18 May An URGENT request & AWESOME opportunity
“Your records and credit reports were viewed four times by persons unknown on May 18, 2015. A file (#738567) has been set up by our division to investigate. Please go to this web site immediately (https://www.wearegoingto fleeceyou.now) to view details of these inquiries and then call our office to discuss the matter. You will find the investigator’s direct number on the web site. Please reference your case file when calling.”
Or how about this one?
“I am sorry to have contacted you without your prior notice, this is a matter of utmost importance. I contacted you out of luck and goodwill with hope of getting your urgent attention. I need to discuss with you on my propose project in your country. My name is Mrs. Esther Harmon. I have a charity project that is dear to my heart which I wish to partnership with you to help the motherless babies home and widows in all part of the world. My family has been blessed many years and since the death of my husband I have been left with a fortune that I now intend to donate to this charity project because I have been diagnosis with Breast and Blood disease which has defiled all forms of medical treatment.”
So let’s look at how these emails attempt to prompt action:
- Use of an authority position” “division”
- Personalized: “Your records”
- Step-by-step directions: “Call our office.” “Reference your case file.”
- Goodwill: “I have a charity project.”
- Need: “babies home and widows”
- Money: “I have been left a fortune.”
- Pity: “Breast and blood disease.”
It gets all the more complicated and believable when the email is sent from someone you recognize – someone whose email address list, in which yours was included, has been stolen.
Congratulations! You are being “socially engineered” – enticed to do something out of generosity, compliance or fear that you would not otherwise willingly do.
Here are some other common and, often successful, scams:
- We are from a foreign government that is now reformed but, due to ethics rules, we need an overseas partner to transfer funds pilfered into U.S. accounts opened by the previous regime. Please forward your account number so that we may legally transfer this money to you and then to us and we will pay you ten percent of the funds as we restore democracy to our nation ….
- You are pre-approved for credit and cannot be turned down!!! Just send us the up-front fee…
- Congratulations! You won the international lottery from the global pool of previously non-winning tickets sold in the last year. Just send your checking account information so that we may transfer funds….
- We’re from your bank and need you to verify your account information. Just click on the attached link….
- We believe you would make an excellent representative as a financial agent for our offshore bank. We would like to hire you as the clearing agent in the U.S. to accept funds on our behalf for which you will be paid a generous commission. Please send us your account information…
- As you know from the news, we are the victims of (fill in the latest disaster) and we respectfully ask that you help us with as generous a donation as possible for medical relief and food for our children. Please send whatever you can to…
Here are five simple guidelines to protect you, your family and your assets from being scammed.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
- If there is a link in an email from someone you do not know, do not click it. If it is from someone you know, call them and ask if they sent you an email with that link. It is likely the link has a computer virus.
- Your bank will never, ever ask for your account information via email.
- No one hands out credit without your personal information. So, how can you be pre-approved for something you have never desired or requested?
ANYTHING that solicits your personal or account information is almost guaranteed to be a scam
So, when you answer the phone and someone says “Good evening. I am calling about the Microsoft program on your computer…” just hang up – or feel free to spend a little time keeping them on the phone to stop them from calling unsuspecting victims somewhere else in the world. Why not have a little fun at their expense? Just don’t give them one shred of information.