Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Below is a copy of an e-mail I received, purportedly from Joe, an acquaintance of mine. I immediately called Joe and learned that numerous other people had also alerted him of the obvious misuse of his e-mail list.

Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2014 05:10:23 -0700
From: jl************
Subject: VERY URGENT!!!!!Help & a favor (Joseph L******)

I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about our trip, because it was impromptu. we had to be in Turkey for Tour.. The program was successful, but our journey has turned sour. we misplaced our wallet and cell phone on our way back to the hotel we lodge in after we went for sight seeing. The wallet contained all the valuables we had. Now, our passport is in custody of the hotel management pending when we make payment.

I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a short term loan from you ($2,600). this will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance. Please, let me know soonest.

Thanks so much.



Of course, it was easily recognizable as a scam but one can never be too cautious.

A friend of mine recently published pictures of himself on Facebook while he was on vacation. I sent him a personal Facebook message: "I just went over and burglarized your house." I have sent this same message to a great number of people who publish entirely too much about their whereabouts.

I know two elderly people who were the targets of scammers shortly after the death of their respective spouses. The scam involved phone calls, supposedly from grandchildren, who were claiming to be in trouble in Mexico and needed money wired to them. It was a telephone call--complete with static on the line--from a scammer pretending to be the grandchild, pleading for money.

Unfortunately, one of the people could not get in contact with the grandchild and wired $3,000 only to learn later that the grandson was at Sea World where his cell phone had been splashed and he could not receive calls. Fortunately, the second intended victim heeded the advice of a caregiver and learned the whereabouts of the grandchild and was not duped.

I believe that scammers read obituaries and see names and addresses and take advantage of the situations. Today, I shall be guarding the house of a person who will be having visitation hours for a loved one. Tomorrow, at the funeral, another person will guard the house while I attend the funeral.

"Distrust and caution are the parents of security."--Benjamin Franklin

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just received a mesaage from that Nigerian prince! ML