At least 10 times a day, I am informed by email that someone is holding a large sum of money, on my behalf and in my name. And, the writer of this email informing me of this will send the money to me, if I will just reimburse them for their time and trouble, by sending them a small finders fee.
What are the chances that what they are offering is true? Astronomical! In the first place, why would someone be picking a total stranger as their beneficiary? If you don’t know this person, if you have never deposited money outside of our borders, in a foreign banking system, how could they be contacting you to offer these “millions”? When we send a legitimate email, our email address is “out there”. It can be retrieved from the Internet, just like we use a phone directory to look up a phone number.
Our own government would seize unclaimed funds, if they ever existed. Foreign governments would behave the same way – they wouldn’t let the money escape their own borders.
The promise of “millions” is a scam, pure and simple. A large percentage of these emails originate in third world countries, like Nigeria, which the State Department warns us is the home of many scams. Just deconstruct these messages. I am not an English teacher, but I do speak English as a first language, and I learned how to write using proper English in school. The grammar, punctuation, spelling and sentence structure of these offers is almost funny, it is so bad! They often claim to be banking officials, accountants, lawyers, even representatives of the Department of Homeland Security! But, if their use of English is any indication, it is not their first language, and any promises that they make you are blatant lies. If I were an English teacher, I would give these communications an “F”.
If you send them money, you will lose it, and get nothing in return. If you send them personal information like your home address, bank account numbers so they can wire transfer money, you have given them the keys to your home, and your account will be cleaned out! You may even fall victim to identity theft, since these perpetrators can now identify themselves as “you”.
These appeals are to our greed, offering promises of something for nothing in return, except our hard earned money. This is not Publisher’s Clearinghouse standing at your door, with an over sized check and a television crew to record your surprise! If you never know this person in life, how could they make you their beneficiary in death? Never mind the lawsuits that would be filed by surviving family members and home governments, wishing to keep the money in their hands. There is a reason that our email service providers give us a “Junk” mail folder. Occasionally, some offers get through the filters, into our regular email folders. Just don’t fall for it. Delete these offers as soon as they arrive!
If you truly are blessed, and are receiving a legitimate offer and notification, remember, ask the sender to verify their identity. They will be happy to comply if it is a proper offer. Use an independent third party, like Pay Pal, rather than supplying any personal information, or accounts. The more control you exercise, the safer you will be.