Lowey Warns of E-Mail Scams

Congresswoman Nita Lowey

Congresswoman Nita Lowey warned residents today of two widespread e-mail scams that have fleeced the American public of at least $1 billion in recent months.
Lowey, who appeared with Lois Greisman, associate director in the bureau of consumer affairs for the Federal Trade Commission, said the separate fraudulent schemes used technology to scare recent immigrants into sending money to ensure they can remain in the United States or seniors into sending money to people who don’t have enough money to leave a foreign country.
“So many people have been victimized,” Lowey said. “So many people do their shopping online, read newspapers online, magazines online and they’re being deceived so easily.”
In one scam, an e-mail is sent asking the recipient to wire $850 through Western Union as a processing charge to the State Department to obtain legal permanent resident status. A second asks the transfer of funds to help a friend or relative abroad who has run out of money.
Greisman said legitimate requests via e-mail from government agencies always contain “gov:” in its address.
If anyone has been recently solicited for funds they are urged to contact the Federal Trade Commission or their congressional representative’s office.

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