January 25th, 2011

One born every minute

Posted in The Job - General by 200

When I first became aware of email scams, years ago, I could not believe that people could be so gullible as to give a complete stranger their money on the promise of ├é┬áreceiving massive lottery winnings for a lottery they never entered, nor that they believed a dead millionaire’s lawyer somewhere in Africa would think to contact them out of the blue with the offer of a share of the recently-deceased’s millions, if only they would share their bank account details.

As time went by, I realised that people were actually falling victim to these scams & many others. I’m sure many people reading this will have received many hundreds of similar emails & most, if not all, will have transferred them straight to the junk folder. But some will have been taken in, some too greedy to see beyond the end of their nose & some without the wherewithall to realise that there are evil people out there trying every trick to rob them of every penny they own.

Many of these scams are also perpetrated via normal mail. Estimates run at something over ├é┬ú3 billion is scammed every year, from UK citizens. That’s an awful lot of hapless victims.

News today that the police have disrupted a scam from Africa in which they have seized thousands of letters destined for UK residents. Once someone responds to one of these scams, their details are sold on to other scammers who continue to send scam letters & emails. One victim, an 83-year-old was scammed out of £50,000. The Met have spoken recently to 11 victims who are all receiving in excess of 100 letters a week trying to further scam them.

The result this week is a good one, but appears to be a drop in the ocean of this pernicious crime. I

Now if they can only stop some of the emails I get every day, that would be great.

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