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Nearly Relevant
Nonsense, Fiction, and Miscellaneous Things

The Particular Hazard of Scam Email
    Several months ago, I blogged a humorous scam email entitled, "Dear Sr".  I, as had many others, had received emails suggesting I was chosen to receive somebody's inheritance money, albeit, with conditions. Or, similarly, I had won some kind of international lottery which I had never entered.
     Along with parodying such emails came a comment as to whether or not I might not have believed if these emails were truly capable of paying me 'millions' as they implied. Of course I had wondered such, and am now realizing that the reason for believing such claims was because I didn't fully understand how the scammers profited.  Yes, their mailing seemed ridiculous so i didn't believe it.  No, I wouldn't send them credit card numbers or such.  So, how would they profit?  Maybe they wouldn't and the scam wasn't a scam.

     Well, I ran across an article which, definitely, clarified the risk.

4. Nigerian scams. No longer just from Nigeria, this is one of the oldest tricks in the book. A stranger sends an e-mail asking if you'll accept an enormous sum of money—or a generous fee—for helping them with some financial transaction. The catch? There are always (many) fees or taxes that come up that you must pay.

In the case of the lottery scam:

3. Lottery scams. These scams involve a notification that you've won a lottery (usually foreign) that you never entered. The more sophisticated scammers send a bogus check with the first part of your "winnings," tell you to cash it and then send them back money for fees and/or taxes. You find out weeks later that the initial check was counterfeit, and by then your money is long gone.

Both of these quotes are from "How to Avoid the Ten Worst Internet Scams in 2008", www.eweek.com.  Here's the link:     http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Management/How-to-Avoid-the-10-Worst-Internet-Scams-in-2008/

So, there is a real danger with these emails, not just a supposed danger.
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