Friday, June 10, 2005

(18-2) Important Updates!

SAVE YOUR EUROS, DOLLARS, and POUNDS. Another variant of the so-called Nigerian scam e-mail is making the rounds again and fooling some genealogists. The e-mail may appear to be sent by a barrister,(attorney) representing the estate of some long-lost relative you never knew you had (your last name may be inserted into the e-mail message) who perished along with his family in a car or airplane accident recently.

The scammer will claim to have gone to a lot of trouble to find you in order to give you a share of the (usually) millions of dollars available if you'll just forward your bank account information to him or send him some money. He may claim to have found you through RootsWeb. Do not respond to such scams.

The country involved is not always Nigeria. Ghana, South Africa and other West African states are sometimes mentioned. Occasionally the scam operates from other countries, such as the Netherlands (Amsterdam), the United Kingdom (London), Spain (Madrid), or Canada (Toronto).

The United States Federal Trade Commission has issued a consumer alert about this Nigerian scam. Americans who receive an offer via e-mail from someone claiming to need your help getting money out of Nigeria

There are myriad variants of this scam -- including "winning notifications" from a lottery company, fake charities, and fake church scams. Ignore them all. Save your money for genealogical research.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/nigeralrt.htm
http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/nigeria.asp

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 25 May 2005, Vol. 8, No. 21.


SSDI UPDATED

RootsWeb now offers the most recent version of the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), which includes records through April 2005 This database contains several important bits of information on the more 75,163,608 persons whose deaths are on file with the U.S.'s Social Security Administration, including: social security number, date of issuance, state of issuance, date of birth, date of death, and last residence address of record. http://ssdi.rootsweb.com/

Previously published in RootsWebReview: 25 May 2005, Vol. 8, No. 21

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