2008 Pie in the Sky Award winner – 1st Place

This year the award goes to a disturbing ‘advanced fee fraud’ scam. This email scam pleaded with people to help a Togo barrister access US$17 million from the estate of a man who along with his family was killed in the Boxing Day tsunami three years ago. This outrageous offer was just too good to be true.

According to the offer, people could get a share of the wealth by claiming to be the deceased’s next of kin. To claim the wealth, you would need to respond to the email. The nature of this type of fraud is that you would need to pay a fee before you would receive the money. This is an advanced fee fraud where you would pay to receive nothing.

‘Of course there is no $17 million estate, and people were being scammed for the upfront fees’, said Ms Delia Rickard, ASIC’s Acting Executive Director of Consumer Protection.

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