Check out these florist scams and the top 9 email hoaxes according to Bankrate.com:
Internet ScamBusters #85
The #1 Publication on Internet Fraud
By Audri and Jim Lanford
Copyright © Audri and Jim Lanford
All rights reserved.
Issue #85 July 21, 2004
Today we decided to do a lighter 'Snippets' issue for you. We start with an article on florist scams and conclude with the top 9 email hoaxes according to Bankrate.com.
There are several florist scams that you should be aware of if you ever send flowers.
The most popular florist scam involves telemarketing firms that pay for listings in the white pages (and Yellow Pages) of local phone books. They use a local town name to make consumers believe they are a neighborhood florist shop.
Sometimes they even use a local florist shop's name -- with a different phone number, of course.
Calls are then forwarded to the out-of-town telemarketing firm. These companies take the order and payment information, and forward the order to a local company to deliver the flowers. In the process, they charge an (often high) processing fee and a percentage of the sale.
Consumers learn about the scam when they receive their credit card bill, which includes higher-than-expected charges. Even worse, florist scams can involve the flowers not being delivered as specified -- or not being delivered at all!
Here are three tips on how to protect yourself from florist scams:
1. Ask friends, family, and co-workers for florist recommendations rather than using the phone book.
2. Ask the florist for an itemized bill with all the charges. Check to make sure the delivery fee and taxes are reasonable, and that there isn't an outrageous 'processing fee.' Make certain you know what you are paying for.
3. Ask the florist for directions to their shop, and be sure to get their street address. If they hesitate or won't give it to you, do business elsewhere. You can also check out if the address is legitimate on the Internet.
NEW: If you're interested in growing roses, click here for a new site that includes some interesting information on growing and enjoying roses -- it was recently recommended by our local florist.
The Top 9 Email Hoaxes According to Bankrate.com
Here are 9 email hoaxes that Bankrate.com views as the 'most popular and most creative' email hoaxes that are perhaps waiting in your email box.
1. Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe.
Did Neiman Marcus really charge a customer $250 for a cookie recipe? You can read the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe urban legend here -- it's quite interesting:
2. Email Forwarding and Donations.
These are probably the most persistent hoaxes we receive. Basically, the idea is you get paid to forward email. There is no technology to track this -- even if companies like Microsoft, AOL, Disney, The Gap, etc. wanted to do it.
You can see a few examples of these hoaxes: Coca cola, Microsoft AOL email, Sony Ericsson, and tracking email.
3. Nigerian scams.
We've covered these Nigerian scams extensively -- including in Issue #83.
4. Work at home scams.
Any offer to work at home that promises lots of income to do almost nothing -- especially when you don't even need experience -- is a scam.
You can read the details about some of the more clever of these work at home scams here.
5. You won... nothing!
We've been getting so many questions about various lottery scams lately -- especially lottery scams in Europe.
The punch line of these lottery scams is quite simple:
- If you didn't enter, you didn't win.
- If you need to pay any kind of fee to get your prize, it's a scam.
- If you need to purchase anything (like expensive airline tickets through their agency), it's a scam.
Click here for more on lottery scams.
6. You'll get $5,000 for sending only $25.
These chain letters are Ponzi schemes -- as well as illegal. They promise that if you send $5 to five people on the list in the email you receive, then your turn will come and you'll receive $5,000 because your name will be on so many email lists.
Don't do it -- it's illegal and you'll lose your money.
7. Keeping speeding tickets off your record.
This particular email for how to keep speeding tickets off your record is quite popular -- and very creative. It's also not true.
You can read the interesting details about speeding tickets by clicking here.
8. New tax or charges on all your emails.
This particular email hoax seems to flair up at least every year.
One variant says you'll be charged for each long distance email, just like you're charged for long distance phone calls. Other hoaxes talk about new Internet taxes on your long distance emails.
Neither is true -- but they sure take up a lot of bandwidth being circulated!
9. No more taxes -- Clinton and Congress secretly got rid of the IRS.
This email hoax is a bit more obscure -- and perhaps even funny.
It claims that Bill Clinton got Congress to pass NESARA -- which would have been announced on September 11, 2001, by Alan Greenspan had there been no terrorist attacks. This 'law' supposedly abolishes the IRS and forgives all debts.
For details about the NESARA hoax, click here.
To see the list from Bankrate.com, visit:
That's it for today -- enjoy a scam-free week.