Feb. 9, 2017 – West Bend, WI – The following is a scam email sent to a business owner in Washington County. It came from an individual with the email of [email protected]
The email was turned over to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.
Attention, I am very sorry for you, is a pity that this is how your life is going to end as soon as you don’t comply. As you can see we are the members of the Deadly Networks in the world, which is responsible for the bombing of twin [ISO-8859-1?]tower’s in America on Sept. 11th and the bombing of London transport services on July 7th (AL-QAEDA NETWORKS WORLDWIDE), I don’t have any business with you, my duty as I am mailing you now is just to KILL you and I have to do it as I have already been paid for that.
Someone who you called your friend wants you dead by all means, and this person have spent a lot of money in this venture, This person came to us and told me that he wanted you dead and he provided us with your name, picture and other necessary information’s we needed about you.
So I sent my boys to track you down this including bugging of your phones with satellite tracking devices and they have carried out the necessary investigation we needed for the operation on you, and if you doubt this information am going to give you all the necessary information about you back to you in your next reply so that you can believe me, and my boys are really on you but I told them not to kill you that I will like to contact you and see if your life is important to you and the one of your family. I called my client back and ask him of your email address which I didn’t tell him what I wanted to do with it and he gave it to me and I am using it to contact you now. As I am writing you this mail my men are monitoring you and they are telling me everything about you.
Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE? Since all program has be made and draw to kill you. Get back to me now if you are ready to pay some fees to spare your Life, $10,000 is all you need to spend in this process you will first of all Pay $5,000 and then I will send a tape to you which I recorded in every discussion I had with the person who wanted you dead and as soon as you get the Tape,
You will pay the remaining balance of $5,000. If you are not ready for my help, then I will carry on with my job straight-up.
WARNING: DO NOT THINK OF CONTACTING THE POLICE OR EVEN TELLING ANYONE BECAUSE I WILL KNOW ,REMEMBER, SOMEONE WHO KNOWS YOU VERY WELL WANT YOU DEAD! I WILL EXTEND IT TO YOUR FAMILY, INCASE I NOTICE SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT YOUR TELLING THE SECURITY ABOUT IT BECAUSE A GOOD LOOK IS OUT YOU AT THE MOMENT. DO NOT COME OUT ONCE IT IS 8PM UNTIL I MAKE OUT TIME TO SEE YOU AND GIVE YOU THE TAPE OF ALL DISCUSSION WITH THE PERSON WHO WANT YOU DEAD THEN YOU CAN USE IT TO TAKE ANY LEGAL ACTION. GOOD LUCK AS I AWAIT YOUR REPLY
Jackson Police Chief Jed Dolnick has been running a program on scams for two years. “It’s called ‘Take My Money Please,’ and the one thing I stress with seniors is don’t wire money,” said Dolnick. “Do not wire money and don’t ship money because 99 percent of the proceeds disappear.”
‘Confidence schemes’ is how Dolnick described a majority of the scams which are getting better every year.
“It’s creative in an evil way but these thieves, that’s all they have to do is think of ways to fool people,” said Dolnick.
Common scams include people reaching out for financial help after a disaster or the grandparent-scam where a grandchild calls to say they’re out of luck, somewhere in a foreign country or in jail, and can you please send money.
Victims often think police can get their money back; Dolnick said “never.”
“I recently spoke with someone from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was very empathetic, however the priority for the FBI and Secret Service are intrusions threatening national security or the power grids; they just can’t devote time to these frauds,” he said.
Protecting loved ones
Lori Ruch (pronounced Rook) is Vice President of Compliance at National Exchange Bank in West Bend.
“Most of us are trusting, too trusting,” said Ruch. “They just want to believe the best.”
A veteran in the banking industry, Ruch said even the smart, savvy and well connected get taken. “I have fellow bankers who have got caught in scams because they just thought it was legitimate.”
The people behind the scams, according to Ruch, are also extremely slick. “Many times the scammers prey on the elderly because they think they don’t know what’s going on in the world. Seniors often feel a sense of duty of wanting to help and scammers are good, they tell a great story to try to help make you believe they’re legitimate,” said Ruch.
Questioned how children can protect their senior-citizen parents, Ruch encourages consistent involvement.
“Let them know if you hear about a scam or read a scam. Keep them informed. Let them know don’t give personal information over the phone,” she said.
Simple reminders, according to Ruch, are also a good way to keep seniors in the loop.
Reiterate to parents and seniors that the bank will never call and ask for their bank account number. Try to review a parents’ checkbook and keep an eye on legitimate transactions.
Banks also work diligently with customers trying to detect possible fraud.
“If they get a letter or phone call we ask if they really know the person they’re talking with,” said Ruch. “If they try to cash a sketchy check or wire a large amount of money we ask what they plan on using this money for and we explain up front, we’re doing this to protect you and your money because we have seen scenarios of fraud with customers,” she said.
Loneliness and embarrassment are two key reactions fraudsters bank on to help continue their criminal ways.
“Many times what people realize they’ve been scammed they’re too embarrassed to say anything or ask for help,” said Ruch. “We encourage people to say something because you don’t want this to continue or for them to take advantage of someone else.”
A worse-case scenario but often a reality is the initial scam may just be the start of a long-term problem.
“They have your account numbers and phone number and they may keep trying things,” Ruch said. “So we will close down accounts but if they have you social security number the identity theft can be next. That’s why it’s so important for people to speak up so we can stop it if there is something else.”
There are a variety of websites with more information on scam alerts and warnings including:
Fraud.org which recently published an article warning about con artists con artists contacting people under the guise of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.
www.fbi.gov is a timely website offering the latest news in government crackdowns, current warnings, and outreach and criminal reports.