[APG Public List] [APG Members] SCAM: My Predicament!!!!(NeedHelp).

LBoswell laboswell at rogers.com
Fri Jun 25 09:48:36 MDT 2010

Yes, the elderly are prone to such things, though not as often by email 
(simply because the vast majority aren't as active on the internet as other 
age groups).  They more often are victims of the telephone frauds.  There's 
a handful that fall for the mail or telephone versions every year in this 
city for example.  My elderly mother has her carpets cleaned far too often 
(even with my efforts to monitor things) that we could all eat off of them. 
Her memory span isn't very long. These scams are more targeted at the 
elderly, or new immigrants (but that latter group are prone to a 
particularly vicious type of scam).
Friends of friends I don't think included elderly aunts.  Someone should be 
monitoring the email account of any elderly person who could be easily duped 
though.  Setting up mail rules that work using a coded word in the body of 
the email for example.

There are many other reasons why these scams are sent out. You can't imagine 
how many millions go out.  Some of them are simply looking to see if they've 
hit a valid address or not.  In some cases opening the email will allow the 
sender to know that a valid account has been found.  Could be targets then 
for more subtle activities that lead to your pc becoming infected by some 
worm or virus.

More danger of people falling for the Paypal message to verify your account, 
or the message from your internet provider asking you to verify accts, I 
suppose.  Though I think if someone was foolish enough to provide personal 
data by email, then the responsibility falls on their shoulders...

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Amy Crow
  To: Mail list APG
  Sent: Friday, June 25, 2010 11:01 AM
  Subject: Re: [APG Public List] [APG Members] SCAM: My 

  > This idea that 'friends of friends' wired money sounds like a classic 
urban legend.  Usually phrased in the manner "some friends of friends" did 
it, or saw it, or it happened to them.  When you go looking to see who these 
people were, it's like trying to drive to the horizon,  it keeps advancing 
in front of you through a continuous chain of new 'friends of friends'.  And 
you never reach an actual person who fell for it.

  I can personally vouch for one person who was a breath away from falling 
for this scam. My elderly aunt received a similar email from her "grandson." 
She went to her local grocery store to wire the money. Fortunately, the 
clerk thought the whole thing sounded like a scam and asked my aunt if she 
had tried calling her grandson. She said no, she hadn't, because the email 
said that he was in a foreign country, etc etc. The clerk kindly suggested 
that she try calling him anyway. She did and discovered the whole thing was 
a hoax. If it hadn't been for the heads-up action of the clerk, my aunt 
would have been out several hundred dollars.

  It's important for us to remember that just because we're savvy to these 
sorts of things, not everyone who uses email is. (And it doesn't necessarily 
have to be an elderly person falling for it, either. I've seen plenty of 
bonehead decisions by members of the supposedly tech-savvy generation.) Just 
because someone uses email does not automatically mean that (1) they're 
savvy about it and (2) they're immune to social engineering scams. (Social 
engineering scams defined by Online Cyber Safety as "a scam that preys upon 
our acceptance of authority and willingness to cooperate with others.")

  > they keep doing it simply because it's easy to do.  Not because it 
succeeds.  Someone somewhere lives in hope of finding a dupe.  I guess it 
keeps them busy.  I imagine the return on their efforts is very small.

  I don't agree with the statement that "...the return on their efforts is 
very small." These emails are sent out by the thousands in a very small 
amount of time. Let's say it takes 30 minutes to send out 10,000 such emails 
(it's likely much less time than that, but let's be over-cautious with our 
estimate). If just 1% of those recipients respond, that's 100 respondents. 
If each one sends just $100, that's $10,000 the scammer made in 30 
minutes -- not a bad hourly rate, if you ask me. If there isn't money in it, 
they wouldn't be doing it.

  Amy Johnson Crow, CG
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