There is a common scamspread by e-mail as well as U.S. mailthat has been circulating for at least 10 years. Recently, many members of the University community have seen this scam firsthand via e-mail. The Information Technology (IT) User Advocate wants to make computer users aware of it.
The hoax comes in several forms, including next of kin, Nigerian 419 and others, all of which claim that youll soon be wealthy if you agree to help the sender unfreeze some assets. All of these promises are false; however, the U.S. Secret Service indicates that many victims have been enticed into believing they have been singled out to share in promises of multimillion-dollar windfall profits.
We want the campus community to be aware of this scam, says Elizabeth Sweet, IT user advocate. Our concern is that the scam can appear legitimate to an unsuspecting person because of the official- looking titles, stamps, seals and logos that often accompany it. The goal is to ensure that members of the University community are familiar with the hoax so that they do not fall victim to it. If you receive an e-mail that appears suspicious, the best thing to do is simply delete it.
For further information about these and other types of Internet hoaxes, see www.itd.umich.edu/virusbusters/ and http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/HBScams.shtml or visit the U.S. Treasury Departments Web site for detailed information (www.treas.gov/usss/index.htm?alert419.htm&1).
For more information about the IT User Advocate, visit the Web at www.umich.edu/~itua/.