There's a new scam going around that's similar to ones you've seen before, but is so outrageously silly that it's laughable. Robert Doyle, fraud prevention coordinator at Liberty Bank in Godfrey, first alerted me to the scam. It comes in the form of a letter and like many of the rest, claims there's a gazillion dollars in an account in Africa and they want to give you gobs of it. The letter promises to send more info, but you can guarantee that they'll ask you to send a small amount of money to make it happen. This one is so lame that it's off the scale and here's why.
Click here to read the letter.
First of all the letter comes over a fax machine. Really? Are scammers going old school? Supposedly they faxed one of the letters to the Bethalto Police Department. Secondly, it claims to be from the son of ousted Liberian leader Charles Taylor, who is accused of numerous war crimes and of raiding his country's coffers to amass a personal wealth of $4 billion or more. The letter claims there are millions in an account and offers the recipient a big percentage. Really? Does anyone believe he'd give away 30% of the $177 million in blood money in one of his accounts? Thirdly, how could anyone be so generous that they'd gladly offer to give away $53 million to a stranger in Bethalto, or Ballwin, or wherever the faxes were sent? Really? "Chuck" Taylor heard about you from his war crimes court jail cell in Africa and wants to make you rich cause you're such a good guy/gal?
This one is a pretty lame scam letter. But, because some people's greed is greater than their I.Q., the dreams of getting rich continue to snag new victims all the time. If someone offers you something for nothing, don't believe them. If someone tells you that you've won an international lottery that you didn't enter, (it's illegal to enter international lotteries) they're trying to scam you. Don't fall for it. If an infamous, ousted third-world leader who is accused of mass murder offers to make you rich, laugh and throw the fax in the trash.