A Nigerian Prince Wants to Give Me Money!

No, a Nigerian Prince does not want to give you money. 

 In order to report an email phishing scam you have to know what it is and how to identify one when you see it. Phishing is the term used to describe the practice of criminals who will attempt to coax personally identifiable information (PII) or other valuable information from unsuspecting victims by purporting to be a trustworthy organization or entity.

Day 1: Dear Diary – I am so excited!  I’ve been looking for work since I was laid off and now posting my resume all over the Internet has paid off!  I received a job offer, to be a mystery shopper, just out of the blue in my email inbox.  I replied that I was interested and I can’t wait to hear back.

Over at the Identity Theft Resource Center, we have had more than our share of requests for information on how to stay safe while shopping online this holiday season. However, earlier today I began to think about the other side of the coin. What about the people who are selling online this holiday season? With a rise in online shopping this holiday season, there will  undoubtedly be a rise in online selling.

They say that all is fair in love and war. We at the Identity Theft Resource Center beg to differ. Rarely does a day go by that our victim advisors do not a field a call from someone who has fallen for a sweetheart scam. A sweetheart scam is when an identity thief creates and then exploits a romantic relationship with some vulnerable soul out there who is looking for love. Mostly an identity thief will use the Internet as their means of finding a victim. Unfortunately, with the increased popularity of online dating sites, this type of scam is becoming all too common.

How To Spot an Email Phishing Scam

Throughout 2012, email phishing scams have become more prevalent than ever. The speed, convenience, and most importantly anonymity of sending email makes this the most attractive medium for scammers to contact you. Phishing scams can take a variety of forms. Sometimes they are prompted by an action or communication you initiated (Job and Housing Scams), other times they may be completely out of the blue (as with Lottery Scams). Regardless of the form they take, if you know what to look for, you can avoid playing the victim and having your money or your identity stolen.

Avoiding Disaster Scams

In times of crisis, it is heartwarming to see so many people band together to help those who are in need. Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, public acts of violence are all situations in which people will pitch in and show their support. Organizations like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, will take donations of food, blood, and money to send to affected people and devastated areas.


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