Online Scam Alert

It has come to our attention that mental health practitioners may be a new target for an online scam. After posting the message below to the listserv, we heard from several members who have received similar messages. Remember to use caution and your common sense when it comes to email. Scam emails usually have grammatical and typographical errors. For more information on Internet scams, visit the FTC or Snopes.com.

A potential “client” that is out of the country contacts a practitioner through email wanting to schedule appointments for a time in the future when he/she will be visiting the area and offers to pre-pay for the service. The appointments and times are scheduled and then the practitioner receives a cashier’s check for the services, but it’s much more than the agreed upon price. The alleged client or a secretary of the client contacts the office, explains the mistake, and asks the office to deposit the check and refund the balance. The check appears to clear and the practitioner sends the overage amount back to the client only to learn later that the check was a fake. Now the practitioner is out whatever the overage was.

Here is an example:

Good day, I hope this mail met you in good condition; I am Dr. Collins Williams, the Welfare Manager, Bravura Inc. I will like to make inquiries and availability on your services for October 17th, 18th, 19th 2012. Some of my delegates need your service in sessions. Kindly send me your SERVICE MENU or your catalogue for them to choose which of your services is preferred.

Also I will like to know the number of person that can receive your service per day and also to confirm your best time, because they will like to come in the morning. Likewise, I want you to know my term of payment is via check to cover your service.

I will appreciate it if you could get back to me in time with substantial Information regarding my request by attaching or sending me the SERVICE MENU and likewise confirm my mode of payment. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely

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