Did you just receive an email offering you millions of dollars? Or perhaps they're offering to buy your services and are willing to pay you a boatload of cash? Read this article before you answer the email.
I've received quite a few scam emails recently. One in particular wanted to hire us to do dozens of things for them. This scam (called the Nigerian Advanced Fee Scam), places a legitimate order for services from your company. All of a sudden they get desperate and need everything immediately! So you go out and purchase everything they require and ship it to them. Of course they promise many more services from you. The bank draft they send to you, or the credit card they give you, bounces of course. An ICLMA (International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association) member got caught in this scam a few years ago and lost a bunch of money.
That being said, I thought it might be helpful to post a few tips on how you can spot these emails...
Was the email really written by the person who sent it? If I send an email, my automatic signature with our logo is clearly displayed at the bottom. You'll never receive an email from me unless it's there.
Look at the return address. Scammers tend to use the free email accounts such as yahoo and hotmail. Plus, their contact information is never at the bottom of the email. In fact, you won't see it at all.
Is the email filled with grammar and spelling errors? If it is, most likely it's a scam. Many scammers don't speak English very well, let alone write it, so they tend to make a lot of mistakes. People in the business world never send an email out with errors. We also do not use a lot of exclamation points like this!!!!!! I use exclamation points but usually only one.
Is the email written in all uppercase letters? Or all lowercase with no punctuation? It's a scam!
Do I have to really tell you that if they want to wire you money (so please email me your bank account number)... DON'T!
If they tell you "this is not a hoax"... it probably is.
Don't click on the link... or the file that is attached... ever!!! If you know them and are not expecting anything from this person, just shoot them a quick email asking if they just sent you a file.
If it sounds too good to be true , it is too good to be true . It's a scam. I'll bet you anything that you did not win millions of dollars from the lottery in the United Kingdom.
If they ask for any type of personal information, don't give it. A legitimate company will not email you requesting this information.
If you receive a scam and would like to report it, here are a few links for you...
www.ic3.gov - the Internet Fraud Complaint Center. A partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center
Forward the email to Spam.uce.gov ... the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Report the scam to Consumer Fraud Reporting... www.consumerfraudreporting.org/reporting.php
copyright 2010 by Katharine Giovanni
About the Author: Katharine Giovanni is an international Concierge Training Expert, Award Winning Author and consultant, Certified Concierge Specialist (CCS) and Speaker. She is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of ICLMA - The International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association as well as President and co-founder of Triangle Concierge, Inc. Katharine can be reached via her website at http://www.triangleconcierge.com