E-mail Scams – You Gotta Know

This is likely the last time I’ll get a chance to talk to you because I’ve hit it big. Abdul Kashalanda Kukahereman from Nigeria sent me an e mail that I’m getting 7.5 million dollars from an estate. So I’m quite excited. Of the zillions of people with e-mail, he picked me!

Well, not quite. But on some of these e-mail scams, there was some good news recently. The most common scams are along the lines of purchasing something from you or paying you for something, giving you a cheque and having you refund the overpayment.

You’re sent a fake cheque that looks incredibly real from E-bay, lottery accounts, Wal-Mart, pre-payment on sales commissions or the likes. The scam is to get you to cash the cheque, keep 10 or 20 percent of the money for your trouble and just get a Western Union draft to send the rest of the money back.

It can be months before the cheque you thought was a cheque actually bounces. Now you’ve sent back the 80% or so with your real money and now the bank charges you back for the fraudulent cheque.

These scams are mostly run out of Nigeria, so finally the U.S. Secret Service was able to convict someone. Recently, Edna Fiedler was sent to prison for sending out over $609 million in these phony cheques. The U.S. Postal Service also sent 15 staff to Nigeria to work with the post office there. In a 90-day period they intercepted counterfeit cheques, lottery cheques, E-bay overpayments, etc. for, are you ready for this: $2.1 billion.

The newest scam is out of Hong Kong. It’s an e-mail asking for nothing at all, just telling you that you’ve won $5,000. You just need to send copy of passport, drivers license, etc. but they’re not asking for money. The scam is getting your identity with what you might mail. With that they can clean out your bank accounts and obtain fraudulent credit with this identity theft and that’s worth way more to the crooks.

You and I might be internet wise, but for those of us with older parents, make absolutely sure your parents get to hear some of these scams. Maybe these two, or print off the phony ones from the Royal Bank or Paypal claiming your account has been breached and you need to just update your information. Senior are the biggest group targeted and your parents, uncles or whoever needs to learn THE best words about e-mails from people they don’t know: Just don’t click.

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