New scam fighting site

It is always good when a new scam fighting site come to the internet.  The more places where people can find information about these scams, the better!  I was introduced to AllScamsForum.com today due to a comment left on our blog.

Just like us, the allow you to post the names, email addresses and phone numbers that the scammers are using.  And, just like us, they are on Facebook and Twitter.

As with any new scam fighting site, we will look for ways that we can partner together to spread the word about scam education and awareness.

Another sample letter

If you want to join our letter writing campaign, but don’t feel like you can come up with your own letter about why scam education and awareness is important, let me offer this as a sample of what you could say in your letter.

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So many of the online scams involve the scammer sending a counterfeit cashier’s check or money order, asking the victim to wait for it to “clear” and then wire a portion of the money on to someone. The scammers make up all kinds of stories to make the reason for having to wire money to someone else make sense, and of course since the bank has already told you that the check is “clear” you feel like there is nothing to worry about.

Did you know this . . . when you wire money to someone, even if you write on the documentation that the wire transfer is to be picked up in Detroit, Michigan if the scammer has the test/security question and answer along with the wire transfer information then they can pick up the money at any location in the world . . . like Lagos, Nigeria.

These test or security questions are a feature put in place for emergency situations, when the person picking up the money has lost their photo id, which is normally needed to pick up a wire transfer. But if you give the scammer the test/security question information that is how they bypass the need for a picture id when picking up the money. This happens every day on sites like Craigslist. The scammer will pretend to be within the United States so as to not raise any red flags with the potential victim by mentioning that they are really in Nigeria.

With so many scams using wire transfering services like Western Union and MoneyGram we at Scam Victims United would like to see these companies increase their security by making it mandatory that the money must be picked up in the destination zone. If the documentation filled out by the customer says that the money is going to Detroit, Michigan, then the money should not be able to be picked up outside of the state of Michigan, no matter what information the person picking the money up has. This would help to reduce the number of scams going on because the scammers would then have to tell the victims to wire the money to Nigeria for them to be able to pick it up, and with so many people this would be a red flag because of the information about Nigerian scams.

In addition, wire transfering services could have a Fraud Alert posted in their store locations, and when anyone does fill out a wire transfer form and indicates Nigeria as the destination for the money to be picked up they could point out the Fraud Alert or have the customer sign a secondary document saying that they are aware that there are many internet scams coming out of the country of Nigeria which involve receiving a cashier’s check or money order and then wiring money.

Since we cannot go to other countries and arrest the people running these scams we must do as much as we can to provide the correct information to the American public to educate them about these scams. This means that everyone must do their part, including the wire transfer services that the scammers use as a part of their business. I would like to propose laws that would require wire transfer services to implement and follow such security measures.

Education is the key to fighting scams, and that is why we are also asking for scam education and awareness programs. To read more about this please go tohttp://www.change.org/actions/view/crea … s_programs

Letters

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.

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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.

Make our voices heard!

Years ago we used to organize letter writing events. Everyone would write a letter telling why they think scam education and awareness are important topics that need attention brought to them, and need the attention of lawmakers. Then all you have to do is send that same letter on the first of the month to the contact that I post on this message board . . . someone in the media, law enforcement or government. If we all send the letters the same day then their contact person will get a flood of letters on the same topic around the same time, and could get more attention then just one letter all by itself.

My question is this . . . who is with me and willing to commit to sending out one letter per month? If we do not have a big enough impact, then it will not be effective.