I have brought up the idea of a letter writing campaign, both here and on our message board, to try and help bring attention to scams. One of our message board regulars recently sent this letter to Dear Abby and gave me permission to share it with you.
A friend of mine was scammed out of $3,000 just over a year ago. I have since learned it is referred to as a romance scam. Since that time I have made it my mission to spread the word about scams and how to avoid becoming a victim. Everyone who surfs the web or has an email account is a potential victim.
Even though my friend lost $3,000 and became an emotional wreck, she was one of the lucky ones. I have read where one man had gone overseas to be with the woman he thought would be his wife only to be beaten, robbed and then murdered. There have been several suicides because of being scammed. The most recent one is of a web scam that drove a student to suicide. Go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/engl ... 380093.stm to read the story.
Go to http://romancelovescams.mysubdn.com/for ... ?topic=2.0 to learn what to look for in a scammer. Check the IP address of the person who contacted you. Go to http://scamvictimsunited.blogspot.com/2 ... il-ip.html to learn more about IP addresses and how to find them.
Not looking for your other half, well there are plenty of other scams for scammers to get your hard earned money. If it involves a check for payment on anything, such as selling a car, looking for a roommate or looking for employment you can do online, then you are endanger of falling victim to the fake check scam. Go to http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Ba ... spx?page=2 and see what one man was put through.
Even lawyers are not immune to being scammed according to the FBI. Go to http://www.fbi.gov/cyberinvest/escams.htm to read what the FBI has to say on the New Twist on Counterfeit Check Schemes Targeting US Law Firms.
Visit http://www.scamvictimsunited.com/index.htm to learn about other types of scams. Shawn, the co-founder of this site started it after being a victim of a fake check scam. She went from being a victim to being an educator and advocate on getting the word out about scams. Take the time to read her blogs. Explore the message board. It is filled with a wealth of information. Taking the time to explore and read what is posted on this site could save you from becoming a victim.
Knowledge is power, educate yourself and tell everyone you know about scams. Google is your best online friend. Google: email address, username or any part of the email.