However you spell it, this is another scam

I t is not unusual for sound alike names of companies to be used in scam attempts. This is the case in the e-mail searching for a relative of “Angela Marshall’s” client.

Angela works in London but it is not stated if it is in England or not. That is the conclusion most would jump to, however there are at least 10 towns in the United States of America named London.

Reading between the lines, is what con artists expect. It appears to be a deliberate method of directing the e-mail recipient to fill in the blanks.

Another tactic is to use famous names or a well established company name or a name that sounds like a well established company.

“Angela” is an agent for Banebridge Consulting Limited. When Banebridge Consulting Limited is Googled, the company name in London, England is spelled Bainbridge. These names do sound alike but are spelled differently.

So, if you contact Bainbridge Consulting Limited and ask for Angela Marshall, they will not know her and probably never heard of her.

If you try to contact the company name she gave, Banebridge Consulting Limited, you are out of luck. This company does not exist. At least Google cannot find it.

The e-mail begins only with “hello”. This clue tells the reader that the writer does not have the name of the recipient or any personal data about them.

This is evident when “Angela” asks if you have a relative with the same last name that lived overseas.

This relative had money in the Royal Bank of Scotland but he lived in Zurich, Switzerland.

These criminals are seldom prosecuted and this is a good example of how they escape the law. What law enforcement agency would have jurisdiction to locate Angela Marshall that works in London when the name of the country is not stated?

Her client lived in Switzerland and he had his money in Scotland. How would a person in Milam County, Texas contact Scotland Yard when no laws are broken.

The fraud becomes a crime when a victim sends money or some other valuable consideration.

Investigations are expensive. Law enforcers have enough to do without having fraud attempts added to their work load. It makes better sense to just delete the email. It does not take much time and no money to just hit the “delete” button on the computer and be done with it.

The wealthy family member is dead. His name is not listed in the e-mail. The con artist uses terms like: Are you familiar with this personality? Since the “personality” does not have a name, how can a person answer this question? The basic problem is that greed pushes us to find some connection so the fortune can be claimed. The amount of money left in the Royal Bank of Scotland is not mentioned either. How much money do you think is under the relative’s name? The con artist wants you to let you imagine some large amount. Greed will do the rest.

The lesson to be learned is to examine these fraud attempts for generic, open ended, one-fits-all, notice.

It matters not what your name is, or if a relative lives in a foreign country. What does matter is how someone responds to these e-mails.

Think about this: what are the chances that an e-mail sent out to identify your relative from Switzerland would find its way into your home? It would be easier to find a needle in a haystack. Right?

Watch for this e-mail with the subject.

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2012-06-14 digital edition

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