May 8, 2009 Fairmont Police Department
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (507)-238-4481
Fairmont Police Department cautions area residents to be cautious of Hotmail/Windows Live email scams.
This week the Fairmont Police Department received reports from city residents of one of the latest frauds to get money and personal information from unsuspecting residents. While the details of the scam can vary, this latest financial scam involves scam artists sending an e-mail message to an unsuspecting Hotmail user telling them that their Hotmail e-mail account is about to expire. The e-mail contains official looking logos and at first glance appears legitimate. The message directs the unsuspecting victim to enter their hotmail address and PASSWORD, along with personal information like their mother’s maiden name, or name of their favorite teacher. The scam artist then gains access to the citizen’s e-mail account and sends out scam letters to everyone in unsuspecting citizen’s e-mail address book. The letter is addressed from the unsuspecting citizen’s e-mail address to everyone in their address book. The letter purports that the unsuspecting citizen is overseas and has lost their wallet. The letter then asks the recipient to wire transfer money to an address in the United Kingdom.
From our experience with scams whenever you’re asked to wire transfer money it has a very high probability of being a scam. The problem with wire transfers is that a Money Gram wire transfer can be picked up anywhere in the world, no matter what location the sender writes on the receipt.
Never give out your passwords or personal information to people that you do not know. Be cautious anytime if you receive a communication without going to through the official website first.
Investigation into these types of frauds typically crosses international borders which makes prosecution unlikely and the recovery of any lost funds near impossible. Area residents are advised that if they receive this type of letter they should not wire transfer money and law enforcement should be contacted.