Phoebe and I want to pass on a warning about a couple of persistent online scams. They both come as emails into your inbox. The first one looks something like this:

To: to
From: WesternUnion
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2015 07:49:56 +0800

Your transaction of 1.5 Million has been approved by UNITED NATIONS (UN) in the on going poverty alleviation program 2015.via Western Union Net-Spend Master Card, Send your receiving details to Mrs Jennie lee at to file for claims SPECIAL NOTICE : All E-mail response should be sent to for confirmation and payment approval Or Call 24 hours Helpline @+601-6254-3857 or 00601-6254-3857 for any inquiries on the above message. Yours truly Barnes Anna For Western Union Payout centre

Notice that the TO: line doesn't have my email address in it. This means it is being sent to many people other than me. The other red flag is that it involves Western Union. Although it is a good place to receive/send money for many people, scammers use it to try to legitimize their scams. If you call or reply to this email you will be asked to pay a transfer or other fee to get your 1.5 million dollars. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS!

The other one looks something like this:

Subject: It Is Very Important Read
To: Recipients
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2015 07:53:41 +0100

My name CAPTAIN RIVERA from Afghanistan, I am an officer in the US Army and also a West Point Graduate. I want to solicit your attention to receive some money on my behalf as my cousin. I really need your help in assisting me with the safe keeping of two military trunk boxes which has arrived USA from Iraq. I hope you can be trusted? I will explain further when I receive your response. Best regards, CAPTAIN RIVERA

Again, my email address is not in the TO: (not that that would make it any more legitimate). The scammer is posing as a military member and they want your help to bring the money back to the states. Once you respond to this scam, they will say you have to pay some kind of fee upfront, usually a couple of hundred dollars to get the money flow going. Then if you pay that, there will be another fee, then another fee.

Intelligent people fall for scams like this every single day. It all goes back to: If it sounds too good to be true IT IS!!

If you get one of these emails or something similar, delete it or report it to or This has been a public service announcement.


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