About half an hour later we get an email where he again addresses Ettore (without mentioning him) and not the “intermediaries”. It is evident that this is an automatic and generic reply that will be sent to anyone who tries to contact the address given in the messages via Facebook.
In order to proceed, Sudhakar asks Ettore to provide some of his documents and personal information such as his full name, date of birth, a copy of his passport or driver’s license, his occupation, home address and a phone number. For important inquiries, the scammer tries to build more trust by sending two documents on behalf of the Canadian bank’s CEO, David I. McKay. They are both fakeas we can see thanks to another fake distribution on the web attributed to a certain Aman Rita Tania (at the end of the article we will explain its origin).
The “automatic” replies
Typically, emails are “bundled” one after the other in an email discussion. This email “queue” allows you to reconstruct the different phases of a negotiation or project, but that is not the case with Sudhakar. Whenever we send a message to your email address, the scammer replies by sending us an email “disconnected” from the others and without human control. We have responded to his requests, but instead of sending Ettore Rossi’s details, we have forwarded those of Paolino Paperino, residing at Via del Platani 17, Duckburg.
After about twenty minutes we receive an email from Sudhakar addressing us as Mr. Paolino Donald holder of a newly opened account at the Canadian Bank. Attached we find a document corresponding to the fake license of Disney character (downloadable online here).
Sudhakar, still posing as David I. McKay, asks Paolino Donald to take the bank under “[email protected](The domain is wrong), to continue the procedure, but above all “not to inform the management” about the agreement reached with him. To make it easier to send the email to the bank (at the wrong address), Sudhakar provides a pre-filled message in English, where even the city of Duckburg is translated: «Ducktown».
We repeated the process, resent the message with the fake data and Paolino Donald’s license and received the exact same email. A few minutes later, Sudhakar writes us a new message asking us to send everything to the address «[email protected]», Sorry for the error: «Sorry, an “s” was omitted». We did it to the letter and forwarded and included among the recipients his entire message including his request not to report the agreement to the bank. We asked him if we had done everything right and immediately answered: “Yes”. Luckily, he didn’t want to be mentioned, but we didn’t stop: we sent everything to the bank’s addresses, starting with the Facebook profile, to report the fraud.
What are you risking with this scam
By submitting your personal information and especially your own document such as your passport or driver’s license, you give scammers an additional identity that they can exploit to carry out illegal operations on your behalf. An example is the registration of domains to create fake Italian Post Office websites, initially blaming you for a possible crime that “misled” the authorities’ investigations.
A trivial and stupid scam? For nothing
These scams should not be underestimated. Not everyone is particularly cautious, and out of desperation or false hope, they might stumble upon any deception orchestrated by malicious individuals. When there is a cost in this type of business, it is clear that there is an economic return. This “Canadian scam” is very reminiscent of the infamous “Nigerian scam” or “419 scam”. The victims of these activities are not few, someone would have spent tens of thousands of euros, according to a report by Le Iene.
There have also been strong reactions to this type of scam over the years. In 2003, a Nigerian diplomat was killed in the Czech Republic by a victim of the Nigerian scam. Last year, journalistic research linked these activities to 15 murders since the early 1990s.
The fake Canadian passport
Both of the fake passports shown previously were generated from the same matrix, the image of a fake passport that can be purchased online for $2,500.
In the example shown on the website, the identity is that of a certain Collee Jennifer. It is strange that this name is used for a Facebook account but it is named Aman Rita Tania, the same name that appears in the fake Canadian passport that we find in another scam and in a video on Youtube.
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