Nigerian scammers use new methods
By Paula Franke
Tuesday, February 27, 2007:
Just about everyone who has an email address has gotten at
least one of the notorious scam emails offering a share of a multi-million dollar "frozen
bank account", usually somewhere in Africa.
The tales of woe include the murder of a father, or a terminal cancer victim, or tons and
tons of money available to "continue God's work".
They all involve credit cards, wire transfers and/or bank routing numbers.
The only people who make any money with these ploys are the scammers themselves. The
scammees usually end up with their bank accounts emptied and quite possibly thousands
of dollars in debt.
Perhaps the email scam isn't working so well anymore as more and more people have
been educated.
The scammers have a new avenue to exploit and it arrived in Lewis County on Monday.
A local business owner received a TTY telephone call (a telephone service for the deaf
and hearing-impaired) from a person requesting the purchase of 50 sheets of plywood to
be shipped to Hawaii. Payment (for plywood and shipping) would be made by credit card,
but the shipping fee would have to be paid up front in cash via Western Union to a
shipping company in Ghana (that's in Africa, folks!)
Our local business owner was suspicious almost right away. The purchase and shipping
arrangements were convoluted at best. The caller made several additional contacts via
TTY, email and fax while the business owner tried to extract more information. The caller
eventually emailed (via a Yahoo account) a name and address in Greensburg, Ky. A fax
from the alleged shipping company in Ghana had a fax number with an Alabama area code.
Add to all that, the fact that TTY calls are untraceable.
The Lewis County Sheriff's office was contacted and by Tuesday afternoon, a reverse scam
was in place with the scammer being referred to a "business partner" at a different phone
number: that of the Sheriff's Office!
The business owner is breathing a huge sigh of relief.
Despite having had hours of time wasted with the scammer, the business will not have to
bear the loss of $831.57 of plywood and $550 in shipping costs.
Chalk one up for the honest, hard-working and alert people!
(To learn more about this new scam, type TTY shipping scam as keywords in the Google
search box....it's amazing!)
News and information for Lewis County, Kentucky!
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