Not all e-mail scams are vicious. Some are kind of old-shoe, and a person would feel fond of them, except they are still cheating people out of their life savings. I recently got this classic:
“I am George Mudashiru, a close friend and personal assistance to Abba Sani Abacha son of former Nigerian military ruler Sani Abacha. I got your contact throught a directory of prominent members in world so I decided to contact you through mail on regarding this proposal.
“As a close associate to Abba, he gave me a large sum of money which he said to help him transfer abroad and be deposited in my name in a security company. . . .” And good old George would like to deposit $10 million in my bank account if only he had its number. A great classic, which is to scams what a Duncan Phyfe table is to furniture. I didn’t give good old George my bank account number, and I’m sure you wouldn’t either.
THE PAYPAL SCAM
Now for worst one. It started off on an alarmingly high note. (Or maybe I ignored e-mails they sent for starters -- because I’m on three e-mail sucker lists I get daily news, in triplicate, about terrible things supposedly happening to my PayPal, eBay, and bank accounts.)
This one started out: “We recently have determined that different computers have logged 1nto (sic) your PayPal account, and multiple password failures were present before login. One of our Customer Service employees has already tryed (sic) to telephonically reach you. As our employee did not manage to reach you, this email has been sent to your notice.
“Therefore your account has been temporary suspended. We need you to confirm your identity in order to regain full privileges of your account.
“To confirm your identity please follow link below:” (the link looked like a PayPal link but I am sure was not).
Well. They suspended my account. We’re playing in big leagues now.
I do have a PayPal account, though not at that particular e-mail address. And if I hadn’t received so many scam e-mails, this would have led me to go to REAL PayPal website and ask if they sent that e-mail. Instead I hung tight.
And got doozy. It had official PayPal logo and format. On right-hand side of page it said:
“Protect Your Account Info. Make sure you never provide your password to fraudulent websites. To safely and securely access PayPal website or your account, open a new web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Netscape) and type in PayPal login page (http://paypal.com/) to be sure you are on real PayPal site. PayPal will never ask you to enter your password in an email.”