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Voice of the Consumer: It's not really from the first lady

By: Betty Sexton KKTV 11 NEWS
December 20, 2015 Updated: December 20, 2015 at 6:05 pm
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photo - Betty Sexton
Betty Sexton 

I figured readers might get a kick out of a fraudulent email making its way to people's inboxes.

It's supposedly from the first lady. Yes, crooks want you to believe that Michelle Obama has nothing better to do than send a "last notice." The email states it's your last chance to collect $10 million.

One Colorado Springs resident who got a chuckle out of the offer contacted me. He was told a huge check was waiting for him, and all he had to do was provide the first lady with his home address and phone number.

You don't want to do that because instead of receiving a huge check, you'll have con artists mailing you all kinds of sweepstakes offers. And you also might be deluged with robocalls. The last thing you want is to be atop every con artist's suckers list.

The email includes several grammatical errors, such as "I am written to inform you about your Bank Check Draft brought by United Embassy from the government of Benin Republic to the white house Washington DC.." You probably don't know anyone in Benin, located in West Africa. The official language is French and it's mostly an agricultural region. In other words, no one in Benin has $10 million to give to a stranger in the U.S.

The email says you can respond to the first lady, but don't bother. The email provided is not the way to reach her. It's a typical scam that dangles big bucks and uses the name of a famous person to get your attention. Some who responded say they were asked to wire close to $400 to claim the big prize.

That's not the only fake offer using Obama's name. Other con artists have claimed the first lady was in charge of something called the Scam Victims Compensation Fund. This email promised $20 million would be delivered as soon as you wired $260 and gave Obama your address and cellphone number.

Some even will receive letters in the mail. The end goal is to persuade people to wire or mail money with the promise of collecting a huge prize..

Protect yourself. Don't give your address or phone number to strangers. Also, safeguard your Social Security number, bank account number, credit card number, driver's license or passport number, as well as your health insurance account.

While this scam was pretty poor in the believability department, it got my attention.

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Contact Sexton at bsexton@kktv.com or 578-0000.

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