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Beware the scammers!

Most people are honest. They have to be, or society would collapse in about a week.


October 19, 2010
By Mike Davey

Most people are honest. They have to be, or society would collapse in
about a week. With that said, I suspect the first scam was invented
roughly five minutes after the
invention of agriculture.

Most people are honest. They have to be, or society would collapse in about a week. With that said, I suspect the first scam was invented roughly five minutes after the
invention of agriculture.

Hardly a week goes by that I don’t get at least one scam e-mail asking me my price on various types and sizes of glass, or going on and on about the great deal they can cut me on bulk orders of glass or hardware.

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These e-mails often purport to be from major international companies, such as Xinyi Glass. The vast majority of them are easily identified as scams. For example, I seriously doubt that the VP of International Sales at Xinyi Glass has an e-mail address that reads xinyiglass@gmail.com. Really? A major international company makes its top executives use webmail? Give me a break.

If you have been fooled, though, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. It can happen to anybody. Last March, two Houston-area lawyers were bilked out of nearly $200,000. These men weren’t fools, and they were both highly experienced in international finance. If they can be scammed, it can happen to anybody.

Whatever you do, don’t just sweep it under the rug or pass it off as a learning experience. You have a positive duty to report scams when you find them. By doing so, you may end up saving others from the same fate. Not only that, but if enough people report it, law enforcement officials stand a much better chance of actually catching the scammers.

The scammers think that they can hide behind computers and international borders. They’re wrong. Even some of our fellow citizens believe that scams are no big deal. After all, no one gets hurt, right? They’re wrong too.

Scammers take food out of the mouths of honest men and women, and tear the clothing from their backs. In a million ways, they bleed us dry, and it’s up to all of us to make them stop.

Reporting Economic Crime On-Line (RECOL) is an initiative that involves an integrated partnership between a number of different law enforcement agencies at the provincial, federal and international levels. Other partners include regulatory bodies and private commercial organizations that have a legitimate investigative interest in complaints of economic crime. You can find them at www.recol.ca.

When you see a scam e-mail, it’s tempting to simply hit “delete” and go on with your life. However, you might consider taking a few minutes to report it. That’s what I’ve been doing lately. The online reporting tool is relatively simple to use, and only takes a few minutes. With just a few minutes of your time, you can rest easy knowing that you actually did something.

With all of us working together, we can stop scammers in their tracks. Or at least keep them from taking over completely.


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