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Email Scams

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 11:13 am

Email scams are making the rounds again…unlike the annoying chain emails claiming that a president isn’t native-born or Bill Gates is giving away bazillions in an email lottery, these scams are designed to tug at your heart strings to help out a friend. Here’s a recent example, reported earlier today to the OTR Digest:

I’m writing this with tears in my eyes,I came down here to [insert any foreign location] for a short vacation unfortunately i got mugged at the park of the hotel where i stayed,all cash,credit card and cell were stolen off but luckily for me is that i still have my passports with me.

I’ve been to the embassy and the Police here but they’re not helping issues at all and my flight leaves in less than 3hrs from now but am having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let me leave until i settle the bills,I’m freaked out at the moment.

There are many variations on this horse-pucky, all of them designed to appeal to your desire to help out a friend.

I realize I sound like a hard-hearted b*stard, but don’t. The odds of someone you barely know asking you to bale them out of jail or send them money for living expenses are pretty darned low…and frankly, if they do, you need to question why they didn’t contact someone closer to them instead of you.

On the other hand, you may get this apparently from a family member, and be tempted…again, don’t. Pick up the phone, call other family members, check around…I mean, c’mon, if a close family member were stuck in some foreign land you can bet they will be making a whole lot of collect phone calls to a whole lot of family members, so verifying this should be simple.

Basically, I’m suggesting that any time you receive any emotion-packed email requesting funds, your default position is that it’s a bogus scam. Because it is.

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