Scams, Internet Scams, Seniors Scams.
Protecting Seniors Against Fraud
NEW YORK, Aug. 26, 2002
Betty White, spokesperson for the "National Fraud Against
Senior Citizens Awareness" campaign. (CBS/AP)
According to the Postal Inspection Service, mail fraud complaints are
up 27 percent.
The agency responded to 66,000 mail fraud complaints in 2001.
This year, postal inspectors have already responded to more
than 68,000 fraud complaints.
"The purpose of this campaign is to help us get the message out to
senior citizens not to become victims of fraudulent scams," says Heath.
"This was a grassroots effort started with our personnel from Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, who thought it would be an excellent idea, and Sen. Levin
from Michigan gave a lot of help and also Sen. Collins from Maine.
They jointly introduced the Senate resolution establishing National
Fraud Against Senior Citizens Awareness week" starting Aug. 25, 2002.
Health says the primary reason they started this awareness effort is
that the U.S. Postal Inspection Service noticed that fraud complaints
it received have increased this year over the last year. "In this area of
fraud, senior citizens make up 60 percent of the victims, a vast majority
are 60 and over," says Heath. "They are especially vulnerable during
times of some economic downturns when they are looking for a place to
invest their hard earned savings and to insure their future. Likewise,
during a downturn in the economy we also see a spike in fraudulent
operators and the message that we convey to the senior citizens is
the fact they have worked hard to earn their money. We need to try
to continuously educate them to hold onto their money."
Complete article on CBS News web site:
"Top 10" Investment Scams Listed by State Securities Regulators
WASHINGTON (August 26, 2002) –
State securities regulators today released a list of the “Top 10” scams,
risky investments or sales practice abuses they’re fighting.
New to the third annual list are unscrupulous brokers,
conflicts of interest in analyst research,
charitable gift annuities, and oil and natural gas scams.
“Record-low interest rates and a bear market on Wall Street have
created a bull market in fraud on Main Street,”
said Joseph Borg, president of the North American Securities
Administrators Association (NASAA)
and director of the Alabama Securities Commission.
“Con artists know investors are concerned about the volatile
stock market and low yields on bonds and bank deposits,
so they pitch their scams as safe alternatives and promise
high returns – an impossible combination.”
The 2002 list was again topped by independent insurance agents
selling risky or fraudulent securities.
Borg said that while most independent insurance agents
are honest professionals, too many are letting high commissions
lure them into selling high risk or fraudulent investments.
1. Unlicensed individuals, such as independent insurance agents,
2. Unscrupulous stockbrokers.
3. Analyst research conflicts.
4. Promissory notes.
5. “Prime bank” schemes.
6. Viatical settlements.
Originated as a way to help the gravely ill pay their bills,
these interests in the death benefits of terminally
ill patients are always risky and sometimes fraudulent.
7. Affinity fraud. Many scammers use their victim’s religious
or ethnic identity to gain their trust.
8. Charitable gift annuities. These annuities are transfers
of cash or property to a charitable organization.
The value of the annuity is less than the value of the cash or property,
with the difference constituting a charitable donation.
9. Oil and gas schemes.
10. Equipment leasing. While the majority of equipment leasing
deals are legitimate, thousands of investors have been scammed by individuals
selling interests in payphones, ATMs or Internet kiosks.
For a complete story please go to NASSA web site:
How To Foil Scams Aimes At Senior Citizens
Information On Senior travel scams
Another Travel Scam$ - Reported by AARP
Consumer Protection Unit
Scams Against Elderly
How to tell if somebody is bilking
money from someone you love.
Senior Crime Watch
Senior Frauds and ABUSE
$cams, $cams, Pyramid $cams Is ILLEGAL
The Bottom Line About
Multilevel Marketing Plans
Federal Trade Commission Web Site
Reporting Complaints About Frauds
Email Spams and Scams
Cagey's List of $cams - Consumer Alerts - protect your wallet.
FBI's 2001 Internet Fraud Report (PDF File)
Nigerian Email Scam
Woman falls for Nigerian scam, steals $2.1m from law firm
Nigeria - The 419 Coalition dedicated to exposing a worldwide scam.
See A Sample Of The Nigeria Scam
FTC - Federal Trade Commission
Protect yourself from Consumer Frauds,
from the Florida Attorney General. Describes many common scams.
Internet Hoaxes or Urban Legends
Seachable Urban Legends and Internet Rumors.
Truth Or Fiction.
Don't Spread That Hoax
Information About Hoaxes
Electronic Frontier Foundations Internet Hoaxes
Pyramid Schemes and Chain Letters
Everybody's received them - chain letters or email messages that
promise a big return on a small investment.
The promises include unprecedented good luck, mountains of recipes,
or worse, huge financial rewards for sending as little
as $5 to someone on a list or making a telephone call.
The simplest chain letters contain a list of names and addresses,
with instructions to send money to the person at the
top of the list, remove that name from the list,
and add your own name to the bottom of the list.
Then, the instructions call for you to mail or email copies of the letter
to a certain number of other people, along with the directions
of how they should "continue the chain.
The theory behind chain letters is that by the time your name
gets to the top of the list, so many people will be involved
that you'll be inundated with whatever the chain promises to deliver.
One recently circulated email chain letter promised earnings of "$50,000
or more within in the next 90 days of sending email."
The Cold Hard Truth:
Chain letters are scams and most of them are illegal.
A similar scheme, many MLM's (multi level marketing)
opportunities, also known as pyramid schemes,
claim to offer consumers a way to get rich quick.
Usually the model is you sell a product, refer people,
and make profits off of your referral's sales.
The lack of contact information is usually a giveaway to an offers illegitimacy.
Never reply, even to "unsubscribe",
because they usually use this as a
confirmation of your email and turn around and email you again.
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel:
Whether you receive a chain letter by regular mail or email -
especially one that involves money -
Boomers International reminds you that:
Chain letters that involve money and promise big returns are illegal.
If you start one or send one on, you could be breaking the law.
Chances are you will receive no money back on your "investment."
Despite the claims, a chain letter will never make you rich.
Some chain letters try to win your confidence by claiming that they're legal,
and even that they're endorsed by the government
Nothing is further from the truth.
Sources: sohojob.com & Federal Trade Commission web site
Pyramids don't pay. Pyramids are illegal.
Boomers International and the Federal Trade Commission
caution consumers about clubs or programs
that promise quick money for recruiting new members
and the promise of easy money through a downline, matrix, or binary pyramid plan.
Don't bank on the pyramid promise that someone else will pay you.
For more information on get-rich-quick schemes, visit the FTC at http://www.ftc.gov.
A Real Example Of A NIGERIAN SCAM
Subj: Very Urgent
Date: 10/31/2002 6:47:02 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Eze Aku
Sent from the Internet (Details)
On behalf of the entire family of major Hamzat Al-
Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer to the
late Nigerian Military President, General Sanni
Abacha,, I wish to
crave your indulgence for my geniue request for your
immediate assistance.I wish to introduce my self as
Desmond Aku Solicitor/ Advocate to Hajia Fatimah
Al-Mustapha . The husband , Major Al-Mustapha
is one of the late General Sanni Abacha s crony and is
currently coolinghis heel in cell facing charges for
various offences at a Lagos
High Court, for example the murder attempt on Chief
former Minister for Internal Affairs. The
unpleasantness that has
persisted since the face off between Al-Mustapha s
immediate family and the Federal Republic of Nigeria
has been going on from bad to
worse lately. In fact, all his known local Bank
Accounts had been frozen by the present civilian
It is quite unfortunate that his wife Hajia Fatimah
Al-Mustapha has been prevented from moving freely
within the country and her international passport has
been impounded. She lives within the vinity of kano
metropolis, her home state because she his regarded
as a security risk to the present civilian
My urgent request is just your assistance to remit
this amount of $15million (USD) into your account or
any other nominated account you can provide for us.
The said $15million (USD) is kept in coded account in
a commercial bank owned by a trusted friend of Major
Hamzat Al- Mustapha.
Your Commission will be 30 percent of the total sum.
If this is successfully done, you could still be
entrusted to the remaining ones. There are clearly
very powerful in powerful positions who by their
have frustrated the free movement of Hajia Fatimah
Al-Mustapha since her
husband was thrown into detention for the past four
Could you please notify me of your acceptance to carry
out this transaction urgently by e-mail so that I can
stop further negotiation I shall inform you of the
modalities for a formal application to secure the
necessary approvals for the
immediate release of this fund into your account.
Please feel very free to reach me for further
information that might interest you.
Thanks for your anticipation co-operation.
Barrister Desmond Aku
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