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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Private Message Scam Email
September 18, 2012

Private Message Scam Email

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Private Message Scam Email

You may receive an email claiming you have received a private message. The scam emails consist of nothing more than a brief message claiming that a specified email address has sent you a private message. The emails include a link that you can click to access and read your private message.

However, the link does't open a private message but instead, it opens a fake webmail login page that asks you to sign in with your User ID and Password. The information submitted on the fake signin form will be sent to scammers and may later be used to hijack your real email account.

Complaints received indicate that, once you have fallen for the scam and submitted your login details, your email accounts are then used to send the same "Private Message" scam email to all of the people on your contact list.

After you have signed in via the fake page, you are taken to another website that tries to entice you into participating in various surveys or offers in exchange for "free" prizes such as iPads or laptop computers. Many of the fake "survey" pages claim that you must provide personal information including name, address and contact details, before you are eligible to receive any prizes.

Others will claim that you must submit your mobile phone number before you can claim any gifts or enter any prize draws. However, you may not realize that by providing your mobile phone number you are actually subscribing to a very expensive SMS "service" charged at several dollars per message received.

No matter how many offers or surveys you complete, or what services you subscribe to, you will never receive your promised free gift or even a genuine competition entry.

The scammers who create these fake promotions will earn commissions each and every time a victim completes an offer or participates in a survey.

Victims may also be faced with large phone bills for unwanted mobile phone services and, because they have provided name and contact details, they may be inundated with unwanted promotional emails, phone calls and junk mail.

If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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