South Georgians stung by Internet scams - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgians stung by Internet scams

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April 13, 2004

Albany-- They seem to be in your E-Mail everyday. From Nigeria, a Prince will pay you millions-- if  you advance him ten thousand dollars. The Secret Service says a lot of South Georgians are getting stung by Internet scams like this everyday.

Because most of the con men are overseas, there is very little hope of arresting them.

U.S. Secret Service Agent Stan Burruss leafs through some of the many Internet scams that his office gets everyday. And they know there are many more victims. "A lot of people who fall for them are probably embarrassed to report it."

Most of them come from Nigeria, but now con men from Canada, Europe, and other parts of Africa are sending out e-mails to rip you off. Burruss said "Normally the check will show up Federal Express. Overnight, and looks pretty official. They just keep reeling you in."

There are many schemes. You have won an overseas lottery, but must pay the tax. A money laundering scheme that will make you millions. A foreign agent wanting to buy your car or business, and will pay thousands more to take a third party check.

Burruss said "A guy can sit in an apartment in Nigeria and crank out E-Mails twenty-four hours a day, and if he gets two or three bites he's done a good days work."

The numbers of victims is growing in South Georgia. But United States Attorney Maxwell Wood says for most, the chances they will ever see their money again. "Slim to none."

The best way to keep from being ripped off, don't fall for these Internet con. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Wood says "They are very hard to prove, and very hard to find the culprits."

It's not only people getting ripped off, but South Georgia businesses. Secret Service Agent Burruss warns anyone doing business with foreign interests. make sure their check clears the bank without question before sending any money or product in return.

posted at 10:20AM by dave.miller@walb.com