This Can't Be Spam... or Can It? A Warning!

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Information & Advice by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach REALTOR®. "THE SMART CHOICE!" for real estate

phishing scamsThis isn't spam is it? It sounds so legit. I'd better act quickly! This poor woman lost a loved one... (I wonder which one, since that part happens to be blank) and this money needs to get to charity! My goodness! I must help her right away!

This is legit, right? Don't you all agree? Here's this poor woman's plea of desperation...

I am Mrs. Sarah Grant, my deposited the sum of 7.5 Million Pounds with a Bank before he died. Presently, I'm suffering from esophageal cancer, Please Stand-in as the beneficiary and collect the Funds from the Bank to finance Charity Organizations. If interested, reply to:

OK. This message is really a PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT. For anyone reading this who hasn't figured it out. The paragraph above is from a spammer, who is trying to spamtake advantage of anyone gullible enough to believe this. I know that many of us frequently make fun of these low-lifes, (as I did above) but the truth is, many people are still falling for these schemes. We know they are, or the schemes would not still be in circulation.

Please. If you receive an e-mail from a stranger, DO NOT respond to them! Once you respond, they'll never leave you alone. As a matter of fact, you really shouldn't even open the e-mail. It may contain a computer virus.

Be sure to ALWAYS have anti-virus software installed on your computer (and keep it up-to-date), and have it scanning your incoming e-mail as well. There are many FREE programs available out there. I personally have AVG installed on both my laptop and my desktop computers. (Although I'm considering switching to PC Tools) It's free. But the free versions only scan for viruses. They don't remove them if you get one. So you may want to pay to upgrade to an anti-virus program that fully protects your computer system.gavel

Please, don't click on spam, and/or phishing scams... According to Wikipedia, the definition of a Phishing Scam is "the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication". Basically, phishing scams are scams to steal your identity and/or your money.

The copy of the e-mail I've included in this message may very well be a phishing scam instead of just the usual annoying spam. But you wouldn't find this out until you responded to the message... thus giving them verification that you are the owner of the e-mail address they spammed. Once they know there's someone who is gullible enough to respond... I'm sorry to sound so harsh, but that's how they think... they'll never leave you alone. They'll use many e-mail addresses that have been routed through many servers, with the origination point most likely coming from another country.

I really hope this helps someone... anyone... to avoid these scams and schemes.

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And now, if you're interested in buying or selling real estate in the Daytona Beach area, I'd love to help. For as many scams there are out there that come through your e-mail, there are just as many in real estate. I'm educated and knowledgeable, and I do my best to protect my clients from these scams. So for all your real estate needs, make a Smart Choice and contact Lisa Hill with Adams Cameron & Co., REALTORS®.

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Show All Comments
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Hi sweetie. They seem to be on the rise with this stuff. It's almost as if the next generation of losers are picking up where the first generation left off (LOL).

Jul 23, 2009 03:40 PM #1
Maria Morton
Platinum Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Lisa, unfortunately, you're right; some people will respond to this ploy and end up having their bank accounts cleaned out.

Jul 23, 2009 03:47 PM #2
Ally Wangsness - Seattle Real Estate Broker
RE/MAX Metro Realty, Inc. - Seattle, WA

Yes, I get them all the time. I think opening the e-mail will not harm the computer or your info. However usually the subject line of the e-mail says it all. Just don't open any links in the e-mail or respond to it. If you feel like it you may forward it to the FBI or IRS, depending on what the span e-mail is about. Sometimes there is address and/or phone number.  I bet thought that they get more e-mails than they can handle. I did forward one to IRS, as it was talking about my taxes, etc. Oh well. It is like Don Quixote fighting the Wind Mills. :-)

Jul 23, 2009 03:52 PM #3
Judy Schneider
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA


I know we have all gotten these at one time or another! There are so many of them! I hope everyone just deletes them! Scary stuff!


Jul 23, 2009 04:02 PM #4
Vicki Pedersen
Pedersen Real Estate - Riverside, CA
Providing Exceptional Real Estate Service

I get these everyday.  They are a HUGE frustration to me.  I can unsubscribe to product spams I get - but there is no way to stop these types of e-mails from coming. 

Jul 23, 2009 04:10 PM #5
Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003

Lisa: So does this mean I won't get my 7.5 million dollars?

Jul 23, 2009 04:50 PM #6
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices


Yeap, this stuff slowly but surely is making us more cynical. We are learning not to trust words. Such a shame

Jul 23, 2009 04:50 PM #7
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

One thing is for certain...I love free but will splurge for a good program. It's worth it to stop the junk from coming in. We use Kaspersky but also have Sonic Wall and a 300 dollar plan for two years.

Jul 23, 2009 05:06 PM #8
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Daytona Beach Real Estate
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