I'm afraid that the lawyer Russell Thomas Esq. Will be very disappointed on my part.
I was a correspondent with him for most of a week and, during that time, I exchanged a series of emails in which the lawyer Russell Thomas Esq. Promised to get me $ 14 million by presenting me as the heir or someone with my surname who died in a car accident in Britain. Apparently, I was the only Collins he could find.
Strange, that. I'm pretty sure there are others in Britain.
Anyway, in exchange, I promised to share the funds unlawfully with him, and, since he looked very nice, I did not mind a bit of the last part. I'm sure he could use the money.
It took a while, but after a series of twisted curves and turns to the proposal (and about 20 e-mails), it finally got to the point.
"The approval for the transfer is available and attached to this email, however, the bank asked me to pay a £ 67,000 pound fee and present the receipt before the transaction that was approved can be transferred to you as Kin's neighbor, "he wrote.
He then described how I can get funds to help him pay this tax, to which I would like to receive my millions.
Of course, it's a scam.
In fact, it was the fourth scam email I received this week, including the one where Scotia Bank urgently needed me to verify my account information by visiting a very authentic site with all the logos and fonts just – but of course it was not a Scotia Bank site. It was what the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) calls a "spoofing site". They are made to look real, but they are not.
I also received a call from the Canadian Revenue Agency last week. It seemed that I owed a lot of money in taxes and, unless I had electronically processed a payment with "small money", would have issued a warrant for my arrest. I warned the stern caller that I was an officer of the Rcmp (hey, he lied to me earlier) and the line is immediately dead.
Please note that I am not making up. Everything happened in the same week.
Jessica Gunsun, unit manager for the CAFC, said that my experience is anything but unusual. Every day millions of Canadians receive phone calls, e-mails and other correspondences designed to keep them out of their money.
And, as far as I've made the light of my experience, the problem of Internet and telephone scams is all but amusing.
The most insidious example of people injured by subhuman fraud artists is what Gunsun calls "romantic scammers". They borrow identities from real people, usually overseas, and record fake identification profiles on dating sites. After having a romantic relationship that involves numerous telephone conversations, they manage to arouse genuine feelings from their brands; a relationship that the victim sees as love. Then, one day, they signal a crisis of some kind.
Perhaps they have traveled abroad and been robbed, or have lost their wallet and identification. The excuse varies, but the constant is that they are desperate.
They "reluctantly" ask for financial help to overcome the storm so that they can come to visit their true love and start a new life with their victim.
But always, something stands in the way and more money is needed.
The scam can go on for years and the victims are often so in love that they will not listen to friends and relatives who try to intervene. They can lose everything they have. This scam alone caused nearly $ 21 million of reported losses last year. Gunsun estimates that only five percent of the losses are actually reported.
The only way to combat these scams is that we all become a bit more wise and, unfortunately, more careful in our interactions with others.
The CAFC website has a long list of scams for your information and staff are happy to answer your questions and offer advice.
As for Barrister Russell Thomas Esq., I'm trying to decide when to tell him that he was a correspondent with a journalist and became the target of the jokes in the office.
I could wait a little longer before warning him that this time his scam did not work.