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Beware email hoaxes: I was almost a victim a week ago

Posted: July 1, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 1, 2013 2:00 a.m.

The article by Jim Miller (“How to spot senior financial fraud,” June 17 issue of The Signal) was very timely indeed.
I received an email from a friend who, while visiting in Rome, was mugged and everything except his passport was stolen. It was a distressed email for help. I immediately emailed him back asking how I could help.
Next email said he needed $1,800, or whatever I could afford, and please send it via Western Union. Then I was instructed to send the confirmation number in order that the money could be transferred.
Western Union? I had suggested transferring money through my bank. I don’t even know where there’s a Western Union office, and that’s when I became suspicious.
I was about to reply with questions that only he would know the answers to when I thought of phoning my friend instead.
Indeed, he was at home, not in Rome, and had not been mugged. The scam artists had hacked his complete address book and other friends had received similar requests.
This was an international ring of scam artists. So beware! I was so ready to help out a friend!
As you can see, I was not totally gullible, even though I am in my mid-80s. But others may not be so lucky — so Jim Miller’s advice is excellent.
Without thorough checking, there but for the grace of God go I.


Veronica Pinckard


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