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Watching out for scams

The National Consumer Agency is currently running a campaign warning Irish consumers of the dangers of different scams that are constantly running which attempt to relieve them of their cash. One radio advert I’ve heard has warned about being told that you’ve won a prize (in a competition you haven’t entered) where you have to pay an administration charge up front before you’ll get your prize. There are further details on their new site with further warnings of different scams.

These types of scams can come at you by phone, or mostly by e-mail. More recently, mobile phones have also been targetted – called Smishing.

These last two mainly target you via e-mail. Just to show the kind of crap you can get through e-mail these days, here are the details of some mails I’ve received today alone:

Sears (a store in the US with which I have no contact) in the US have notified
me that there’s been a payment made on my account.

“Agent Matt Dillon” has told me that I’ve won €1.5m euro in the the “Pepsi Lottery Company Promotion”. I just have to e-mail them back and they’ll tell me how to win this prize.

The San Wu Rubber Mfg.Company are offering me a job whereby I accept payments from their clients, and then forward the money on to them. For this, they’ll pay me 7% of all money transferred.

The Central Bank of Nigeria have a contract of $10m which they need my help in finding an owner for. If I’m willing, they’ll actually give me that money.

Paypal have mailed me to tell me that they’ve had to limit my account because of
suspicious payments. I don’t have a Paypal account.

Mr.James Roberts has access to £2.5m belonging to the late Mr.Grant Woods. If I help him get this money, he’ll kindly give me a cut of it as well. Nice man!

Wells Fargo Online Banking have just upgraded their systems and they need me to log in via the link in the e-mail to update my account details.

And finally, and most intriguingly Dr. Ken Brown mailed me. In his own words, “I am Dr KEN BROWN,the Head of Operations Fixed Depsit Department OF a pRIVATE bANK hERE IN Central London Uk.I have an urgent business proposal for ou.please get back to me for more details.”

Value Ireland has detailed information and avoidance tips on two specfic scams to watch out for. These were phishing (go here) where your bank details are targetted – some Bank of Ireland customers have fallen foul of this, and “pump and dump” share scams (go here).

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