Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Internet Scams

My spam folder amuses me. However, besides the usual come ons and "great" deals, there are some obvious scams and phishing ventures. Long before I ever became a lawyer, I learned that if it sounds too good to be true then it is not true. I suppose that makes me sound cyncial and I probalby am cynical. It does keep me safe from Internet scams. I wish I could say the same for some of my friends, relatives and clients. Today I found an article in The Age which brought back some bad memories of things happening to people I know.

Alarmed by a rise in foreign-based internet scams targeting the lovelorn and greedy, including one that led to the suicide of an American in Africa last year, the State Department is warning US citizens against falling prey to fraudsters.
Warning signs of a scam include requests for any amount of money, often presented as appeals for help in increasingly dire personal circumstances, repeated cases of extreme bad luck, photographs that appear professionally posed and poor grammar, it said.

The law provides few remedies for these internet scams and what private remedies there are may cost more than they are worth. If you do not read The Age article, do not miss the United States State Department's brochure.