Scams: the export ruse

There are so many email scams doing the rounds that it’s hard to see how anybody could be taken in by them. However, some people do fall for them – so make sure you don’t fall prey to these parasites. If an email is written exclusively in capital letters and is from somebody you don’t know who is based in Africa, just hit the delete button.

The export (or advance fee) scam works by somebody writing to tell you they’d like to buy your car, even though they haven’t seen it. What’s more, they’ll want to export it, usually to Africa where it’s likely to be a present for a close relative. The bizarre thing though is that they’ll want to pay you well over the odds for it, via a banker’s draft. You’ll pay the draft into your account, and it will appear to clear, leaving you to wire a wad of cash to Africa. The draft will then turn out to be forged or stolen and you’ll be left several thousand pounds out of pocket once they’ve pocketed the cash and disappear into the ether.

Just look out for clearly made-up names, highly dodgy spelling and a writer who goes to great lengths to ingratiate themselves with you and you won’t go far wrong.