Monday, May 14, 2007

Growng Email Scam: Have You Been Targeted?

Have you seen this one?
"I have being paid $50,000.00 in advance to terminate you"
Wow. Who would be fooled by this? Apparently some people are taking this email seriously even though it should be obvious to anyone that it's a scam. It stands to reason that if Internet bandits are doing it, it's probably working on the least Internet-savvy among us.

MSNBC reported:
Thomas was targeted by what is sometimes called a "hit man scam" or "killer spam." It's just an unwanted e-mail, like so many others, designed to trick consumers into giving cash to a criminal half-way around the world. Only in this case, recipients are told their life depends on their ability to transfer $50,000 to an overseas bank in the next few days.
I often wonder why these creeps can't get the English right. The bad grammar is one of the best tells that you're reading crap. Anyone have an answer?

The Internet Crime Complaint Center issued a warning about extortion e-mails earlier this year. And Jim DePriest, an assistant attorney general in Arkansas, said his office has received multiple hit-man complaints recently and the FBI has received about 100 complaints nationwide, he said. Not every victim was as tech savvy as Thomas.

"We've received a half dozen or more from consumers who were quite alarmed," DePriest said. There were enough complaints to prompt his office to send out a consumer alert about the e-mails last week.

"One scam takes spam to a new, frightening level," the notice says.

The scam also takes the crime to a new level, DePriest said. Criminals who send out threats of bodily harm would be likely be liable for prosecution on assault or terroristic threat charges, in addition to charges normally associated with spam and fraud.

Consumers who receive such e-mails should pay them no mind, said Greg Donewar, manager of the Internet Crime Complaint Center. He directed confused Net users to visit, the agency's Web site devoted to consumer education, for more information.
So just remember: An educated Internet user is a spammers worst customer.

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