I think that I am a fairly intuitive person and I can easily identify when I am being tricked. So there are some emails that I automatically dismiss. These emails are from persons who I don’t know and they relate long and sad stories about how they need my financial support.
They often come from as far away as Nigeria and the stories range from the reasonable to the ridiculous. One of the more humorous ones that I have received state that the person wishes to give me an inheritance but I would first need o transfer a small amount to open an account.
It never fails to amuse me that the writers of these emails beg so unashamedly for the funds and usually they give a specific amount that they need. They won’t even leave it up to the generosity of the person as they make their demands.
Use of Friends
It’s one thing when the requests come from complete strangers however it’s quite another when you recognize the name of the recipient. Often this means that person’s email has been compromised as they have no knowledge of it.
This personal appeal usually sounds legitimate as they claim to be stranded in a foreign country without any means to survive. The scammer in the email gives fairly detailed description of what they have experienced and plays on the emotions as they ask for a small loan.
Legitimate looking scams
Recently another type of email has been making the rounds and it is more insidious than out-rightly asking for money. These emails appear to come from a financial institution as they have the letterhead and markings usually seen on legitimate documents.
The email asks you to verify your email address by clicking a link which then allows the scammers to access information. The link while innocent looking can lead to your online information being accessed by unscrupulous persons.
One financial institution that was affected by these email scams was (NBC) National Commercial Bank. A number of customers received fraudulent emails that looked as if they came from the company. The bank issued a statement to customers saying that the email did not originate with them and customers do not need to verify their email accounts in that manner.
We have to be ever vigilant as it may not always be easy to identify a scam!
So what’s your take? Let me hear from you!
Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner online writer