Online Scammers Are Getting More Creative

September 22, 2017 by stas | Filed under General.

My email address has been online since 1999, so I get a lot of spam emails, a big chunk of which is scam emails. Most of such scam emails you are well familiar with – the kind someone is asking you to help them transfer $5M inheritance to some poor widow. Obviously I never reply to any of those.

Today one of the scammers almost got me.

I do healing work amongst other things and today I received what seems to be a normal contact from a potential client with a slightly odd side to it.

Hello, i’m kylie , i would like to know if you are a Wellness Coach or Reiki Healing and if you accept credit card for payment?

I follow up, yes, sure. I get next:

the treatment is for 4 ladies in my family, pls get back to me with the total estimate for 2 times in a week 4 (Females) for 4 weeks and i want the session to be 1 hour, and i will like to know the total cost for the service
would prefer you treat them on
weight loss
reducing pain and discomfort?
stress management and Anger management
I find it somewhat of an odd request, so I ask for a clarification, and I get:
both and I want you to know that I am diagnosed of lung cancer and i’m currently in the hospital right now due to my health issue and i want to secure this appointment for my family as a surprise to console them and keep them busy while am undergoing my surgery so i hope you can handle them very well? … could kindly get back to me with the total cost for 4 ladies times.2 sessions per week, times 4 weeks which is 32 sessions
I compassionately reply that it’s a nice gesture, send the cost for that number of sessions – a few thousand dollars worth of services and then get a follow up:
am okay with the price ,i will be making the payment now to secure the appointment and please i will like you to help me with little favor ?
Until now I thought it was an odd request, but this reply instantly puts me on guard. A friend was visiting me and I shared with her that someone is most likely trying to scam me. I reply ‘Yes, what’s the favor’ and I receive the punch line:
here is the favor i need from you…
I want you to charge my credit card for the sum of $4750,once the money clear you are to keep $2,100 as payment for the services and help me send $2500 to my private Limo driver, via cash deposit and the money is for refreshment,transportation and accommodation fees he will also be their guardian for the entire weeks of the coaching
and am making this as a huge surprise to console them for my upcoming surgery operation, and i will like you to hold the remaining $150 as a tips for handling this for me,Thanks
Yeah, right. I almost participated in the first scam. Beware!
Re-reading now the whole input from the scammer many signals are seen as obvious, but in retrospect it’s always easier to spot faults…

And of course it’s sad people abuse people’s pain – but what to do, that’s where they get us.

Also please make sure to read: How To Reduce the Risk Of Getting Scammed and Owned Online.

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