The definition of a scam..
A confidence trick or confidence game (also known as a bunko, con, flim flam, gaffle, grift, hustle, scam, scheme, swindle or bamboozle) is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. The victim is known as the mark, the trickster is called a confidence man, con man, confidence trickster, grifter, or con artist, and any accomplices are known as plants. Confidence men or women exploit characteristics of the human psyche such as greed, both dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naïveté, and the thought of trying to get something of value for nothing or for something far less valuable. Confidence men or women have victimized individuals from all walks of life.
Confidence tricks exploit typical human qualities such as greed, dishonesty, vanity, honesty, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility and naïveté. The common factor is that the victim (mark) relies on the good faith of the con artist.
Just as there is no typical profile for swindlers, neither is there one for their victims. Virtually anyone can fall prey to fraudulent crimes. ... Certainly victims of high-yield investment frauds may possess a level of greed which exceeds their caution as well as a willingness to believe what they want to believe. However, not all fraud victims are greedy, risk-taking, self-deceptive individuals looking to make a quick dollar. Nor are all fraud victims naïve, uneducated, or elderly.
A greedy or dishonest mark may attempt to out-cheat the con artist, only to discover that he or she has been manipulated into losing from the very beginning. This is such a general principle in confidence tricks that there is a saying among con men that "you can't cheat an honest man."
Shills, also known as accomplices, help manipulate the mark into accepting the con man's plan. In a traditional confidence trick, the mark is led to believe that he will be able to win money or some other prize by doing some task. The accomplices may pretend to be strangers who have benefited from performing the task in the past...
-Taken from Wikipedia
From the well known Nigerian 419 scams to the love-scams or wire fraud scams, they all have one thing in common.. THEY ARE DESIGNED TO MANIPULATE YOUR CONFIDENCE.. The end result is always the same.. WHEN YOU ARE OUT OF MONEY.. Scammers will not stop until they accomplish this, as this is their number 1 goal... there are ways to prevent these slimy individuals from taking advantage of your trust and eventually emptying your wallet.. here are a few things to remember....
1)The most important rule... IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE,, THEN 99% OF THE TIME IT PROBABLY IS..
Simply use your intuition, your common sense to help yourself determine whether an attempted scam looks phony or not.. If someone you don't know contacts you asking for money at any time, REMEMBER it is a scam, regardless of how sincere or trustworthy they may seem..
For instance, alot of 419-love scams will hit home, as many of their number 1 targets are divorced or widowed individuals.. A scammer might use something like,, "my dying husband, or child" or "my family has died" or "my baby has been kidnapped". These are designed to lure you in, and the scammer may not ask for money right away, sometimes they will talk to you for months until they think its ready to ask you to send them money for an "emergency".. Remember, use your brain,, if it sounds too good to be true than it probably is..
2) REFER TO THE FIRST RULE
3)SPREAD THE WORD!!!
Do not ever hesitate to contact your local authorities when you have a suspected scammer. Unfortunately, most of these scams are overseas-based operations, making it very difficult to prosecute these offenders. HOWEVER you can always visit SCAMBUSTERS or many other scam exposing websites and SPREAD THE WORD, so that others will not fall for the same scam.. It is YOUR obligation to your fellow man to report these scammers to others, so that your fellow man will not get taken.. If you have been scammed by these individuals, It is YOUR choice to not let this theft be in vain.. It is YOUR choice to help others and warn them to steer clear of these modern day thieves..
So now that you know to use your intuition, what if it seems legitimate? well, there is a very simple answer
copy and paste the letter heading to google and reasearch it.. more than likely, scammers will purchase large list of email accounts on the black market, and will have access to your email as well as hundreds, even THOUSANDS MORE!! Scammers have to send messages on a massive scale. Chances are, someone else will post the same scam online to warn people about it.. Refer to scam-busting websites (GO TO LINKS/RESOURCES PAGE)...
ONLY YOU CAN WARN OTHERS, HELP YOUR FELLOW MAN! MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF YOUR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS..