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.