International Writers Magazine: Internet Honesty
Have Won the First Prize of one Million Dollars
Norman A. Rubin
serious drawback of the Internet and of e-mail is that it makes
it quite easy for nefarious villains to steal your money and your
and time again when I coursed the mouse to my e-mail site I would
find notices of riches beyond my wildest dreams. There in black
and white was a notice from the Yemen National Lottery that I had
won the top prize in the weekly draw of a million dinars. Only yesterday
I got notice from the Thailand National Lottery that I had won the
first prize of two million bahts. Miracles never cease as for the
love of me, as I had never bought tickets in those and other lotteries,
except in the National Lottery of Israel, which distributes funds
to community centers, libraries and other worthwhile institutions.
Riches piled up
in my e-mail. Somehow I was asked to participate in some scheme promoted
by the African scam with such ridiculous offers so laughable that it
is impossible for any one to believe their spiel riches buried
in the jungle of the Dark Continent, bank accounts in London banks that
need a signature to claim. I even got a marriage proposal from a dusky
widow promising me upon tying the knot partnership in her late husbands
lucrative import-export business.
Then, there was message that came out of the blue telling me that my
rich uncle who lived in a monastery in Tibet included me in his will
and the sum left behind for his heirs was enormous. Off course I won
money in casino Internet games even though I never laid down a bet.
And there was that message that flashed on the screen that I was
the umpteenth person to enter a site. Press the button to receive your
But luck is still on my side, as my e-mail goes through Google gmail,
which dumps all my scam mail in a junk mail category. All I have to
do is enter this site, scan the junk and then with my little pinkie
press the delete key. The I receive the joyous message Hooray
no scam in here!
sucker is born every minute!" P.T. Barnum
Yet despite endless warnings we still read of innocent people being
tricked out of their lifes savings, or ending debt-ridden. These
unfortunate people never seemed to realize that the main purpose of
these scam messages could and does cheat one of all they possess; they
can befuddle victims and obtain your bank details so they can deposit
your fortune. These scam artists can effectively and free of charge,
send thousands of bogus messages of all sorts around the world; and
it only a tiny percentage of the recipients fall for their tricky deals
and offers, they have made a fortune. The rely on gullibility of certain
individuals even though the minds of their victims telling them to be
cautious, but then the suckers like to think that maybe this is the
exception and it is really true.
There is no end to the trickery used by scam artists in their attempt
to cheat a victim.
For example, new methods are employed by them to obtain your bank account
number and password. There is the e-mail from your own bank telling
of a technical problem accessing your account and they fear someone
is fraudulently accessing your account and that your imminent answer
is required for the steps to be taken. This letter that is supposedly
from your bank but it is not from your bank. The scam artists simply
uses a name of a bank and sends out thousands of messages and the law
of averages they are going to get quite a few persons who have an account
in said bank. The message that follows details a fictitious legal problem;
then they will ask you to verify your account number, password and other
details. This kind of fake e-mail can come from legitimate enterprise
like Sears, E-bay, America Online, etc. and will be written in somewhat
official messages. Just a bit of caution will prevent you from falling
into such a trap you should know that legitimate web sites and
your bank never ask for such information through the e-mail. If in doubt
contact directly your bank or the company quoted in the e-mail address.
According to the advice of the Anti-Pishing Group, which is as follows.
"When it comes to avoiding e-mail phishing scams, a term used in
the workings of such villains, experts warn that consumers should treat
all unsolicited e-mail with a healthy dose of scepticism and simply
delete from their e-mail systems. According to the Anti-Phishing Working
Group, located on the Web at http://www.antiphishing.org
- phishing scammers use fake e-mail addresses, instant messaging, Trojan
schemes, and links to phony Web sites to trick consumers into divulging
such personal information as credit card numbers, bank account numbers,
Social Security numbers, and financial account usernames and passwords."
There others schemes, too numerous to mention.... For information just
contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation http:
//www.fbi.gov/cyberinvest/escams.htm and get e-mail updates
when new scam schemes and warnings are posted there. The U.S. Secret
Service has issued advisory regarding scammers as far away as Nigeria,
Guyana and the Ivory Coast (the so-called "Nigerian" schemes")
- but here is a more useful and recent one:
You can avoid being a victim of a scam or virus by
taking the following precautions:
1) Install reliable anti-virus software and keep it updated.
2) Install a spam-filter on your e-mail site.
3) Never, and I do repeat, never send any important/ secret/sensitive/pertinent
information through the e-mail directly. Legitimate financial commercial
institutions have adopted precautionary methods and they advise their
usage when you are asked for pertinent information.
4) If somehow you receive a notice in your e-mail requesting such information,
always check independently by accessing their Web site to identify the
5) A word of warning Fortunes are not given away on the Internet
but fortunes, mainly yours, can be easily lost.
6) Dont, by all means, open any attachments, even from people
or institutions you know, unless you have verification that the e-mail
was sent by them.
7) Dont be fooled by tear jerking chain letters. Delete them immediately.
8) If you have any doubt about the veracity of anything sent you on
your e-mail check and recheck before your open any message and respond
Remember - If you suspect you are a victim of fraud through an e-mail
scam, consult a legal professional and collect all tangible evidence
of damages. Keep in mind that fraud is not easily proven in a court
of law, although the court of public opinion may be squarely on your
A Rubin November 2008
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