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E-mail Scams (10/26/08)

    I hate to discuss crimes. Because e-mail scams attack us everyday, we should know how to defend ourselves just as we have done for diseases through immunizations. Otherwise, scammers may steal our identities, empty our purses, or use us as scapegoats for their crimes. Below I just list a few common scams:
  1. Lottery scams.
        They send you an e-mail and tell you that you have won a lottery. They need your personal information and bank account number. There are so many lottery scams that if I could collect the jackpots by following their instructions, my fortune could easily surpass the combined wealth of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

  2. Job scams.
        They want you to be their representative to collect checks from their clients. You wire real money to the scammer before you know the checks that you have collected are fake.

  3. Purchase scams.
        Suppose you sell an item over the Internet. They will send a $3000 phony check to purchase an item worth $10. Then they ask you to wire back the rest of the money.

  4. Check printing scams.
        It is difficult to tell what can go wrong with this type of scam. They ask you to print payroll checks for their clients. They offer a high salary to lure you into buying a checkwriter to print checks and into distributing them. You do not know where the money comes from, whether the account has enough funds, whether there is dirty money involved, and whether the money transfer is legal. The scammers will say they want to return to their countries as soon as possible and want you to start the job the very next day. Once you get involved, your records might be used to threaten you into remaining in the crime ring. The delivery services like UPS, DHL, or Fed. Ex. would have kept your mailing address. If anything goes wrong with these checks, you will be in serious trouble. By then the scammers may leave this country and you will be held responsible for all the consequences. At first glance, printing checks seems an innocent job. However, this lucrative job may involve money laundering or other types of illegal money transfer. Everyone should google "the check writer scam" on the Internet.

(11/3/2008) In less than a week after I published this E-mail Scams on the Internet, a scam worm slithered into my e-mail inbox. The worm exploits every loophole. A scammer pretended to be a representative of Yahoo and sent me an e-mail. It said that I had to send him my password. Otherwise, my e-mail account will be closed in two weeks. When I was filling Yahoo's e-mail abuse form to report the scam, the form was suddenly affected by a virus. It start to expand so that I could not reach the next line. I asked for help from the library's technology specialist, fixed the problem, completed the form, and sent it to Yahoo.