I don’t always have sympathy for people who have been taken in by scams. It really depends on the type of ruse. If it appeals to someone’s latent sense of greed, I can turn to cold stone. An example would be the many pyramid schemes that wend their way through groups of ladies who lunch. The ones who get in on it early make a ton of cash and the late-comers lose bigtime when the whole thing collapses as it always does. That’s not only selfish, it’s illegal.
But last week, a senior in Huron County lost thousands of dollars because she thought she was helping the FBI catch a scam artist. The 69-year-old woman was smooth-talked, by phone, into withdrawing large sums of money and sending it to them. They went so far as to advise her to tell the bank teller a lie about what the funds were for. (Tellers keep an eagle eye on these things. One prevented a friend of mine from falling victim to a scam.)
Fortunately, this person went to the authorities and reported that she had been a victim. Many people are too embarrassed to report that they were taken, but they need not feel alone. There are lots of victims. Recently, the RCMP reported that two Montreal men were responsible for more than $1.5-million from unsuspecting Canadians in a so-called romance scam. That’s where a person thinks they’ve met the match of their dreams on a dating website and then gets sweet-talked out of their bank account.
Every once in a while I scroll through my spam folder to see if something is getting flagged as spam that ought to make it to my in-box. I found this version of Nigerian inheritance scam waiting there. Now they’ve included the FBI to make it look more official! I don’t understand how anybody can’t see right through this terrible writing but many don’t. Perhaps you’ve never seen one of these gems. Here’s an excerpt:
We sincerely apologized for sending you this sensitive information via e-mail instead of a certified mail, post-mail, phone or face to face conversation, it’s due to the urgency and importance of the security information of our citizenry, i am Special Agent Danny Blessed from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs). We have good news for you from the FBI United States. we had a meeting with International Monetary fund and Federal Government of Nigeria/ Benin over your long overdue contract payment and we agreed with them that your fund should not cost you anything because is your money, which we finally reached an agreement yesterday that all the payment will be paid via atm smart card which is the simplest way to transfer huge amount of money to avoid cost of transfer and other statutory documents, which we stretched to have a strong agreement over the payment that will cost you only $195usd for delivery of your atm smart card via Ups or Fed Ex delivery company.
It later states that $3-million will be mine! Sadly, I missed the two-day deadline. Again. Darn spam filter!