News 12 at 6, July 20, 2007
North Augusta -- You know to be on the lookout for scams coming by way of your mailbox, telephone and email, but you should also be looking for them on the fax machine.
Fax fraud is nothing new. There have long been fax scams offering really cheap vacations or special financing on a mortgage.
Now however, you need to be looking for another type: the old Nigerian Money Scam.
Pastor Bobby Hankerson and his church family will soon have a new home. "That's what we're praying for," he said.
In about a year, the pastor and his congregation plan to move into a brand new church on a new site, which is something that will cost a lot of bucks.
"We need plenty of money, yes," he said.
But someone recently tried to rip the church and Bobby off by way of the fax machine. "It was very surprising to me to receive that fax," he said.
That fax came in just this past Monday. And at first glance it sounded like it might solve the church's financial worries.
Essentially it said it would share a big part of $20 million dollars with Bobby if he helped launder the money to a U.S. bank account.
Bobby thought that sounded fishy. "I'm not that easy to jump on the flim-flam," he said.
It turns out this is a newer twist on an old scam. Basically, it is pretty similar to those Nigerian Email Scams that many of you get in your email inbox even today.
The money doesn't exist and if you respond to the message, you might end up getting your identity stolen.
Bobby smartly didn't fall for it, but he's worried there are others out there who might. "I'm really concerned; if they send this kind of fax to me, who else are they sending?" he asked.
In this case, Bobby probably would have been asked to provide his bank account number so the money could be deposited.
That would be a big mistake, because that would give the crooks a chance to wipe that account out.