Who is Mr. Brad M. Foster? How did he get my email address? John (pseudonym) quizzed himself when he saw the mail “I left a check for you”.
This mail came through John’s spam, so immediately he knew it was a scam. But what if it had popped up in his mail inbox, would he have asked who sent the mail or how he got my email address?
Or the content of the mail would have changed how he would have responded to it.
How do scammers find your email address or telephone number? Is it random or is there some scientific method scammers use to target people? Experts say it is a combination of both.
According to Amy Nofziger, with AARP Foundation and Fraud Watch Network outlines three reasons. They are:
1. Data purchases. “Scammers buy phone numbers from companies that sell data,” she explains. “They’ll use the same methods legitimate marketing companies do, but for nefarious purposes.”
2. Con artists network. “If you’ve been a victim of a fraud or scam, you’re put on a so-called sucker list,” Nofziger says. “The lists are bought, sold, traded and stolen among scammers because they’re perceived as potential gold mines. Scammers will usually target the victims with a ‘recovery’ or ‘reload’ scam. They pretend to be from a consumer group or law enforcement agency and trick you into thinking they’ll help get your money back — for a fee.”
3. Volunteered information. This is personal information you willingly divulge by entering giveaways and sweepstakes, or when filling out surveys. “Scammers use all this to create profiles for who they want to target,” Nofziger says. “Often they’ll target older adults, who they perceive as holding the majority of wealth in this country.”
Kita, J. (2016). A new breed of con artist. Today’s scammers are on the phone, at your door and online. Here’s how to fend them off. AARP Bulletin. Retrieved on 17/06/2020 from https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2015/scams-and-frauds-to-avoid.html
Source: Public Affairs Unit Desk