Writing in the Spectrum, an online newspaper in St. George, Utah, Jennifer Weaver describes a number of the ways in which present-day scam artists operate. Several of the scams have been mentioned in this newsletter in times past, but one was new to me. Even worse, it involves the use of the FamilySearch.org online genealogy database operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Weaver writes about an interview she had with Wells Fargo service manager LuAnn Forsyth:
Forsyth said a scam that left another Wells Fargo customer penniless used family history information acquired from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints genealogy library. A fraudster e-mailed the customer with the name, birth date, place of birth and death date of a great-great-grandmother.
The customer was told the ancestor left a substantial amount of money to be claimed. Instructions to deposit the money, once received, followed with a specified amount of time to keep the money in the account.
"The young lady was told to wire different amounts to different individuals in Alaska for a diversity of reasons," Forsyth said. "The crooks got hold of her cell phone number somehow and threatened the life of her children if she didn't wire the rest of the money to Alaska. It left her in total loss."
There is more in the article. Every person should be aware of these scams. You can read the entire article at: http://www.thespectrum.com/news/stories/20041107/localnews/1552572.html