Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Three scams are at work in the area

Nov. 3, 2009

By Lynda Jensen

Three unrelated scams have been recently detected in the area – the unauthorized takeover of a local business owner’s email, a scam that involves real-looking checks sent to residents, who are being asked to act as “mystery shoppers,” and a Facebook scam that attempts to obtain users’ passwords.

In the case of e-mail, Montrose business man Jim Tourville’s personal e-mail was taken over by an unauthorized person, who sent notes saying Tourville was stranded in London because he was mugged and needed financial assistance to settle hotel bills – which was far from the case.

“I am not in London and I have not been mugged!” Tourville reported. “I have regained control of my e-mail ( I hope)! Do not send money! Give to me personally (Hah)!” Tourville joked.

The e-mail scam is actually common and has been happening more and more frequently.

Authorities say that whenever someone is asking you to send money, or to give personal data such as passwords or other information, to never do this.

A second scam has also been detected involving a “mystery shopper,” check scam.

In the scam, residents are sent what looks like a very authentic-looking check for $2,490 from a Washington, DC non profit group to perform mystery shopper services.

The check is meant to entice residents into a contract arrangement that involves losing thousands more by empowering a third party to withdraw funds from personal accounts.

The return address is curiously from Montreal, Canada.

Meeker County Deputy Jeffrey Ho commented that when he attempted to make contact with the company to investigate the matter, the phone was answered by a man with a thick accent who refused to pass Ho along to his supervisor or give any more information.

The sheriff’s office recommends that anyone who receives such a notice in the mail should throw it away.

A third scam being circulated is an e-mail asking Facebook users to change their login procedures, with the scammers trying to obtain Facebook passwords for the purpose of identity theft.

The scam is a bank trojan botnet, according to CNET News. Check out the report at http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10385498-245.html.

It is the latest Facebook phishing e-mail, which steals passwords and downloads a Trojan on victims’ computers that can steal bank account information and financial data.

Dan Birkholz of Herald Journal recommends the public to change their Facebook password immediately; other than the obvious advice, which is not to enact any executable file or click on the email links sent with the fraudulent notice.


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