Attention__Sir_Madam..._I_d_Like_to_Scam_You by arnoldtitanmass

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									Title:
Attention: Sir/Madam... I'd Like to Scam You


Word Count:
585


Summary:
Scammers will also provide scans of documents that look legitimate. Many can be - stolen from other people
or digitally altered. If called on discrepancies, the scammer will blame poor computer equipment.



Keywords:
real estate scams, fraud, home seller fraud, home scams, nigerian email scams



Article Body:
Many people have heard of the "419" scams. The term "419" comes from the Nigerian penal code section of
that designation that deals with fraud. Despite a widespread belief that the people who get taken by these
scams are greedy and stupid, many are not so. Many believe they are donating to distressed individuals
and/or charities. These scams have spread into real estate as well, targeting house sellers and real estate
agents.


The scam usually opens with a bait letter, assuring the recipient that the person contacting them is a) a
widow whose husband left her millions that she cannot safely access due to her evil family, b) a high-
ranking military official seeking to move money out of the control of their oppressive governmental regime,
c) a representative of a mysterious person high up in the government, or d) a person interested in an item
that the person is selling or representing.


If the target responds to the letter, the scammer usually replies with thanks and asks for personal
information. Often this includes a bank account number, but this is not, as some people think, how the target
is scammed. It is used as a gauge to determine if the target is likely to give money in order to pay
"processing fees" or other mysterious charges. Scammers will also provide scans of documents that look
legitimate. Many can be - stolen from other people or digitally altered. If called on discrepancies, the
scammer will blame poor computer equipment.


In nearly all these scams, urgency and confidentiality are emphasized. The scammer doesn't want their
victim to seek outside aid or take time to think things over. They are depending on the "get it now or you
never will!" feeling to encourage the victim to send the money - usually through Western Union or some
other money wire transfer company. Once the money is picked up, the person who sent it has no way to get
it back.
An example of a real estate related scam:


You get an unsolicited email from someone claiming to be interested in your house. They will send you a
large check, many thousands of dollars over the amount you are asking for the property. They then want you
to refund the extra money. Or they say that there are "fees" that the seller must pay in their country. In any
case, you have to send the money now, Now, NOW because the person interested in your house needs the
money to a) come to America b) pay for their cancer operation or c) take their sick mother to the hospital.
Sometimes, if you balk at sending a complete stranger thousands of dollars, they may threaten you with
"legal action" or embroider the sob story to the point where their sick mother is suffering from cancer,
AIDS, measles and ingrown toenails all at the same time.


Real estate transactions are only one of the targets of scammers. The scammer is not interested in your
house; s/he only is interested in the money you can send to finance whatever spurious fees are claimed to be
involved with the transaction. Don't send anyone any money or cash checks that are sent to you from an
unverified institution or individual. Consult with a real estate professional for advice on how to handle offers
via the Internet. Since many people use the Internet to inquire about houses, prices, etc., an email query may
be legitimate. Just make sure that the person is legitimate before pursuing a financial transaction.




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