From the Desk of Sheriff Christopher M. Clinton – Towns County, GA
Odds are, if you have an email address you’ve received an email from someone trying to scam you. This is such a frequent occurrence that it is often the theme for late night comedy or stand up routines, yet people still get taken advantage of. Often, these scams, referred to as “Nigerian Email Scams”, are designed to tug on one’s heart strings. There will be a sob story as well as an opportunity to help this person and make a lot of money doing so.
These emails generally contain a plea for help from someone claiming to be former government leaders, business people, spouses of former officials, etc., whose money is tied up in a foreign country. Frequently, Nigeria was used in the story lines, thus the name “Nigerian Email Scam.”
The themes vary, but generally there will be an offer to transfer a large sum of money to the recipient’s bank account in exchange for the recipient paying taxes or fees so that the sender can access the rest of their fortune.
Typically, when one responds they will receive further instructions complete with official looking documents. Sometimes they are invited or encouraged to travel to a foreign country to complete the transaction. There are documented cases of scammers having large amounts of counterfeit money to complete the hoax.
Here’s the catch: these emails are from thieves who would steal your money. They will come up with any number of emergencies that will delay transfer, but once they have your money, it and the thieves will vanish. There are reports of people who responded to these scams being threatened, beaten, and even murdered.
So what should you do? Remember that con-artists are very good at manipulating people. They often use tactics that play on your emotions, but they are thieves and nothing more. If you receive an email from someone in a foreign country asking you to send money, simply delete it. Their sad story is concocted and they are only trying to steal your money.
If you are concerned, not sure what to do, contact our Sheriff’s Office at 706-896-4444, or via internet at www.townssheriff.com. We will be more than happy to assist you in any way we can. As your sheriff, it is both my duty and my desire to help keep you and your property safe from all criminals.
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