A Picture is Worth 1000 Words
This old English adage couldn’t be more true for this week’s Top Story. It comes to us from our friend, and Scam Hunter, RobL. He loves stringing along the Nigerian 419 Scammers, wasting their time, and exposing their supporting fraudulent websites such as fake online banks. RobL. recently sent us this email that has been part of a thread in which he has been communicating with someone identified as “Missionary Carol Mitchell.” We’re so sad to report that Missionary Carol Mitchell is dying, and without heirs. Fortunately for RobL., Missionary Carol Mitchell has asked her New York lawyer, William A. Simon, to make RobL. her “next of kin.” RobL. will inherit $6,000,000.00 dollars! Go Rob! He is now expecting to hear from Attorney Simon and CIT Bank about the details.
Missionary Carol Mitchell claims to work for the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, located in San Francisco. To help RobL. get to know his new new next-of-kin dying relative, Carol sent a bunch of photos of herself and has, in turn, asked that RobL. send her some photos so she “will pray for you through the pictures before I die.” Awwwww. Doesn’t this just break your heart?!
But let’s back up a moment to the start of their conversation. To help support her claim that she was sincere and the person whom she claimed to be, Carol Mitchell sent RobL. a photo of her United States passport. Click on the picture of the passport and zoom in to look very closely at her photo...
Did you notice anything unusual about Carol Mitchell’s photo? RobL. did, and so did we! Over Carol Mitchell’s left eye (right side) appears some very faint white text. The letter “o” also appears on the neck of this woman, near her collar.
We figured out that the faint white text says “depositphotos.” DepositPhotos.com is a royalty-free photo and stock image website. With that information, we went hunting for an elderly Asian woman on DepositPhotos.com and had no problem finding “Missionary Carol Mitchell’s” photos. There were many of them! They were originally taken by a photographer named Ampyang back in 2010.
The Nigerian 419 scammers who created this advance-fee fraud have really good photoshop skills but no one is perfect! In this photo from DepositPhotos, you can see the white letters stamped across the woman’s face above her left eye and at her neckline. The scammers took out just the photo of the elderly Asian woman and pasted it into the US Passport after additional photoshop work, but left in the letters stamped on her face. (You can see that her jacket matches what she is wearing in the passport photo too.)
RobL. tells us that the scammers sent him other photos of this same woman, claiming to be Carol Mitchell but they were also taken from stock photo websites. This included “Carol” in her hospital bed which was also found on DepositPhotos.com.
A picture is indeed worth a 1000 words! In this case, the words include fraud, scam, cheat, fake, forgery, sham, phony, falsify, counterfeit, and lie! Thanks RobL for continuing to expose their fraud!
FOOTNOTE 1: RobL also pointed out that this same scam, using the same names for the lawyer and sick woman, have been in use for at least a year and a half. You can see many of the emails in this advance fee scam posted on ScamSurvivors.com.
FOOTNOTE 2: The photos used by these scammers are also on other stock photo websites such as DreamsTime.com, but the copyright markings placed on the images made it impossible to use them in the Passport image unless you are willing to pay for them!
Daily Scam Home Page