Outrageous scams

Patricia Bradley Mystery Question

I don’t know where you were last Friday, but in Mississippi, the temperature hit 90 degrees the first day of fall!

Autumn has always been my favorite season. I love the crispness in the air, the breathtaking blue of a clear October sky, the changing of the seasons… 

How about you? What season is your favorite?

And now onto last week’s Mystery Question that involved scams going around the Internet. Three are true, one is false. Your job, should you take it, is to guess the false one.
  1. Get out of jail — but not for free. A con man convinced officials at a Mississippi jail that he was an agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. They let him speak with prisoners, and he told the crooks he could help get them released — for a hefty fee. The inmates were smarter than the officials and reported him.
  2. After her husband’s memorial service, a widow received a visit from a woman who claimed to be the long-lost daughter of the widow’s husband. While she bore little resemblance to the deceased man, she knew details of his life she claimed she learned from her mother. Since the husband had been cremated, checking DNA was out of the question…except the couple had tried in-vitro fertilization…turns out the woman had successfully scammed several other widows with the same scheme.
  3. In 2010, a truck driver claimed to be a go-between in the supposed $400m sale of London’s famous Ritz Hotel by its secretive owners. He found no shortage of potential buyers, including someone who put up $1.5m as a deposit.
  4. A security company reports an interesting twist on the Nigerian “you’ve got money” scam. Victims receive an email message that begins, “We are writing to know if it’s true that you are dead.”The scammer claims someone else has been trying to collect a huge amount of money the recipient is really entitled to by claiming that they’re dead. If the person can prove they’re actually still alive, they can collect. Of course, we know what happens next.

And the answer is…#2. Congratulations, Edward, Jenny, and Paula for guessing the one I made up!

Now for this week’s Mystery Question. Did you know that e-mail scams work best on people who think they’re way too smart to be fooled?  Here are some of the biggest and most outrageous email scams ever. Would you fall for any of these scams? Which three have people fallen for?
  1. Dear Sir/Madam, We have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites. Important: Please answer our questions! The list of questions are attached. Yours faithfully, Steven Allison, Federal Bureau of Investigation-FBI– when people click on the attachment, they download a dangerous variant of the w/32 sober virus that locks up their computer.
  2. The $2 million money wash: An Australian poured $2 million into a sham investment scheme which claimed to be able to convert blank paper into currency using a chemical process. It’s an old trick but this was a record haul for the crooks.
  3. More than a few people have been duped into buying an avocado-based pill costing one hundred dollars for thirty capsules that promise to melt away stomach fat. Buyers responded to a Facebook add –to the tune of over ten million dollars in the past five years.
  4. US investors are thought to have lost $140 million in an international scheme to sell billions of worthless stocks. After victims had been stung, the alleged scammers then offered to help them get their money back, charging a hefty upfront fee but, of course, doing nothing.

Okay, Super Sleuths, which is the false scam? Leave your comment to be entered in this month’s drawing for a copy of Justice Buried which released September 5th!