Postal Scams

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Postal Scams

Post  Jennie on Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:47 am

While the vast majority of inmates and pen pals are seeking genuine friendship, there will always be a few people on both sides of the wall attempting to take advantage of someone's kindness and gullibility. We have outlined the most common scams here:

Scams By Inmate Pen Pals:
Monetary Donations - When writing inmates, if you ever receive what appears to be a form letter requesting money, you should be on guard. The institutions provide all basic needs of living to inmates. In most cases, even educational programs are free to inmates. Donating money is a decision that can only be made by you. If the inmate is requesting a donation for something that seems unusual, please contact us before sending money and we will address any concerns you have.

Scams By Free World Pen Pals On Inmates:
Photo Scam - This is a common scam attempted by people in the free world which usually targets male inmates. Females write to an inmate and initiate conversation. In the letters to follow, they will express their desire to send photos, but state that they don't have the funds to pay for them. They will offer to send photos to the inmates if the inmates are willing to pay for them. Most inmates who send a money order in this case never receive photos or further correspondence from these people. They have completed their scam and have moved on to their next victim.

Some indicators that are warnings of a probable scam include:
Any offer of a substantial percentage of a large sum of money to be transferred into your account, in return for your "discretion" or " confidentiality";
Any deal that seems too good to be true;
Requests for signed and stamped, blank letterhead or invoices, or for bank account information;
Requests for urgent air shipment, accompanied by an instrument of payment whose genuineness cannot immediately be established;
Solicitation letters claiming the soliciting party has personal ties to high Nigerian officials;
Requests for payment in U.S. dollars, in advance, of transfer taxes or incorporation fees;
Statements that your name was provided to the soliciting party either by someone you do not know or by "a reliable contact;"
Promises of advance payment for services to be provided to the Nigerian government;
Claims that a Nigerian visa is not necessary or that arrival in Nigeria should be overland from a neighboring country;
Resistance by these Nigerian "partners" to your desire to check in with the U.S. Embassy;
Any offer to supply crude oil; and
Any offer of a charitable donation.

The indicators listed above are some of the most common and reliable hallmarks of scam operations. Scams may include one, some, or all of the above. The list is not all-inclusive, and scam operators are constantly weaving new elements into their schemes. It is recommended that you never disclose personal information (account numbers, etc.) via postal mail which could put you in jeopardy.

(Source: Writeaprisoner)

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