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Police offer heads up on scams in inboxes

November 11, 2010

Newport Beach police want to remind the public to be wary of some things that seem too good to be true, especially when they come through unsolicited e-mails.

Police said they've seen a resurgance of three e-mail scams targeting the public: foreign lottery scams, Nigerian foreign money offers and check overpayment schemes.

In a foreign lottery scam, someone e-mails you claiming their from another country and tells you that you've won a foreign lottery. All you supposedly have to do is pay some fees to them to release the money.

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The Nigerian foreign money scam is along the same lines, with someone claiming to be from Nigeria or another country who claims they can't access their bank accounts, but if you pay taxes to open it, they'll send you thousands of dollars.

The check overpayment scheme targets people selling things online. The scam artist will send you a fraudulent, but authentic-looking check for more money than you sold the item, and they ask you to send the difference back.

Criminals may try to get your bank account or credit card information through these ploys too, police said.

If you believe you've been a victim of any of these scams, contact Newport Beach police at (949) 644-3717.

—Joseph Serna

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