There were several readers who called and offered information after the publishing of an editorial last week about a scam.
Readers believe the scammers that were mentioned were trying to get e-mail addresses. For those who missed it, the newspaper office had been inundated with calls from bogus advertisers who want to run classifieds for free dogs. They use a stolen credit card number to purchase the ad and then readers are to answer the ads through an e-mail address. My question was, “What does the scammer gain by doing this? The ads cost only a few dollars.”
What some believe is when people respond, their e-mail addresses are made part of a list, which is sold so other bogus e-mails can be sent, probably including other levels of scamming to obtain credit card/debit card information.
One particular reader said he gets hundreds of unsolicited e-mails each day, as we do at the newspaper office, which could be part of this list.
There’s the saying that goes something like, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Remember that when answering ads for “free” items or making a purchase online. Unfortunately there are millions of people out there, spending all of their energy trying to con people (like you and me) out of money.
Stay informed and alert. Do not become a statistic.
— susan berg