© 2013 Lions Clubs New Zealand
Scammers will go to great lengths to try to con you out of your hard-earned dollars, even to the extent of impersonating the Lions International President.
Morrison McDougall, as editors of Lion magazine, received a phone call yesterday from someone claiming to be Wing-Kun Tam.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked. He then proceeded to say that he was phoning us because he couldn’t get through to David Dawick – the phone went straight to voicemail. He said an International Director from India was on his way to New Zealand and was stuck in the Philippines. Please could we phone him back, and gave a telephone number with the Filipino code.
“I thought was pretty strange that he would ring me, so I tried David’s number and sure enough – it went straight to voicemail. So he was right on that score. But I still felt it wasn’t right, so I called PID Ron Luxton, who assured me there was no International Director from India on his way to New Zealand.
“This scammer had certainly done his homework. He asked for me by name (Amanda) when he called. And he wished me and Iain a happy Christmas. He had all the names correct and knew about the Lions hierarchy as well! I have no doubt that, if I had called the phone number, I would have been asked to send money to help out the Lion in trouble.”
Scammers and conmen do seem to be targeting Lions at the moment, so be very cautious of any emails asking you for money. 202F District Governor Lynette Batt was an unwitting victim recently.
She says in the latest F’s Word newsletter: “I suspect many of you may have received an email in the last 24 hours that appeared to come from me requesting money as I was having a few issues in London. THIS IS A HOAX EMAIL – PLEASE IGNORE AND DELETE! Some rotten pain in the proverbial had hacked into my email address, and wiped out my contact list, so I really have no idea who received the email. They have also taken all the emails in my inbox. All I would like for Christmas is five minutes alone in a room with them!
“The Lions spirit is certainly alive and well though. Thank you to those of you who have contacted me, concerned and wanting to ensure all is well. Also to those who contacted my parents concerned for my safety and wellbeing. I can assure you that I am fine, and at home in Invercargill, having spent yesterday making and decorating gingerbread shapes with my niece and nephew, not to mention the mandatory KFC for lunch.
“It is a timely reminder, though, to be vigilant and to ensure that you change the passwords on all of your webmail, bank accounts etc regularly. I was lucky it was only my email address that was hacked.”
Lions Clubs New Zealand Web Advisor, Rex Bullard, has provided this link about scams that are currently being reported worldwide http://www.torontosun.com/2011/12/17/beware-internet-begging-scams-worthington .
The Department of Internal Affairs has a website where you can check on the latest reported scams – so if you have any suspicions it is a good idea to visit http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Anti-Spam-Reported-Scams?OpenDocument .