Scams

If it looks like good news, it could be bad news.

People around the country, including many in Klickitat County, are being bombarded with fresh scams, some old standards like the IRS scam and some riding the coattails of the current pandemic.

Last week a woman in Goldendale gave her bank information to someone purporting to be calling from the IRS. (Hint: anytime anyone says they’re calling from the IRS, it’s always a scam. The IRS doesn’t call; it sends letters.) Thankfully she realized what was going on and was able to change her bank account and close her debit card without damage being done.

But here are some new, creative enterprises:

“I would like to inform you that we have your 3.7 Million ATM CARD in

your name,” one email received last week joyfully stated. “We tried to communicate with you but have not heard from you. As soon as you receive this message, please email me back for further instructions on how to have your ATM card delivered to you. —Rev. John Sloshar, Deutsche Bank.” Oh, he’s a reverend—it must be okay!

Another email recipient got this last week; its broken English is actually how it read:

“Your fund release has been signed to help you curtail the harsh effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of Financial Stability Oversight function which includes discovery of abandoned fund that will help to stabilize economy, Our investigation discovered that you have an abandoned ATM CARD with the Authorities that was seized due to your inability to forward required documentations and or pay the heavy charges demanded from you to make claim at the time, hence the package (atm card) was returned back. We have as matter of International Emergency released as instructed for onward registration and delivery to your destination. Delivery instruction has been given to carrier to act upon and deliver the approved US$5.5M to your doorstep destination. Our Carrier is ready to deliver your fund now once you pay the official fee of $380.00 only cost of registration authentication and delivery handling charge. Kindly forward your receiving details for final authentication and avoidance of error, Your prompt response in compliance will expedite immediate action accordingly as time is of essence.” It’s signed by the “Credit Control Director,” so you know this is for real.

And some people are still being fooled by this tired gambit that still hit inboxes last week:

“ECO TRUST BANK DU REPUBLIC OF BENIN

“Rue 308 Reverend Pere Colineau Cotonou.

“Order from the New President that you should send only $200 with the information below and you will be receiving $200,000.00 daily until you receive your Funds complete. you will be receiving two hundred thousand United States Dollars daily to avoid error or any harassment from the authority. Please provide your existing Banking details for immediate transfer of your fund as recommend below:

“This is a very urgent and important message to enable you to start receiving your Fund as the new President has given us order, you need to act fast because delay is very dangerous.”

Got it. From Benin, one of the world’s poorest countries. The new president of Benin—oh, wait, the current president of Benin took office in 2016; must be a misprint—wants you personally to receive $200,000 a day until you get all your funds, whatever that figure turns out to be. And for a mere $200 up front. Well, Benin, a west African country, is considered to be the birthplace of voodoo, so anything is possible!

The email then goes on to thoughtfully provide blanks for you to fill in for your banking information and social security number, because, as they pointed out, time is of the essence.

Each fresh scam is a new cautionary tale.