Please Delete These Emails!
A previous article warned our readers about Medicare scams currently being perpetrated during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). In this article I will discuss other scams that have been around for years and still going.
Unfortunately Seniors are prime targets for online scams. My name must on a list somewhere because I receive at least 4 emails every day from somebody offshore claiming they have large sums of my money in their possession. How could I be so careless as to leave vast quantities of cash behind in countries I’ve never visited?
These emails claim to be from banks, the FBI, foreign diplomats, Bill and Melinda Gates and even the White House. Oddly enough they use mostly Gmail accounts, never an organizational one.
The scammers make it sound so easy to claim “your” money because, apparently, it’s already been loaded onto an ATM card. Boy, you can smell that money, can’t you?
They say you can withdraw up $5,000.00 twice a day using the ATM card. Strange, my bank that personally knows me, has a maximum daily withdrawal of a mere $300.00. Peanuts! This must be a special type of ATM card. Yep, non-existent!
To receive the ATM card the scammers direct you to just confirm a delivery address and provide banking info for the ATM card. Hang on! Shouldn’t they already have the banking info because the ATM card is pre-loaded?
The only thing left, they assure, is to pay the shipping company a small fee of $150.00. That’s very affordable, after all, the real big money on the ATM card will be delivered tomorrow. Can’t wait!
Then, for your convenience, they direct you to pay the shipping fee using an iTunes or Amazon card. Really? Why would a “bank” suggest this type of payment method. I wonder why they don’t simply debit the ATM card? I guess they must have some very valid reasons, perhaps there are legalities. Yeah, that’s right, legalities. Got it.
One email claimed that $5 million in cash arrived for me in the US in a diplomatic pouch. (Oooh, don’t tell the wife!). If the shipment was all one dollar bills that bulging pouch would weigh about 11,000 lbs or 5 ½ tons. It would leave the diplomat and the plane huffing and puffing! The plane wouldn’t land it would drop out of the sky.
All these scams are a variation of the same old theme, to get money out of your bank account not make a deposit.
Here’s an email I received just today. This is exactly how I received it with typos and bad grammar included:
“Morning to you and sorry for the late response, The United Nations has ordered BANK OF AMERICA to transfer a total sum of $14,500,000.00 Fourteen Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars into your bank account. All the foreigners who are VICTIMS OF NIGERIAN SCAM will receive $14,500,000.00 fourteen Million Five Hundred thousand US Dollars as COMPENSATION from the United Nations (UN), so therefore the UNITED NATIONS has agreed and appoint BANK OF AMERICA (BOA) to compensate all the Victims of Nigerian SCAMS, your name was among the list of names submitted to BANK OF AMERICA for immediate transfer of $14,500,000.00. Please my dear, BANK OF AMERICA is ready to transfer the $14.5 Million US Dollars to your bank account, we BANK OF AMERICA require your banking details to enable us transfer the funds US$14.5 Million US Dollars into your account, kindly complete the TRANSFER REQUIREMENTS below for immediate release of the $14.5 Million US Dollars into your account. TRANSFER REQUIREMENTS:- 1: Your First Name....... 2: Your Middle Name....... 3: Your Last Name....... 4: Your Complete Residential Address...... 5: Your Home Telephone No......... 6: Your Cell Phone No........ 7: Your Age........ 8: Your Occupation....... 9: Your Bank Name....... 10: Your Bank Address....... 11: Your Bank Telephone No........ 12: Your Bank Account No........ 13: Your Bank Routing No........ IF ANY 14: Your Bank Swift Code No....... IF ANY “
Many of the emails ask for a copy of identity like drivers license or passport.
All sounds legitimate, right? Does your bank refer to you as ”my dear”? Even my wife doesn’t call me that! So what could possibly go wrong?
It’s ironic that the Nigerians are offering compensation for their own Nigerian scams. It makes sense that they need banking information to deposit funds but their intention is to withdraw all your money.
I have heard stories of people paying the shipping fee and then the perpetrators need additional money for customs documentation or some other bogus reason. After that, there will be more and more fees until your well runs dry.
If you try and pull out they use intimidation and, in some cases, send the heavies to the front door.
These emails have been doing the circuit for years and I regularly would receive 1 or 2 daily in my inbox. For the last 3 months I have received at least 4 emails a day, 7 days a week.
It appears, that because of similar grammar (poor at that), many of these emails come from the same organization. That tells me the program is working for them.
If the program is working there are people that are still being scammed. Those that are scammed, usually Seniors, very rarely come forward because of embarrassment or fear of retribution.
All I can say is DON’T fall for it. There aren’t millions of dollars waiting for you. The only money waiting is yours, waiting for the scammers to raid your bank account.
DON’T even respond to the email, just delete it. If you respond, in their eyes that indicates interest, and scammers probably have the ability to track you down through your email address.
By the way I have a bridge I would like to sell you! Email me for details.