Adrian and Gillian Bayford email scam
In August 2012 a couple called Adrian and Gillian Bayford from Suffolk in England won more than 148 million pounds in the EuroMillions lottery.
Not long after, UK National Lottery operator Camelot issued a warning about an email scam where scammers were posing as the jackpot winners.
The email declared that the Bayfords had decided to donate money to five individuals around the world, plus 10 close friends and family as part of a charity project to improve lives.
A Western Australian pensioner received the email and did not realise it was a scam. He started communicating with a person he believed was Adrian.
Over a period of several months the 85-year-old (who is very well educated and holds several degrees) transferred $200,000 to overseas-based criminals.
The man’s daughter, who we’ll call ‘Emma’, was alerted by a local post office worker worried about the amounts of money Emma’s father was sending by wire transfer.
Emma heard that WA Police had been round to her parents’ house. She asked her dad what was going on.
Listen to Emma's story - Part 1
WA Police, working on Project Sunbird with Consumer Protection, had already sent a letter and carried out a follow up visit to Emma’s dad to explain he was being defrauded but he hadn’t told her this.
Listen to Emma's story - Part 2
When Emma saw the email correspondence between her dad and the scammers she could see her father had been groomed.
Listen to Emma's story - Part 3
Emma wanted to find out more about the recent WA Police visit to her parent’s house.
Listen to Emma's story - Part 4
There were fake documents to back up the story that monies were held for Emma’s dad. These documents included the use of official logos from www.austrac.gov.au
Listen to Emma's story - Part 5
The scammers really had Emma’s dad convinced. Despite more visits from WA Police Major Fraud Squad Detectives and attempted family intervention he carried on sending his hard earned life savings and tried to hide the fact.
Listen to Emma's story - Part 6
Emma came to the conclusion that the grip the scammer assuming the identity of Adrian had over her dad was unbreakable.
Listen to Emma's story - Part 7
Sadly the family had to take control of the man’s finances; getting him to sign over Power of Attorney.
Like so many victims, it turns out Emma’s dad had been scammed before.
Listen to Emma's story - Part 8
Scam emails claiming to be from Adrian and Gillian Bayford are still in circulation.
A new victim has recently (June 2013) come forward to WA ScamNet after responding to one of these emails and sending $5,000 to scammers in India. He had been communicating by phone with callers on UK and America area code numbers.
This man was given login details for a fake online bank account that appeared to contain the money awarded to him by the Bayfords.
If you or someone you know receives one, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it from your inbox. Do not reply.
A simple Google search will alert you to a potential scam so we urge anyone receiving something unusual to at least do some basic checks and talk to us at WA ScamNet.
Lottery scams for example are nothing new and warnings like Euromillions lottery scam and Euro Millones International Lottery exist on WA Scamnet already. The difference this time though is the use of the winner identities to perpetrate the scam.
It’s a tactic we’re likely to see duplicated in future.
WA ScamNet is currently (June 2013) investigating a similar potential scam involving the names of American lottery winners.
Expect an alert soon…