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How to Identify a Scam

Social networking over the internet has provided a new vehicle for promoting phishing and ponzi scams. These scams appear to have all the information that is needed to support a legitimate winning. With the information found on the internet through social site profiles, scammers have information available to craft a personal message to you, tricking you into thinking that you actually won a prize or money in a related contest promoted by a legitimate site you participate with.                                                                                       

Have you been notified that you won prize money or a contest on a social site such as MySpace, the lottery, or a government sponsored contest? If the email, phone call, prize or lottery notification has any of the following elements, we strongly suggest it is probably a fraud and you do not respond to it. Below are some general tips to recognize scams.

Tips on How to Identify a Scam or Fraud

  • The email or requestor asks for bank account information, credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, passport numbers, your mother's maiden name, or other personal information.
  • A request is made to open a new account to pay for taxes and fees and provides a link to a bank to do so.
  • The email or caller advises that you have won a prize - but you did not enter any competition run by the prize promoters.
  • The email claims you won a lottery (we know of NO legal lottery that notifies winners by email)
  • The email may be personally addressed to you but it has been posted using bulk mail - thousands of others around the world may have received the exact same notification.
  • The return address is a yahoo, hotmail, or other free email accounts. Legitimate companies can afford the roughly $100 per year that it costs to acquire and maintain a domain and related company email account.
  • The literature contains a lot of hype and exaggerations, but few specific details about costs, your obligations, how it works, etc.
  • The prize promoters ask for a fee (for administration, "processing", taxes, etc.) to be paid in advance. A legitimate lottery simply deducts that from the winnings!
  • The scheme offers bait prizes that, if they are real, are often substandard, over-priced, or falsely represented. Or, as part of the prize you can purchase "exclusive items" which may also be over-priced or substandard.
  • To get your prize might require travel overseas at your own cost (and personal risk) to receive it.
  • The organization has no website and cannot be located in Google

Please note that Urban Partnership Bank is currently not a partner with MySpace