It’s happening a lot. A mix of technological ignorance and desperation makes it possible I guess - I’m talking about online scams.
I got a call this week from a helicopter charter company in London. They wanted to confirm my booking in France for a tour with 4 of my executives. Executives!!? It’s me and my Golden Retriever here! Not sure how this would work but someone created an email account similar to mine, and even used all my personal data (even tax code and my photo), in the email footer and attempted to scam this company, not me.
They were just trying to do it in my name. I just got another this evening - an event company in France confirming an €800 booking in my name. They saw something suspicious so contacted me.
Yesterday, someone on Facebook responded to an ad I had put on Marketplace for some photographic equipment. They were sending a courier company with cash to pick it up.. No bargaining, or asking questions about the equipment. This made it really suspicious. What they would have gone on to say is ‘oh, we couldn’t do it, can you go to your cash-point machine and put in this data..’ In the end, I lose my money.
Recently, my Facebook account was hacked by someone in Thailand. I'm actually so happy to see it gone but FB are useless at solving the issue but I think it is blocked now.
I get the same ‘you have inherited $12m’ every day but they are obvious. The English is always terrible and it’s so ridiculous to believe. They usually are from Nigeria and are called ‘419 scams'. The law against scams there is code 419.
These other scams are a little more thought out, even well-written, but not perfect. My point of writing is to say that if you get an email ‘from me’ asking for services - check back with me first. The only email address I use is firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s my message to the scammer
There’s a saying we have in the UK - you can’t con an honest man. I will NEVER give money or personal details to someone I don’t know, not if you tell me my children are in hospital or you can get me lower gas payments. Never. You are wasting your time. We work according to the law and will not send you money.
When clients contact me I take the time to check them and I’m very good at spotting something strange. I never give personal details or engage in conversation with anyone that seems suspicious.
If there are attempts, such as this recent attempt - I report them to the police.
I know you have a mountain of reasons you think it’s ok, but it’s not. You are lazy, thoughtless and Godless. No one is robbing you. You can use your creativity for something useful. Stop with the excuses and stop hurting people. One day you will pay in full - this is the only sure thing about your actions - what goes around comes around.