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I WON 2.5 MILLION DOLLARS! (From a Nigerian Contest I Never Heard Of)

Scams are out there, don't be a victim

Really? I just got an email (today) saying that I won 2.5 million dollars. All I had to do was email TONS of personal information, and voila! They would send me my well deserved winnings! Did I mention that I must also send them a certified check via Western Union for $1500.? 

Several months ago I received another message that a foreign dignitary wanted my services to purchase a home here in the US. He was in the market for a home priced up to 10 Million dollars. Once again, I had to give these people all my personal information, so they could "check out my background" 

As a Real Estate Professional, my information is everywhere, from Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, to pretty much every website that's out there for my type of business. It must happen at least every several months that I receive great news of something wonderful is happening, or I've won  a huge amount of  of cash

Something even scarier: I received a call on my cell phone from a "Microsoft Representative" who informed me that my email account had been "compromised", All I had to do was go to my computer and follow the instructions of the caller, and give all my passwords to him. I hung up.

Internet scams are the new crime De jour. There are even scam phone calls telling people that a family member is in a foreign country and couldn't leave because they lost their wallet, and could they send money via Western Union. (my neighbor recieved a phone call saying just that!)

Here are some signals that you are being scammed:

  • An email telling you that you won the lottery (return email is obsured)
  • Phone call asking you to turn on your computer and follow instuctions
  • An unrecogized email address asking you to open a link
  • A call from a "family member" stuck in a foriegn country with no money
  • Someone knocking at your door that you don't recognize, doing a "survey" 

The elderly are particularly vulnerable. Talk with family members and let them know these scammers are out there. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Troy June 11, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I like your new photo! Do you remember the PayPal scam? It was mentioned on fostercity.org
Phyllis McArthur June 11, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Thanks Zack, yeah, I do remember the PayPal scam. Petty bad.
Phyllis McArthur June 15, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Oh Dear!!! I just got a call from the "Windows Service Center" It seems they found a problem with my computer and would I please follow their instructions.....

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