We sent our year-end letter out in a blast followed by two painful sputters. As much as anything, the exercise seems to be about gathering addresses and updating our address list. It is nice to send a greeting and a photo - we get a lot of greetings and photos in reply.
As part of this exercise, I found (again) the address of a loved one and sent our letter to him and his family.
In response I got a nice email saying hello. It was great to reconnect.
The next day, I got an email from said loved one asking if it was okay to run something by me…he told me he’s been receiving emails from an attorney and wondered about them.
I said “sure, I’ll take a look.”
What he sent me was a garden-variety, email, spam scam: you won a lottery based in Belgium, please come to Belgium to collect…
Followed by: oh, you can't make it (he wrote back), then we will appoint you a representative…
Followed by: there is a processing fee of…
And I was troubled by these communications.
I googled “moneyballs email lottery scam” and was taken to a site that exposed the whole con.
I know intuitively to distrust spam, but it took me ten seconds to find a link that might explain all this to my loved one.
I sent the link and encouraged him to end the correspondence and to send no personal information under any circumstances whatsoever.
But my consternation continues unabated. My loved one is an adult with a family and a college education. What on earth would possess him to be reeled in by such an unsophisticated trick?