•If you gave out your Social Security number,
this affects all of your financial ties, from your mortgage to your utilities bill, and you must start making
calls to inform these vendors.
•Report the scam to the FBI via the Internet Crime
Complaint Center (see “Advice and resources” below). •Report the e-mail to your e-mail provider as a
scam, and have the scammer’s IP address reported.
What is difficult is the frequency with which these
criminals change or delete their e-mail addresses and
the places from where they send them.
•Research the e-mail address
extension. For example, if the e-mail
came from 3reitu344.com (a fictional URL, for example purposes
only), look up
Where does this extension take you?
•Finally, end all communication
with the scammer. You will be
angry, but the best way to
handle this situation is to
call your bank, call the FBI
and then step away. You
will not get anywhere with
further direct communication with this person.
What is an e-mail scam?
SOME INTERNET SCAMS have become less successful through exposure. But new ones are always
being created. While predicting scams is nearly
impossible, it is possible to be informed enough to
fight back when they occur.
Avoiding e-mail scams
Here are a few ways to identify e-mail scams.
•The e-mail is written in broken English and/
or addresses you by either your full name or by “Sir”
or “Madam.” Often they will avoid using a name, or
say something like “Dearest One” or “Dear beloved
in Christ.” • The e-mail claims to be from a representative
of an overseas bank or financial institution (if this
bank or financial institution does exist, it does not
legitimize the e-mail) or from a desperate person.
•The e-mail states that the writer of the e-mail
(or someone the writer “represents”) has recently
won the lottery.
• The e-mail states you have won the lottery. • The writer claims to be a friend of a fallen soldier who has money to give. •The writer says a relative who died left too
much money, and he or she wants to “store” this
extra money in your account. •The writer says a relative in your family left
you a huge inheritance.
•The writer asks for any financial information—bank account routing numbers, the name
of your financial institution, etc.
• The writer asks you for any personal information—your Social Security number (this is the biggest red flag), the state where you live, etc.
•The writer says that you are the last hope
for a dying child overseas in a disaster. • The e-mail claims to be from a nonprofit organization overseas that needs money for relief efforts.
IN 2009, GM Chevy ads said
a customer can return a new
car after some months with
no questions asked. I purchased an Equinox, and five
weeks later I noticed the
reading that I was getting
up to 99 mpg at speeds of
more than 45 to 50 mph. I
contacted the dealership
and was not satisfied with
the explanation they gave
me or the repair service. I
asked to return the car.
Chevy refused. I have no
confidence in the car or the
onboard computer. Please
help me have Chevy accept
their car back. The car is
parked unused, with 2,572
miles on the speedometer,
and I am using a rental car.
New York, NY
What to do if you are scammed
said that you could
return the car, but it
is possible that the
fine print of your
contract had more
tions. I recom-
mend a consul-
tation with what
is often referred to
as a “lemon lawyer” in
your area. I also suggest
bringing the problem
to the attention of the
GM executive offices in
Detroit, and asking that
the car be examined
by their experts. Their
address is 300 Renaissance
Center, Detroit, MI 48265;
their phone number is
David Horowitz is a leading consumer advocate (
He is a frequent guest on radio and television stations. Consult your local
listings for dates and times.
© 2010 FIGHT BACK! INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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