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Here a scam, there a scam

January 28, 2011 - Kevin Sweeney
The Internet has certainly opened up a world of possibilities for businesses, including shady operators and scam artists.

If you have e-mail, hardly a day goes by where you don’t get some kind of offer from a Nigerian bank official who wants to slip millions of dollars out of his country and wants you to help him by letting him put it into your bank account. Your share will be a modest 40 percent, or some outrageous figure. Obviously, once you give him your bank account information he will empty it, or steal your identity and set up credit card accounts in your name.

Or, you will get an urgent message from a bank telling you it needs to verify your online access registration. All you have to do is give them your name, address, Social Security Number and bank account information.

Or, a British barrister wants you to contact him about a possible inheritance from a long-lost relative.

Or, someone dying of cancer wants to give their money to a good Christian person, like you, who will use it to do good.

Or, a foreign lottery you didn’t know you entered will announce you have won a huge sum, which they will send to you if you will send them a couple of thousand to cover taxes and transfer fees.

Or, more nefarious yet, the scammer will pose as a U.S. soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan, who has come upon a cache of money and he needs someone trustworthy, like you, to sneak it out and share it.

This week I got a new one. It is from the FBI, telling me I am required to contact the Department of Homeland Security to get my Clearance Certificate. I have to contact Rev. James Kelly at some AOL address and give him my name, address and phone number. Someone will get back to me for more information. I was also informed that I am required to take care of the cost of the Clearance Certificate that will be issued in my name. The cost is $350. The letter says “Your funds are under our custody and will not be released to you unless the required document is confirmed.”

Some of these scams are laughable, until one thinks that someone, somewhere, is going to take it seriously and get seriously fleeced.


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