Scam Central: Vendors Beware
There is this great commercial out on TV now where a man gets on a bus and sits down next to this woman, and begins speaking to her in discombobulated English about how she is his long lost cousin, and only she can help him retrieve his lottery winnings (or some such thing) by just handing over all her personal identification information. Then an announcer comes on and says “these scams don’t work well in person, you shouldn??t fall for them online either.” The commercial, by the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness, cracks me up every time I see it, because I’ve received loads of crazy email scams just like that one.
Most are worded in a very odd, ESL style of speech, using lowercase letters sometimes Interchanged with UpperCase lEtters as well. Usually they’re completely ridiculous references to me having to send some of my banking information to my long lost uncle in Nigeria as I am, typically, “his only hope.”
In any event, most of the time these scams are easy to spot and easy to understand why it might not be the brightest of ideas to forward my bank account and routing information to some stranger via email. But yesterday I received the following email to my Fabuluxe account:
“I’m Chris Darwin and i would like to inquire if you will be available to coordinate our wedding which would be taken place on the 16th of next month(February).I would like to know the necessary things needed and involved so as to make this event a worthwhile and remarkable one. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
I thought it sounded like a scam email but replied anyway to get some additional information, and it became clear when she informed me they’d “already booked a band from MassacHusettS, uSA” that this was not an entirely legit request. I forwarded it to Terrica who explained that loads of people have already received it.
I did a little digging, and seemingly the scam here involves you acting as some sort of money launderer, i.e., they overpay you for your services and then ask you to send the extra money here or there, etc. CrAzY! Vendors beware!