I got this SMS this morning.
Something tells me it’s downright fishy.
It’s probably a scam for a few reasons.
I don’t buy petrol from Shell.
I don’t join SMS contests.
I am very skeptical of forwarded emails (especially those that begin with: Send this to 10 people and I get 3 cents for my daughter who is dying of leukemia, you get my point. It started with Bill Gates and we all wanted to fleece that poor nerd-CEO).
I am very skeptical of everything. Maybe it’s because I am a woman or that I am too bloody jaded for my own good. Women are tough when it comes to negotiating money and nitpicking (or what’s called looking at super tiny details). Please correct me if I am wrong.
OK, this SMS comes from this number: 014 374 9309. So beware.
“Shell Promosi”. Anda di Pilih dari Office SHELL tlh Berjaya Meraih Cabutan Hadiah “RM 17,000.00”. Sila dail di Talian 017 837 2718 Terima kasih.
First, let me nitpick.
The Bahasa is like crap.
If you want to scam someone, make sure you can type an SMS properly.
Don’t do it like you’re an illiterate. Unless you bloody well are. (Methinks the scammer is illiterate. Look at how he/she spells ‘di Pilih’ and suddenly it’s a truncated version of ‘telah’ with ‘tlh’).
The modus operandi is probably like this: If I were sillier (and didn’t use my brains), I would happily call the number.
Once I do that, the scammer knows I am hooked. I am a greedy pig. I want to know what I won. Maybe it’s RM17K.
So he/she will get me to deposit some money so I can claim my prize.
It’s not just this SMS.
Once I got a call from a Chinese-speaking woman. Thick accented Mandarin. Probably from China. I knew it was a scam the moment she asks, “Ni hui chiang huayi mah?” (Can you speak Mandarin?) If I were ruder, I’d say something crude in Mandarin that begins with “mah”.
The other type of scam is the credit card/call centre scam. Nic got a call which actually (audaciously) said that this was a bank call centre and wanted to verify his credit card details. Could he verify by saying his credit card number with CVC over the phone?!
Now, it’s normal to get calls from your bank. But one that asks for your credit card number and CVC? First time I ever heard of it.
Luckily Nic wasn’t that stupid. Something didn’t sound right. The guy on the other end sounded too slick, too polished. As if he did this every day. Which he probably does. Call and scam people easily because sometimes you just might forget and think it’s your bank calling up for verification purposes.
The other type of scams is the shopping mall-scam-old-uncles-and-aunties.
My Dad and Mom experienced this once when they were at a shopping mall a few years ago. It was the thing then to catch senior citizens and give them these scratch and win cards. Of course, once you scratch the card, you get this prize.
You are then dragged to the shop (usually electrical item shop selling vacuum cleaner, washing machine, etc) and then there’s this ‘drama’ where the shop employees start this song-and-dance and gush “Oh uncle, how lucky! You won this RM2000 voucher! Can get so many things in this shop for free.”
The problem is, most of the items in the shop are priced OVER RM2K. Either you fork out more money to buy some cheap China-made vacuum cleaner (which breaks down in 2 weeks) or you forfeit the voucher. Most uncles and aunties get pressured at the shop employees can be quite persuasive!
The thing is, many young people also get scammed, if the news reports in the papers are anything to go by. Executives in their 20s and 30s get scammed the hi-tech way – through phone and Internet.
I guess the only way to prevent this happening to you is this: keep Greed away.
If you’re not greedy, don’t care for such freebies, you’re safe.
You know what I am going to do? I am going to email Shell Malaysia and get them to look into this SMS scam. After all the scammers are using Shell to scam people!
UPDATE: I emailed the Shell Malaysia people after I wrote this post. They wrote back. This is what they said:
Thank you for your feedback. With regards to your enquiry below, the SMS received is not from Shell. That is a SCAM SMS going around saying that it is from Shell.
If you were to be a winner from Shell, we shall notify you through phone call and will not send any sms.
Hence, kindly ignore the sms and do not reply to them on any details. For further clarification, kindly call us at 1300 88 1808. Thank you.
Shell Customer Service Centre