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By Contributed photo
BY BLAIR LOONEY Contributing columnist
Dear Action Line: Here is a copy of an email l I received below. Is this for real?
From: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY(DHS) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thu, Sep 12, 2013 12:53 pm
Subject: RE: SECRET SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.
SECRET SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
This is the Department of Homeland Security we have vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face as well as internet Fraud. This requires the dedication of more than 230,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear -- keeping America safe.
We are happy to inform you that your funds valued at US$10,700,000.00 (Ten million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) have been approved by the Treasury Department of the United States.
Kindly get back to us for further directives.
Note: Do not reply to any email that comes from the FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III. The FBI director does not email people; he will rather send an agent to your door step in person. Do not fall a victim of scam again, a word is enough for the wise.
Thank you and have a good day.
Director, United States Secret Service
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528,USA
If you check the real website for the U.S. Secret Service, www.secretservice.gov, you will find a warning that spammers are sending bogus emails claiming to be from the United States Secret Service. This scam appears to be a typical one, alleging that you have funds of more than $10 million just waiting for you. All you have to do is contact Julie.
Does it sound too good to be true? Yes! The Secret Service advises that these types of emails are a hoax. Do not respond.
If you have received an email or fax from someone you do not know requesting your assistance in a financial transaction, such as the transfer of a large sum of money into an account, or claiming you are the next of kin to a wealthy person who has died, or the winner of some obscure lottery, DO NOT respond.
These requests are typically sent through public servers via a generic "spammed" email message. Usually, the senders do not yet know your personal email address and are depending on you to respond. Once you reply, even to tell them you are not interested, they will often continue to email you in an attempt to harass or intimidate you.
If you receive an unsolicited email of this nature, the best course is to simply delete the message. The Federal Trade Commission's website has a mechanism for reporting unsolicited commercial email (spam) at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#&panel1-1. And there is always your Better Business Bureau, too.
-- Blair Looney is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 1601 H St., Suite 101, Bakersfield, CA 93301 or email@example.com.