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 MalcolmDear, 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!
Have you ever been tempted to click on one of those emails. Do you actually know of someone that got scammed?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.