Recently I received the following email that appeared to come from a friend.  I have crossed out Michael’s last name to protect his privacy

“Hi Steven,
Do you have a moment?
Best Regards

Sent from my iPhone”

Michael is a very close friend of mine so I called him and he did not know what I was talking about.   The reason for that was because he never sent me the email.  I opened the email on my phone where it  generally does not indicate that email address of the sender, but merely the name of the sender.  On your computer you can check the address by clicking on the “Details” link to see the email address used to send the particular email.   In this case, a scammer used my friend’s name to send this email, but sent it from an address that has no relation to my friend as I found out when I opened the email later on my computer.

How the scam works is that if you respond to the email by email, you are told that your friend needs a favor.  They are trying to buy a gift card for someone, but have encountered any of a number of issues preventing them from doing so.  Therefore they ask you to buy the gift card and provide the gift card number in an email to the “friend.”  They promise to reimburse you, but of course that will never happen.  As I have told you many times previously, if you provide the gift card numbers to someone, they can use the gift card without having the actual card in their possession.


Whenever you are contacted by phone, email or text message you can never be sure who is actually contacting you so whenever you are asked in an email, phone call or text message to provide personal information or pay for something, you should remember my motto:  “Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  Always verify any phone call, text message or email to make sure it is legitimate before either providing personal information that can lead to your becoming a victim of identity theft or paying for something in response to the communication.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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