HAVE QUESTIONS? - ASK FOR HELP HERE - Have you received an email you aren't sure about? Are you currently corresponding with someone you suspect is a scammer? Do you have questions about a scam? Post here for answers and advice.
#40 by Emma Jones Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:34 am
If you want to know if an email or solicitation you have received is a scam, here are some things you can do to find out:

  • Check out the information here and see if the posted scam scenarios appear familiar.

  • Post a question, by starting a new topic in this forum. Please help us to help you by first reading the guidance on what information to include.

  • Take advantage of sites which compile scam emails in databases you can search. If you do not get a positive hit, do not assume that it means it is not a scam. Scammers change their names and email addresses frequently, and new scams are being created every day. Nobody can keep track of them all, but these sites do a very good job:

    Scamomatic - copy the email text into the box and hit the "check email" button.
    Joe Wein's site - search using the company name given in the email, the name of aperson mentioned, the domain name from which the email came, or the Internet Service Provider (ISP)

  • Use an internet search engine (Google, Yahoo, or others) to check on the existence of the company or agency that the scammer pretends to represent. If you cannot find any legitimate references, or you find evidence of it being used by scammers, you know it's a scam. Also, you can do a search for registered companies. For the UK, check Companies House for all registered companies, and for Australia, check Australian Business Number lookup. (You may need to do more checking, though, because scammers often use the names of real organizations to try to lend credibility to their scams.)

  • Search for a particular phrase in the email, or the email address itself. For example, try Googling this phrase as found in a scam email: "search for a Reliable and trustworthy foreign partner". You will usually find that a search of key phrases leads to many references to scams.

Updated January 2011 by Samantha.

Learn about scammers' fake sites at aa419. Report scams to the Internet Crime Complaint Centre at IC3.

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