Be aware of fraudulent email scams

Have you ever received an email that featured convincing sob stories, overly polite language filled with grammatical errors and promises of a big payoff for your help? If you have, you’ve probably been the recipient of an email scam.

Email scams are one of the most common fraud schemes. The people behind these schemes claim to be officials, business people or the surviving spouses of former government officials in another country whose money is tied up temporarily. They offer to transfer a lot of money into your bank account if you’ll pay the fees or taxes they need to get their money. If you respond to the initial offer, you may receive documents that look official. They may even encourage you to travel to the country in question, or a neighboring country, to complete the transaction. Some fraudsters have produced trunks of dyed or stamped money to verify their claims.

These criminals have mastered other email scams that you may be aware of. Have you ever received an email from an address that belongs to a person you know? The email states that the person is out of the country and has had his or her credit cards stolen. The person asks you to send a money order in U.S. dollars to a specific location. This is a very common email scam known as the “mugged on vacation” scam.

The emails that you are receiving are from criminals who are trying to steal your money or your identity. These criminals will continue to ask for money and your personal information with the promise of a big payday. In the end, there are no profits for you; your money is gone along with the criminal who stole it. Another important fact to remember is you are being asked to assist a fraudster in breaking federal tax laws by committing money laundering.

If you think you might be a victim of this type of scam, you should file a complaint with the following agencies:

1. Michigan Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at:

2. Your local police department

3. The Federal Trade Commission

  • Phone: 1-877-FTC-Help

4. Your local FBI office

These are just a few examples of fraudulent emails you may have received. In general, you should use caution when receiving suspicious emails and always remember this: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

We urge Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network members who suspect health care fraud to call our toll free Anti-Fraud Hotline at 1-800-482-3787 or to report fraud at bcbsm.com.