SMS Scam Alert: Shell RM2.4mil Giveaway

We received this SMS today.

The SMS reads:

From: +60128696996
From SHELL Tahniah!Anda tlhMe”nangi Kontes SHELL
2,3 Million. Sila Hub Talian: 0128233122Terima
Kasih. Penghantar: Shell.

Just from the formatting and the way the message read we know that this is a scam. But we also know that there is a contest currently running organised by Shell and Bonuslink

So to be doubly sure we wrote an email to Shell and this is what they have to say (produced in verbatim, of course).

Dear Sir,

Thank you for contacting Shell with regards to your enquiry below.

It has come to our attention that Short Messaging System (SMS) text messages are being sent to people claiming that they have won prizes from Shell Malaysia.

Please do not reply but ignore the sms and lodge a police report. Shell Malaysia does NOT use text messages to communicate to our contest winners. All winner announcements for contests run by Shell are advertised in the media and available on the Shell Malaysia website . Winners will also receive a phone call informing them of their win by a Shell appointed agency. At which point, our agency will need to verify the winner’s name, NRIC and address for the prizes to be couriered to the winners. We do NOT require any bank account numbers, etc. If ever in doubt, please do check the website to ensure that you are indeed a Shell contest winner.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in this matter.

Thanks & Regards,
Akhari Begam
Shell Customer Service Centre

So everyone, please take note of this. The fact that there are such SMSes flying around means that they are still people being duped.

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No offense but please don’t be so gullible lah! This rule will always apply: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember this.

As a precaution, be mindful of the following to ensure your good news is legit.

  1. Confirm if you have actually entered in such a contest. We know it sounds great but seriously, no one is going to give you money for free. If you’ve never entered in any contests, chances are the SMS is a SCAM!
  2. SMSes from short codes are usually legit. Though still be mindful of whether you had actually participated in such a contest. If not, then it’s a SCAM!
  3. Proper and full spelling in the message is a good indication. Bad guys aren’t usually smart (although they’d like to think so). If the SMS is poorly spelled and is littered with abbreviations and ridiculous short forms then it’s very likely a SCAM!
  4. SMSes should have price indication at the beginning of the message (ie. “Free SMS”, “0Sen” etc.) to tell you how much it costs you to open and receive the SMS (yes, some companies actually charge you for receiving and opening SMS). If the SMS doesn’t have this, you’ve just opened a SCAM!

Of course this is not full proof, these criminals are ingenious and sooner or later they would be able to create SMSes that look like the real thing. Just remember the rule.

If you are exposed to such scams, please report immediately to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (SKMM). You can email them directly HERE.

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We’ve already reported our incident, it doesn’t take long and it goes a long way in helping us get rid of this menace. So do your part!