IC3 or the Internet Crime Complaint Center, is a partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. This week, the IC3 released a statement regarding a new twist on a well-known Nigerian letter scam. We all know those letters, the ones we receive in our inboxes from a stranger who tells you that you are the closest next of kin to some foreign diplomat from Nigeria and that you are entitled to oddles and oddles of money! Hopefully by now, all of you know that you should delete those and if you don’t know that, hopefully you will now.
So according to the IC3, here’s what’s happening: The scam artists are using online guest books from obituary websites to identify and locate their targets. Basically they use the last name of the person who signed the guest book as the surname for their “client”. Just as in the letters, the fraudster says that they are trying to locate the next of kin for the “client” who has been deceased for years. The would-be victim is then asked to transfer a large sum of money in exchange for a percentage of the “client’s” will.
To ensure that you don’t fall victim to one of these scams, please remember to always delete unsolicited e-mail and never respond to emails or letters that mention foreign or overseas accounts. If you happen to receive one of these e-mails, please file a complaint with IC3 at www.ic3.gov and as always, if there’s something 10 On Your Side can help you with, please contact me at email@example.com
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