Monday, September 07, 2009


First it was the email from Nigeria announcing an inheritance; then you’d won the lottery – and hard to believe some people still fell for it – part of their get-rich-scheme I guess, but these days, scam artists are getting much more sophisticated.

Take last week. My address book on Facebook was hacked into and friends received an email implying that I was stranded in London and needed financial help to get home. Given I am from the UK, this was quite plausible, however the colourful language used gave them away, and friends knew it wasn’t from me.

In sharing this tale with someone else, I learned of an even more sophisticated attempt to empty your bank account. My colleague was invited to speak at a conference in the UK, the invite seemed genuine, the location existed and they forwarded a professional looking contract, etc… She had done her due diligence and checked some of this out, and it all seemed above board. Until she got an email asking for her bank account information – supposedly so they could pay her honorarium in advance. That’s when she stopped, contacted the church where the conference was to be held and discovered it was all a scam.

Wow! I think several of us might have fallen for this one and the “ask” if you will wasn’t immediate, so you could be lulled into thinking this was the real deal. All of which flags, that sadly we need to be cautious and never take what seems like an amazing offer at face value. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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