Anatomy of a Scam

Ken at Popehat has a great series on spotting and reporting scams.  I have tried to make a habit of reporting on this blog about scams I have encountered, and some of my most Googled posts are where I posted scans of scam letters I have received.  I hope other bloggers will do the same.  I have benefited any number of times from Googling a suspicious letter or company and finding bloggers who have already posted warnings or information.


  1. Smock Puppet, Noter of Mysterious Transformations:

    Facebook has its first scam that I'm aware of, the SN equivalent of a chain-mail spam, similar to that "forward this and get a free copy of Microsoft Office" scam...

    FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THEIR PRICE GRID FOR MEMBERSHIP. $9.99 PER MONTH FOR GOLD MEMBER SERVICES... and claims you'll be "exempt" from it if you... just paste it on your wall.

    I think it's rather blatantly spam but some seem taken in by it. The fact that it's in ALL CAPS is kind of a glaring "Me! Me! I'm SPAM!" warning, or should be.

    The idea that FB is going to charge for access is also rather questionable if you know anything about their attitudes regarding such.

    That you will be spared these charges **if** you only post the message on your home page is just absurd. Why?!?

  2. Smock Puppet, Noter of Mysterious Transformations:

    BTW, I happened to note another article of his, about this jerk who whined in his blog about how he should be able to go into Starbucks, spend $5, and then sit around indefinitely -- as in over 3 hours, blocking other people from using the limited space available at lunch time -- and not have the management ask him to please spend some more money.

    The title refers to "Freakishly Entitled", but that's just not as elegant as One I thought of: "Popehat Finds Asshat"

  3. Ken:


    I just put up Chapter Seven -- an examination of criminal records and some federal court records I had missed before.

  4. Jennifer:

    Thanks for your ongoing scam reporting service! Working as an insurance claims rep, I see lots of scams of various types, and anything we do to cut down on them is much appreciated!

  5. Mark:

    I have been getting tons of junk mail since I purchased a new home. Some of it very convincing that I need to pay $90 to the country for the recording of my deed. I had to read several times before I realized it was a scam. My brain kicked in too - would the county have done the registration without fees paid by the escrow company up front. Scam.

    Most put my banks name, and say I have not signed up for some service, implying the bank is offering the service. These get pretty clever too.