Scammers looking for suckers

| 19/01/2009

(CNS): If you get email from a friend saying they are in trouble and need you to send funds to Nigeria, it’s a scam. This is one of two new scams targeting Cayman Islands residents that the Financial Crimes Unit of the RCIPS is warning residents to be on their guard against, the other purporting to be from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The first scam involves people receiving an email claiming to be from their email account provider, such as yahoo. The email claims to come from the customer care department and requests information such as their username, account password, date of birth, country of residence and occupation, to ensure continued emailservice. Once this information has been given, an email is sent from the account to all contacts claiming to be from the account holder and stating that the person is in trouble overseas and requires money to be sent to an account in Nigeria as a matter of urgency. Needless to say, after receiving the log-in information for the account and some personal details the scammers access the account and send a bogus email requesting cash.

“This is a hoax email. No legitimate email provider would ever ask you for your personal information such as password and date of birth,” said Detective Constable Adrian Neblett of the FCU. “If anyone receives an unsolicited email asking for personal details or claiming that you have won money in a competition a red flag should go up immediately.”

Another email scam that has been reported involves a message claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. The email states that the recipient is entitled to a tax refund and asks that the lucky winner fills out an online form which asks for personal details.

“It can be hard to tell genuine communication from non-genuine,” said DC Neblett. “If you receive any communication that is from a stranger, informs you that you have won money or a prize in a competition you have never heard of or asks for personal information be very wary indeed. Chances are this is a scam which could result in you losing out financially. The best way to deal with these emails is to delete then and not give them another thought.”

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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