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FIU: You are being scammed!

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by: the Financial Intelligence Unit

A woman from Neverland formed a relationship over the Internet. The man claims he is on the sea and sends a parcel with expensive jewellery and money for her to buy nice things for herself. He gave her the tracking number for the parcel. On putting in the tracking number she received information that the package is awaiting clearance, as it violates shipping policies of courier services.{{more}} She was told her package would not be opened but she has to follow instructions to have it cleared. One of the instructions was to send US$1,209.70 via Western Union to an account officer that was stated on the mail. After she has done this, she was asked to send a copy of the Western Union slip as proof of payment. She reported it and they later found out that it was a website set up specifically to prey on gullible women and were operating for the past six (6) months. LEGIT? /SCAM?

August 2005, a man with a foreign accent called himself Detective Weldon to tell Rice that she had won $2.5 million in a Reader’s Digest sweepstake. She knew she hadn’t entered any contest but the person on the phone told her because she was a magazine customer, she was automatically entered to win. He told her to send $1,800 to make sure she got the money; so she sent the money. Another person then called Rice identifying himself as a Detective and asked if she could help catch foreign scammers and she would need to send him $300. The plan was that the scammer would go to pick up the money and the Detective would be there to apprehend him. Each time Rice helped to apprehend a scammer she was to get $15,000 in return. LEGIT? /SCAM?

I am MORGAN RICHARD, manager claims department. I wish to notify you again that you were listed as a beneficiary to the total sum of Twenty eight million five hundred thousand British pounds (28,500,000.00) in the codicil and last testament of the deceased. (Name now withheld since this is our second letter to you). View below message and respond immediately. LEGIT?/SCAM?

I am Mr.Bello Basa, account officer in Union Bank plc, Africa. Mr.Lee made a deposit for 12 months valued at USD$ 7.1 million. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we discovered from his contract employers,that the depositor had died. On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a (WILL) and the money is still sitting in our Bank. However, my proposal to you is that I want to front you as his (Next of kin)being his account officer, if this transaction interest you kindly let me know so I can advise you on how we are going to execute this deal successfully.

Direct Mobile.+234-8064-977-433 LEGIT?/SCAM?

I am quite certain that one way or the other citizenry has experienced some sort of scam as shown above. The thought and or lack thereof you may give to the above mentioned examples should reflect in your everyday assessment of a particular offer you may receive from someone that you are not familiar with.

More often than not, when these scams are relayed to us, we are quite taken aback with the foolishness of the person and are confident that it could never happen to us as we are just too smart for it. However, facts have shown that these very persons turned out to be victims of these said Scams.

Scams are becoming more prevalent and often times many persons are being caught. Persons may seek your advice as it relates to a particular offer, whether it be via email, internet or text message, that they wish to act on. You tell them that it may be a scam. Whilst some persons heed to your advice others proceed, none the less, as it is felt that you are trying to keep them from acquiring great financial wealth. At the end of it all, what they will have suffered is great financial loss and embarrassment.

If we were to examine these claims closely, we see that although many purport to come from reputable establishments, the spelling and grammar are poor. This is not something to be expected from an overseas business that should have trained and professional staff at their disposal. On the other hand, this may all be part of their game, depending on the type of scam, as some may write in a clumsy and uneducated style, which presents them as naive and capable of being easily cheated by a sophisticated person. Additionally, they may speak to you in a language you cannot understand; they fill their correspondence with technical words that are meant to confuse, and make us believe that it is legitimate, and when requests are made for clarification, they only confuse us further.

The schemes always set a deadline for the receipt of money and constantly remind you of such, telling you that whatever you are allegedly entitled to will no longer be available after the passage of a certain amount of time, continuously pressuring you to make a financial commitment. Scams include Lottery scams, Romance scams, Pyramid Schemes, Phone scams, alleged Government grants, Assistance to Businesses seeking funding, chain letters and emails, charity scams, credit repair, Diploma and Degree scams, Employment scams, Work-at-Home scams, Health scams, Investment Scams, Missing persons scams, Scholarship scams, Travel scams, and scams using the names of reputable entities such as Amazon, eBay and Best Buy.

Take the advice of the Lottery Advertisement; “you gotta be in it to win it”. Therefore, if you are not in it then certainly you cannot win it. Life is just not that generous to you. If you receive an offer, think about it very carefully. It is imperative that we rethink the ease with which we believe everything contained in a piece of correspondence we may receive. When we get emails and or letters that seem too good to be true, they usually are. There is no harm in doing a little research; many of these scams are described online in order to protect you from making the same mistake that many have made. Do not risk losing what you have for something you don’t.

The Financial Intelligence Unit is urging you to be SCAM SMART!

There are websites where you can learn more about these scams such as:

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