Bits from Bill Pytlovany: People Really Fall for International Scams


By Bill Pytlovany

One of the scams I’ve heard a lot about lately is the “I ran out of money and I’m stuck in Europe”. This is the scam that occurs once someone has stolen an Email or Facebook account. A message is broadcast to friends and family with sad news and a plea for help. An elaborate story is created which ends with a request to send a money wire to another country. It can happen to anyone and enough people fall for it that it continues to be popular.

A family member was actually the target of another international wire fraud scheme. This one goes after people looking for low cost comfortable shelter for their family. The scammer finds a house and then collects a deposit from multiple renters. Thanks to real estate services like, and even Google Street View it’s not hard to post a photo of a house while claiming to own it

This home was posted on Craig’s list for rent. When we contacted the real owners they were very surprised.

While checking Craig’s List for apartments in our home town this listing seemed almost too good to be true. Luckily, we’re a small town and even though this particular family member isn’t the most internet savvy person he still knew a scam when he saw it.

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This post is excerpted with Bill’s permission from his blog

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One thought on “Bits from Bill Pytlovany: People Really Fall for International Scams

  1. Hi Bill,

    Wow, sounds like ‘scammers’ are getting worse all the time…I received an ‘Urgent Help’ email from an acquaintance saying she was in London, was mugged, her money and ID stolen and asked for $2,200 USD to be sent right away…etc…I emailed this person and sent her the email sent to me (that had one letter different in the address) and said I felt it was a scam…she thanked me, acknowledged knowing about it (perhaps others from her email list were contacted too) and said she has “addressed it with Yahoo”? Anyway, I thank God I saw it coming across as strange.

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