Scams on spams

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By Dennis Limlingan

The Advocate

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DESPITE installing a spam guard (a computer application that blocks unwanted emails) on my electronic mail account, I have been continuously receiving spams and other emails from unknown sources.

While they seem to be valid and legal letters, sent through the internet, their number would make a person doubt because of their number and the frequency they are sent. They are harmless as they seem and a simple delete command on the computer’s mouse would erase them all right away.

There are emails addressed to my account which appears to have been sent from Africa, the United States and other parts of the world. Any reader of the emails wouldn’t know anyway if they were really sent from the addresses the senders declared.


On the emails that I received, the senders somewhat portray that they are legitimate senders and are in distress or are in a predicament that they seek help from email account holders or from netizens where their missives may reach.

Other emails appear that they came from rich families or from royalties that needs help from people who may be attracted of their stature.

A number of those that I received are giving me rewards or prizes that I have won in lotteries. Both seem to lure people to give in to the promise of something such as trips abroad and amounts of cash in dollars. Who wouldn’t be enticed of these?

Here’s the catch: Behind the prizes, winnings or rewards that the email sender is offering, is his or her request for a reply from his prospective recipient that shall contain personal information including bank account or credit card numbers.

These are evidently scams that targets credulous persons that may be convinced to give in their personal information including bank account or important numbers.

Among the emails that I received is one which, should I gave in, instructs me to send some money to a bank account the sender had written for a certain processing fee for the reward or prize that I had supposedly won.

These emails, from unknown sources, are no different from text messages sent through mobile phones that inform the mobile phone user that he or she has won in an electronic raffle that if the said “winner” is interested in claiming his or her prize, he or she should call the sender of the message.

Funny it may seem that the text message sender is a lawyer and that the said electronic raffle is permitted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The text message is even complete with a DTI authorization or permit number.

These scammers are sending emails or text messages as their “baits” to anyone. Who knows that with the huge number of recipients of these electronic messages, someone will reply and give in to the request of the scammers.

I have learned from a friend from a mobile phone company that they cannot do something on these scammers as text messages are personal messages that anyone can write and send to anyone. In short, they have no means to control mobile phone users regardless the nature and kind of text messages.

Emails meanwhile, according to my friend, have the same characteristics as personal communication between the sender and the receiver. It is up to the receiver on how he will react to any email sent.

Since the government regulating bodies cannot actually control these kinds of spams, receivers of any of these kinds would just have to be careful in dealing with these.


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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on April 15, 2014.


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