Dear Beneficiary: Does your online banker / lover want to send you someone else’s fortune via an ATM card?
We hope your electronic mailbox never fills with annoying scam emails, but at AFN, it’s our business to collect them. We are scam email lightning rods, inviting every low life with computer access to strike.
Some scams are highly polished. Others are mind-numbingly dumb; yet, even the dumbest can find victims. This is because they play on our desire to be happy and our tendency to place trust in people who are nice to us. Here are just three examples of amazingly dumb emails we often see:
1. The “Help me steal from my own bank” email.
How it works:
In this subset of the Advance Fee Fraud a bank manger will present you as the true owner of a dormant fund worth millions. You’re to claim the fortune, and then split it with him. You supply only trust, honesty, and never-ending fees that you must pay via Western Union.
The scammer mind-bogglingly requires you to lie and cheat in order to steal funds while he demands your “honesty.” When questioned, scammers universally quip “This is just a business deal.” And that’s the kicker! In the upside-down morality of scammers this is pure business. He honestly thinks dishonesty is honest business—and now I have a headache… Thanks a lot, scammers.
2. The “We’re sending your money via ATM Card” email.
How it works:
This fake payoff promise of many scam formats is a Lottery Scam favorite. Your email address miraculously won millions in a lottery you never entered (lucky you, eh?). You’re getting your prize via an ATM card worth millions of dollars. All you do is pay for card delivery.
Let’s forget for a moment that all banks send ATM cards via snail mail without charge. ATM cards simply don’t work that way. The cards merely access bank accounts from Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s). Of course ATM’s don’t hold much money—banks would bankrupt themselves keeping them stocked. For similar reasons, banks limit amounts each account can withdraw from an ATM per day. My bank limits me to $300.00. So to collect my $12.5 million prize, I must return to the ATM every day for the next 114 years (plus a month or so). No scam should make the victim work that hard.
3. The “I don’t know you, but I love you” email.
How it works:
This impatient romance scammer can’t wait to get your money. You have replied to an ”I like your profile” email because hey, who knows? Her (his) very first response calls you “darling” and proclaims true love. She’s supplied pictures. Amazingly this hot model wants to be with you, attracted by your sexy email address, apparently. Insanely impatient scammers also jump right in asking for money.
At least ask me my hobbies. Laugh at my jokes. Tell me I have nice eyes. And besides, Romance scammers really are among the scummiest of the scum. They want to bleed your wallet while also bleeding your heart. Now all I want to do is eat a pint of ice cream and watch reruns.