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It’s important to understand that scammers often use the names of real people and real organizations in their messages, and this doesn’t mean those real people have anything to do with the scam. The scammers are just trying to make their frauds look legitimate by stealing the name of someone who is already known and respected. An example this week from the news in Great Britain: scammers are now sending messages that purport to come from the BBC television program Heir Hunters. The news outlet reports:
In this particular variation of the scam, an email claims that the recipient is being sought by the makers of Heir Hunters, a programme that follows the work of people who help members of the public claim their inheritance.
There are several tell-tale signs that the email is the work of scammers, though.
“I am writing you from Heir Hunters Company in the United kingdom , Heir Hunters probate detectives looking for distant relatives of people who have died without making a will, here is our websitepage on BBC TWO News [sic],” the email reads.
In addition to the poor punctuation and grammar, the message includes an email address that ends in @yahoo.com.hk.
“Why would the email address for a UK-based program be in Hong Kong?” asked Paul O Baccas of Sophos.
Here at the Scam Hunter website (scamhunter.org) we document online scams in order to help people stay safe.
Scammers depend on public ignorance to keep their scams alive. Please share our scam alerts with your friends, family, and coworkers today.