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Category: Technology / Topics: Financial Fraud Internet

Too Good to Be True

by Dan Seagren

Posted: September 16, 2007

Things that slipped through my spam filter…

Flooding the worldwide web (www) are offers to get in on a good deal. Personally, my spam catcher catches most of them. However, I will share excerpts from a couple of the most recent scams to illustrate what they look like. Here's one to begin with.

My Dear Good Friend, Good day, How are you today? I am writing to inform you that I have Paid the fee for your Cheque Draft. And I went to the bank to confirm if the Cheque has expired or getting near to expire and Mr. Ahmed Zafa the Director of Financial Trust Bank told me that before the cheque will get to your hand that it will expire.

So I told him to cash the $950,000.00 UNITED STATES DOLLARS to cash payment to avoid losting this funds. However, all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $950,000.00 UNITED STATES DOLLARS in cash was made with GLOBAL MAX COURIER COMPANY BENIN here in Cotonou Benin Republic, You are required to expeditiously Contact the Executive Secretary below for qualification documentation and processing of your claims, from Monday through Sunday . . . Here's another.

Good day, I am Wang Yan, a staff of Private Banking Services at the Bank of China (BOC) United Kingdom. I am contacting you concerning our customer and, an investment placed under our banks management 4 years ago. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail. I contacted you independently of our investigation and no one is informed of this communication. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you.

In 2002, the subject matter; ref: bb/boc/bank/0012 came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our Private Banking Services Department. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of 8.35 million United States Dollars, which he wished to have us turn over (invest) on his behalf.

If you've ever had a senior moment urge to get rich quick, or actually were tempted to investigate these kinds of offers seriously, don't be surprised if you get taken: quietly, subtly and surely. Why these scams are still flooding the market I don't know except they apparently still work (they've been around for years). Many if not most come from distant lands, are often awkwardly written, appeal to your emotional rather than rational nature, and imply that your small investment could reap a significant reward.

Now, why would I be writing about this kind of a senior moment? Simply because they are actually pressurizing seniors (and others) into its abyss. How they get your email address is hardly a mystery. Address lists are a dime a dozen, easy to buy, easy to sell. If you don't get any of these sham solicitations, consider yourself lucky. If you fall for them, consider yourself unlucky.

Seniors enjoy bargains as well as anyone. This is why the Internet is so alluring. A ninety-plus senior dresses fit to kill. How? She buys online. It's easy, enticing and fashionable. So, be cautious. The Internet is handy, rather anonymous, always available but not everything is above board or sanctioned. Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, beware.

Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: September 16, 2007

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