You have been invited to an important business conference. Major industry players are speaking. The event is coming at a well-known venue, the AXA Equitable Auditorium, a 400 seat auditorium in New York City. And, to top it all off, your air and hotel expenses are to be paid in full.
You are honored. You are excited. And, you are a victim of the latest scam.
Forget wiring money to Nigeria. This spam is so highly tailored to you, that it has a good chance of being successful.
Bob Grant, staff writer for The Scientist, writes about the details of the scam he received:
In the message, (Alyssa) Logan invited me to the "Seventh Annual International
Global combine Conference on Global Economy and Human Welfare" that
AWIO was hosting. The conference would take place over the course of
ten days at two separate sites, the first in New York City and the
second in Dakar, Senegal in Africa.
All I had to do was get in contact with the conference
secretariat, one Grace Nathan, and I could be on my way to the
meetings. And — get this — I would even get my airfare and
accommodation paid for!
(I) discovered that they have posted an agenda
for the meeting. Several prominent doctors and researchers who work in
the public health field are listed as speakers on the agenda, so I
decided to contact them and ask about their involvement in the
"I've never heard from them," said Kevin Schulman,
director of the Center for Clinical and Genetic Economics at Duke
University, who was scheduled to give the opening speech on February 1
The level of sophistication for the invites are quite high.
The roll call of speakers seems to have been copied directly from the
agenda of an actual meeting that occurred earlier this year. Schulman,
Berenson, and Steele all spoke in February at the 2009 National Health Policy Conference
(NHPC), hosted by health services research center Academy Health and
held in Washington, DC. Many of the other NHPC participants are listed
in the fraudulent agenda for the AWIO meeting. (Even Senator Ted
Kennedy, who died in August, is listed as a speaker at the upcoming
Grant tells the story of contacting the offices for the conference and receiving detailed information. While he never got to far, we can only assume that this would follow the path of the Nigerian scam. Perhaps they would ask for some personal data for the agenda, a credit card for a room deposit, etc.
The details are becoming very sophisticated. They clearly took the time to target their victims and research the field. Watch your mailbox and be very careful.
(Tip of the Hat to Kira Matus)