You believed what?

One of the downsides of building the fiscal year budget for my organization is I become painfully aware of how under paid I am. I happen to know the average associate in my department makes $142K a year (not including medical/dental benefits). Yep. Pretty depressing to realize I officially fall into the category of "well below average." In addition during the course of my 7 year career I've seen hundreds of people lose their jobs as our company struggles to make revenue targets. Every 3 months or so there is some sort of layoff where we lose the bottom 10% of our staff, if not more.

Thus, you can imagine my surprise when the following email was distributed by my companies official "security team" this week.

There's a new type of e-mail scam that's popular now that steals from the plot of the movie Three Kings. It claims to be from a former American soldier in Iraq who had found $20 million in gold and had hidden it before his return home. After he returned to Iraq as a humanitarian aid worker, he was injured by a roadside bomb and is now on his deathbed. He needs your help to get the money to a charity, and all you have to do is supply your bank account information for him to deposit the money There are several varieties of requests for information. He then promises to split the money with you.

Although this sounds like a genuine appeal for help in performing a good deed, none of this is true. It is just as bogus as earlier emails supposedly from foreign government officials who ended up bilking millions of dollars from unsuspecting people.

Any information you send him will be used to steal your money. If you receive such a request, just delete it.

Does this sound like a "genuine appeal for help in performing a good deed" to you?

How on earth are there electrical engineers with master's degrees at my company, making $142K a year, surviving lay off after lay off, who believe $20M in buried treasure is just at their finger tips?

If this sounds like a "genuine appeal" what does it take to make a request sound suspicious? Do we need to throw in that this injured humanitarian veteran lost his whole family in the attacks of 9-11, and was an adopted orphan from Cambodia which is why he doesn't have any surviving relatives? Should we mention that the roadside bomb got him while he was trying to help starving children cross a road so they could be reuinted with the families they haven't seen since the war began? Do the scammers need to ask not only for your bank account #, but also for your full name, address, date of birth, social security #, credit card #, passport, drivers license, temple recommend, the spare keys to your car and home, and a list of all on-line user names & passwords you have ever used or ever will use, with corresponding URLs? Would this be enough to tip my co-workers off?

I suggest my companies security team focus their efforts on identifying the people at my company falling for this scam, put them down for the next round of lay offs, and send some of their salary my way.


liz said...

I totally get both parts of this! I was in HR Comp and processed spreadsheets for salary planning up to the Board of Dir level. I had to pretend the salaries, bonuses, etc. were just numbers and not really money (especially knowing how many people were on lay-off lists).

I got those lame forwards all the time, too, and thought it hilarious when we also had an 'fyi' warning email go out telling people it's fraud. People who fall for that deserve to be ripped off.

dave said...

I too understand and get frustrated with the number of stupid "Corporate" warnings that go out all the time, but after seeing some of the stupid things people do I can't say I totally blame them. On nearly a daily basis I get an email stating that metal objects shouldn't be placed in the microwave, loose gravel in the parking lot can cause one to lose their footing because someone else has filed a workman’s comp claim, and handicap spots are just for the handicapped and after five warnings of parking there you will get a demerit and 6 demerits will get you a ticket and 3 tickets will result in an email sent to your supervisor.

diane said...

when i received the email about the soldier i totally believed it. that poor man! i hope that my bank account and all personal information will help relieve him--i was thinking that we would also give him our cars, children, house, etc. we are so looking forward to hearing the outcome of the story and waiting to become millionaires so that kyle can retire next week!
WHAT A CROCK!!!!!!!!!!!

carrie said...

I totally agree Liz. Unless you are a cute little, innocent grandma (like my mom & her friends) there is no excuse to fall for this stuff!

Since my dad has been in the hospital - my mom has started emailing. (my dad always used to print up emails for her to read.) it is so cute watching her learn to email. The funniest is how she sends out forwads that have already made the rounds 10 times, but she has never seen before b/c my dad would always delete them. Like the "THINGS EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW TO STAY SAFE!" emails.

pldenham said...

Carrie, I'm just like your mom. At school I would forward all these "cool" emails thinking that none of you had ever read such amazing new stories. Then I was informed by Paul and Dave that they had received many of those emails many times.

signed....out of the loop

carrie said...

Yes, but it is so very cute. We love it. Forward away...especially to Dave. ha ha!