I May Have Just Won Millions!

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Have you ever received an email that says you’ve inherited millions of dollars? Have you ever opened those emails just to read what it was they had to say? Do you know anyone that’s fallen for their scam? Or, maybe the email was real – has a friend of yours actually been emailed with a real inheritance?

My email from James Malcolm

Dear,
My name is Mr James Malcolm, a retired marine officer, I have sent
you this same letter a month ago,but I’m not sure the letter got to
you promptly since I haven’t heard from you, hence I am resending
it again. It will be in my interest to re-profile a certain amount
worth twenty six Millions in Pounds Sterling in an account offshore.
Are you willing to be my partner? If its ok with you, could you
please write me back and provide your Cellphone number so we can
discuss about this.
Regards
James Malcolm.

Mmmm, $26 million

$26 million dollars is certainly a lot of money, and it might spark someone’s interest, but there are definitely some concerns when I read this email. First of all, this James character doesn’t even know my name! He left the spot blank! Furthermore, James’s English skills aren’t too great. It’s difficult to even comprehend what he’s trying to say.

A letter like this probably wouldn’t fool anyone, but there are some good scams out there that do trick some intelligent people out of some money, and sometimes, out of their life savings!

The Dateline Story

TV sucked me in last night (I try to watch as little television as possible, but sometimes, it still gets a hold of me) while my wife was at a bridal shower  and I saw a very interesting Dateline special regarding Email Scams.

We have most likely all seen emails that claim we’ve inherited millions, and like we should be, most of us are very sceptical. But, there’s something inside each one of us that truly wants to believe that subject line. “Maybe I really did inherit millions.”

Shareen started out skeptical just like the rest of us, but the initial processing fee was only $195, so she felt that she didn’t have that much to lose, since the inheritance was valued at $15 million. Why not just see what happened? She then received an email stating that the legal fees needed to be taken care of, which were $895.

At this point, Shareen was obviously very suspicious, and asked to see the death certificate of her long-lost relative, as well as a look at the will in which he left her the millions. Not only did the representative provide her with these documents, but he also supplied her with an official approval letter, as well as some other very convincing documentation. Plus, the last name on the death certificate was the same as hers!

Everything seemed quite legitimate, and there was only one more bill to pay, the $6,750 storage fee from the holding company. Again, she was quite skeptical and said she would not pay any more money until they showed her a portion of her inheritance.

They gladly set up an appointment for her in London, England. There, she would meet the man that was in charge of her estate, Kenneth Ojua. He showed her a portion of the inheritance – a few piles of $100 dollar bills, all dyed black. According to him, the money could not be transported across country lines as is. It must be concealed so that it would not be confiscated.

Like magic, the black dye was washed away in the specially formulated clear liquid. It was very costly, but the expense was included in the storage fee. Satisfied with the display, Shareen forked over the $6,750 and was ready for her inheritance!

Her next email said something like this: “Your money has been wired to your bank, you should receive it before the end of today.” Can you imagine how excited she must have been? She was basically a millionaire at this moment! She was probably already planning her shopping trip for the next day!

Unfortunately, there was a problem with the transfer, since the bank was not an international institution, they were not able to receive the transfer. It would cost an additional $165,000 for the transfer to clear…

All in all, Shareen lost over $200,000 to this very well-crafted scam and never received a dime from her long-lost relative.

Beware of Internet Scams

I know you think you’re too smart to fall for these scams, but sometimes we can allow our emotions to get the best of us. Heck, according to Dateline, over $500,000,000 was lost by Americans alone, because of Internet scams just like the one outlined above. Based on this dollar value, you probably have a friend that fell victim to an online scam, but they’ll never tell you because it’s too embarrassing!

I want to make sure you get out of debt, save money, and get rich by reading this site. Avoid those email scams and you’ll be a little closer to your financial goals!

Have you ever been tempted to click on one of those emails. Do you actually know of someone that got scammed?

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27 comments to I May Have Just Won Millions!

  • I have not been scammed by email. I simply delete all those, but I can see how it might be quite a sophisticated process. I just read about the black money trick yesterday as a matter of fact. Very interesting and one that I hadn’t heard of.
    cashflowmantra recently posted..Touring Bernanke’s Printing Press

  • Ann B.

    My nephew got caught up in a scam on Craigs list.

    He posted ad for PetSitting Services and a man replied that he needed him to take care of his dog for a month while he traveled. My nephew made arrangements with the man via email. No amount of money had yet been discussed. Two days later he recieved a $3,200 cashiers check which arrived by FedEX requiring a signature. My nephew attempted to call him regarding the check but got nothing but an answering machine.
    Inside there was a letter stating that he was to cash the check and return $1,200 back to this man for the advance on the dog food he would purchase when he got to town to supply for his pet in his stead.

    My nephew deposited the check, then came over to my house to tell me of his great petsitting job. I looked over the sob story letter about how much this scam artist sopposedly loved his dog, needed him to have the best care possible, etc.
    At this point, I started asking my nephew questions.
    What kind of food are you sopposed to feed this dog that costs $1,200. a month? From there the questions continued.
    Basically, I told my nephew he was being scammed and not to cash any checks or he would be held liable. I didn’t know he had already deposited the check and was already spending the money!
    I sent him to the police.

    Finally, the bank contacted him that the check was fraudulent, and long story short, they took him to court for the money.

    In court, my nephew presented all the documentation he had between himself and the scammer. The bank statements where his account was credited, the Police station he reported to, etc.
    The judge ruled in his favor saying that since the bank cleared the check, it was not his fault.
    He did not have to make restitution for the money.

    A real shocker huh?
    Oh, and he never sent the $1,200 back to the scammer either!

    This is just one of those very rare circumstances where somone actually got the money, but in the majority of cases the victim is required to make restitution.

    I can honestly say that I knew it was a scam the minute I saw the letter, but for my nephew who was down on his luck at the time, it was too good to be true. That’s how innocent people get sucked in.

    • My wife and I had the same thing happen to us! She was looking for a job and thought she found a great one as a nanny. The next thing we knew, we received a check in the mail for about $3,000 (just like your nephew!)!

      We knew something was up when we received that check, so we called the police. They asked us if we had deposited the check yet, and we hadn’t. So, they just said to throw it away and not to worry about it. They didn’t even investigate it! They must have calls like that all the time.

  • Nick

    It looks like there are much less such emails/letters around. I was collecting those for a while – some of them were quite funny.

  • I have been tempted in the past, especially when my finances weren’t as good as they are now but I never followed through. I have heard a few stories of people who have been scammed and I feel just horrible for them. Now when I get them I just delete them. I seem to get less now too.
    Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter recently posted..How to Shop for a Used Car

    • I can see how people would get curious if they were really hard up for some money. It’s unfortunate that most of the time they actually end up with less money than the point when they first opened their email regarding their fortune! 🙁

  • Greed makes people very illogical. It’s funny to hear these stories, until you realize it’s a real person and not a character on TV.
    Brave New Life recently posted..Things To Do After Retiring Early

    • I couldn’t believe that anyone would fall for those scams until I saw that Dateline special! Many of their tactics increase your belief in a hurry! I think I’ll wait for a lawyer to come to my door rather than getting a random email…

  • If it seems too good to be true, it always is.
    Tracy recently posted..Term Life Insurance: Why Your Family History Matters

  • Wow, those are some stories. The pet sitter in the comment section is very lucky to have someone look out for him. I haven’t fallen for any of these scams, but I’m afraid for my older relatives.
    retirebyforty recently posted..A Million Dollars is NOT Enough

  • That’s a great show! I can’t believe some people are that evil; it’s really sad that you can’t trust anyone these days. A lot of those email scams about inheriting millions have gone to the job market like your wife experienced…. as the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is…. this can be applied to the dog sitting example, a job paying GREAT wages, inheriting millions… I’m sure the list goes on. 🙁
    World of Finance recently posted..What is the Most Expensive Thing One Can Buy?

    • You talk about the scammers being evil. On the Dateline show, the scammer was caught up in his lie, and then he blamed the person (that was hoping to inherit funds) of stealing money from their poor country with their greed in their inheritance…. It was really messed up.

  • hayden

    i see.. i too have been receiving emails that i have won something but i don’t believe in it because in the first place, i haven’t gone into that site.
    hayden recently posted..INTERNET DATING SITES

  • That’s so crazy, how can you be so naive? Maybe it’s because I was brought up with these scams, but I would never get near them with a ten foot pole. They just sound scammy.

    Then again, they’re all over the place. There are apartment listings on craigslist with similar tricks, and I can vaguely see how someone might fall for something if they trusted too much and never thought about consequences.

    • I think the hardest ones to avoid are the ones online for job postings. You’d be looking for a job and think it’s legit. They ask for your resume and all the sudden they have quite a bit of information! You name, address, phone number, and all of your previous work history! I can see where it’s pretty easy to fall into a scam like that.

  • […] Don’t get caught in email scams.  I almost hate to post these warnings.  If you are dumb enough to think someone is going to GIVE you a million, you may deserve an empty bank account.  But for those that need a reminder, go read the damn post at Life and My Finances. […]

  • […] * Derek from LifeAndMyFinances shares I May Have Just Wont A Million Dollars […]

  • […] lifeandmyfinances.com warns about this black money internet scam.  This is a new one on me but it pays to remember that if it sounds too good to be […]

  • I know someone who lost $3,000 trying to buy a car on Craigslist. It’s common to buy a car that’s not local — years ago his son successfully purchased a Jetta that was halfway across the country. (His son made all the arrangements by email and phone, then flew to the East Coast to pick up the car). So he thought nothing of shopping for cars in different states.

    The scammer had a “fake” Ebay page advertising the car — meaning that the page wasn’t actually on Ebay, but the scammer designed a webpage that LOOKED like an Ebay page, that you could access by clicking a link on Craigslist.

    The man was satisfied by seeing the fake EBay listing (after all, Ebay has strong buyer protection policies). So he wired $3,000 to the seller as a down payment.

    Well, you can guess what happened. He never heard from the seller again.
    Paula @ AffordAnything.org recently posted..Forget Your Debt. Just Forget About It. Really.

    • Wow. That’s crazy! Easily believable too! Well, unless he was buying a 2 year old car for $3,000. Scams are all around us and becoming more and more believable every day! We all have to watch ourselves and make smart choices!

  • You really have to be careful when using craigslist now a days. It’s a great site but you really never know who you are dealing with.
    Jim recently posted..Dorschel Used Cars

  • Most people do not think it can happen to them but used car email scams are very prevalent and common.

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