Like most days I love to get up make breakfast sit in my backyard and breath in the clean blue mountains air. I will often drink my coffee while I look at my email. It’s a good way to start my day. But today I noted that I’m getting more email scams than normal. I figured it would be a good time to give you some examples and show you how to avoid them. This would be a good blog post to show some of your non-tech-savvy relatives.
How email scams work
There are many kinds of email scams but I’m only going to address one today. It’s important to know that the receiver of the email must do something to get caught in the scam. (See How to Avoid Scams below) This means that you are not going to lose any money by only opening the email.
The Inheritance scam
This kind of scam is will either be “Long lost relative” or “You have the same name as the beneficiary. These can have some official-looking emails with cover letters. I have seen some impressive cover letters & logos used to help sell the con.
- You will not know the relative who passed
- The amount of inheritance will often be large enough to make you think “What do I have to lose”
- There is almost always a request for bank fees. or Personal information.
- Sometimes (Like in the case below) the scam is reworded to represent a payment of some kind that you may receive.
Here is an example of an email I got this morning while watching the cockatoos in my back yard. Spelling issues left in tact.
I am Barr. Mrs. Sandra Bob, and my address is 405.East 42nd Street,New York, NY, 10017.USA. I am the new attorney with United Nations/International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United States Government because the last attorney passed away a few months ago.
I am writing to notify you of a pending payment file containing funds of ($12.5 million USD) which is with me for delivery. Please, can you kindly tell me the reason for your delay concerning the delivery?
Note: if you fail to contact me within 72 hours as instructed your payment file containing your funds of ($12.5 million USD) shall be cancelled, and your compensation shall be returned back to government reserve account but if you are still ready to receive your payment,then make sure to contact me with the following information’s for processing.
Cell/Mobile Phone Numbers:
Barr. Mrs Sandra Bob
405.East 42nd Street,New York, NY, 10017.USA
Ok lets break this one down
- If 12.5 Million Dollars is involved you think they would know my name “Sir/Madam “
- Barr. Mrs Sandra Bob.. Really?
- The USA does not have Barristers
- Sandra Bob? That is a very odd name, Not impossible but looks like a translation issue.
- Lawyers by the nature of their job have a better understanding of the English language than most teachers. Any misspellings, comma out of place, or misuse of plurals is a sign of a con.
- Adding small details like “The last attorney passed away” will never be found in an official letter.
- Layers may be long-winded but their letters never stray from the point.
- This was added to make you feel for the person who is sending you the letter. (And to excuse the incompetence)
- Large inheritance amount. Really do you know anyone with that kind of money?
- Setting a time limit of 72 hours .. is to instil a sense of urgency. (we don’t think clearly when things are urgent)
- Asking for all kinds of information… Someone who is going to be handing out 12.5 million will already know what colour socks you are wearing. Most likely this info will be used for identity fraud later if you do not fall for the scam.
So how do you protect your self from these scams?
That’s right delete the email. These scams require that you do something like provide your personal information to the scammer. simply clicking the delete key is the best way. I know it seems almost too simple.
For more information Scam Watch
If you or a loved one has been scammed
- Contact your bank directly by walking into a branch they have people whose entire job is to stop issues like this.
- Contact the Police and give them all the information you have.
- Have your computer checked for malware?
If you need help with checking your mac for malware/viruses after you have been scammed please contact us if you are in the Blue Mountains or Lithgow area. I can help. Please contact the Lithgow Police.[hubspot portal=”8099725″ id=”c86c3a05-d1b4-4068-8ba1-40c76785443c” type=”form”]