Updated: 10/08/2008 09:13
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Residents should keep an eye out for a possible email scam making its way to their inbox The email is reportedly from a man named Tommy

Residents should keep an eye out for a possible e-mail scam making its way to their inbox. The e-mail is reportedly from a man named Tommy Peacock and is promising recipients $187,000, which can be picked up at a Western Union outlet. When Lynnai Hicks opened the e-mail she knew something was wrong.

"Immediately I knew it was a hoax. Who in their right mind would give somebody out of the blue $187,000?" said Hicks. According to Peacock's e-mail, if the recipient wants to receive his or her money they need to get a Western Union Promo Card. In order to get one, certain information must be sent through e-mail. He asks for name, money transfer control number, telephone number and address. Peacock also provides an e-mail address of a Western Union agent to whom people should send their information.

The e-mail also mentions that Peacock is on his way to Chile to complete a bridge project, so he won't be around to reply to e-mails. Hicks works in the financial industry and she thinks e-mail fraud is escalating, not only in Saskatchewan but on a national level as well.

"(There's) a lot of desperate people that are in a financial bind ... (If) you catch someone at the end of their rope that really need money and it looks like a good deal, it's obviously too good to be true, but some people will take that chance," said Hicks.

Hicks also suggests that when recipients get these e-mails they don't have to open them. "It's to the discretion of the people that get these e-mails to not act on it or choose not to reply, because you just never know what they're looking for and identity theft is huge. Even if you reply to them then you're giving them an in to even say, 'Yeah, you opened it. I know you're there,' " she said.

The Regina Police Service (RPS) hasn't received any complaints referring to this specific e-mail, but it's asking the public to always be careful with offers over the Internet.

"If it sounds too good to be true it really probably is. When you're responding to e-mails don't respond to e-mails with your personal information. You can call the company, verify, see what they're looking for ... Don't make deals or send money on any items or on anything that people have not seen," said RPS spokeswoman Lara Guzik Rostad.

About the author

Nicole Berger has over seven years experience writing and editing for online and print media. She has held various editor and associate editor positions in some of forefront independent media publications. A consistently dependable team player, I thrive in a high-pressure environment, enjoy the challenges of meeting deadlines and managing a team, and am comfortable researching, writing and editing on a wide range of topics.
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