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Beware of rampant email scams

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Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 11:06 am

You get an email with a plea for money from a loved one offering a great deal on magazines. Do they raise a red flag?

That is just one of the scam emails you’re letting me know about, and were savvy enough to spot for yourself.

“Auto scams are alive and rampant in the Valley.”

That’s what one viewer wrote to tell me about after he answered an ad on Autotrader.com for a 2004 Audi A4.

The seller said the car was with the shipping company in Montana and that the shipping would be free.

They also said Google Checkout would handle the payment.This looks like a big time scam to me. Google Checkout is not ever involved in person-to-person deals.

And Autotrader.com warns its customers about scammers who use the site.

Remember, only buy a car you can see it person, test drive, and have a mechanic check out. You also want to be able to check the name on the title against the seller’s ID.

Max from Sun Lakes let me know about a great deal he heard about from Reader’s Digest.

He said the company called and offered him a good renewal rate; they only needed a credit card number from him.

But, when the caller became pushy, Max called Reader’s Digest instead and they told him it was a scam.

The magazine said it only handles renewals by mail or email — not by phone.

Finally, Mary let me know about an email she got from a friend named Alberta.

She said she was stuck in the Philippines and needed $2,250 to get home.

Mary said she thought it was a scam, but the thing is, she does know someone named Alberta.

“We have served together as officers in United Methodist Women” for years, she wrote.

Her friend did not send the email — and did not need the money.

Now, scammers aren’t just using relatives, they’re tracking down your friends’ names to try to trick you into wiring money somewhere.

If you’re asked to wire money, it’s a scam. And, if you get something for nothing, it’s usually a scam.

• Joe Ducey is now helping people like you everyday on ABC15 News at 6 p.m. If you’ve got a consumer issue you can’t solve, “Let Joe Know.” Contact him at joe@abc15.com or (855) 323-1515.

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