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EMAIL US Scam (7-28-04) There is a new twist to the recent Nigerian (this scam also includes other countries such as Italy, Bosnia, Holland, etc) classified email scam. Please review this scam at and The twist is that these predators are now using telephone calls to scam innocent people. Most of the time these calls will be made via a relay operator. A relay operator works for the phone company for the hearing impaired. The caller types his message into a TTY machine and the operator reads what the calling individual has to say. They are not able to give you, the call receiver, any other information but what the caller types in. The relay operator has no part in the scam. The scammers use the relay operator because the operator is not allowed to say anything but what is on the screen from the caller. If you receive a call from a relay operator, do not accept the call unless you have a relation who may be making the call. If you do take the call, the caller will offer a price for more than what you are asking for the selling item. One of our customers received a call from a relay operator who put Dr. Leo from Bosnia on the line. He offered $3800.00 for a car that the seller was asking $500.00 for. The buyer wanted to make sure that the car was safe for his pregnant wife. He told the seller to take the $500.00 for the car, use some of the money for repairs, and the left over money would be for the freight charges. He told her to give the money to the shippers when the arrived to pick up the car. After speaking with an agent at the Secret Service, I was told to advise our customers that the shippers will never come. The people that are calling are only after the money, and the money only. The callers will usually ask for your bank account information, or will mail you payment, which will be a fake money order or check. These payments are always fake. If you give the individuals your bank account information they will wipe you clean. There is also a chance that you will be responsible for the cost of the call. The best advice we can give is to ignore these phone calls and emails, and they will eventually go away. Please keep in mind that the phone scams are not only made via relay operators. The phone call can be a direct call. Be cautious when doing business with people that are offering things to good to be true. If you feel that the offer is legit, do not do business unless you meet with the person face to face, and do not accept payment unless it is cash or a cashier's check from a local bank. Take precautions to protect yourself from identity theft and online fraud. Do not give out your personal information no matter what. The best thing to do if it sounds to good to be true, is not to do business with the individual at all. If you believe you take a call from a scam artist that is local, after hanging up you can press *57. This will activate Call Trace. Call Trace lets you trace the number of the last call you received, and have it automatically reported to your local telephone company. There is a fee for using this service. For more information on call trace please contact your phone company. After using call trace, contact your local Secret Service Branch and report the call and that you have traced it. You may also contact their office if you feel you have been scammed already. To find your local secret service branch click here Please protect your identity and personal information at all times. We hope this update has helped you. We strive to give our customers the best service possible. If you have any questions please call (518) 279-1181 or (800) 836-0312 and ask for the Monkey Ads Information Technology Department. Please email any correspondence regarding scams to Regards, We have also been informed by one of our advertisers that they have been scammed by some people from Nigeria who stated that they wanted to buy their collector car and sent them a fake cashiers check. The crooks send more money than the price of the car stating that the extra money is to be sent to someone in the US to ship the car to Africa. The amount of money to be used for shipping is even close to what the actual cost for shipping would be. Once the American seller sends the money to the person who is supposed to ship the car they find out that the cashiers check is a fake. These individuals lost $8,000 of their own money in this scam. Apparently it has been tried on other collector car advertisers on this site and on other internet sites. When dealing with people from other countries it is better to be safe than sorry. According to the people who lost their money it can take over three weeks for a bank to realize that a check is a fake. They also suggest that you contact the issuing bank and get any verification in writing. The money you save may be your own. If you have been approached by anyone wanting to buy your car with a plan that fits the description above, the folks who were scammed would like to hear from you. They have started a Yahoo group about this matter to discuss it with others who may have encountered these crooks. The more leads they have the better the chances of catching them. You can sign up for their Yahoo group by clicking on the following link: We have also joined the group so we can keep up with the latest on this scam. If you have any information you would like to directly send to the victims you can email me below and I will put you in touch with them. Please forward this information to any collector car classifieds and club web sites and newsgroups you know about. We need to all work together to keep these kind of people out of the hobby. You can read the CBS News Report on this story at