WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 13, 2010, 03:37 PM

E-mail scams can be costly and confusing

(WDAZ TV) - Every day, millions of emails pop up in in-boxes everywhere, promising money or opportunities, but reporter Amber Schatz explains why you shouldn't buy it.

By: Amber Schatz, WDAZ

The number of spam emails you get depends on your computer's filter system. But if you accidentally buy into even one, it can be costly.

PARRELL GROSSMAN/CONSUMER PROTECTION DIRECTOR: "There are just thousands of bogus emails that circulate throughout the country and unfortunately we see just a myriad of those scams sent via email right here in North Dakota."

The Consumer Protection Division gets more than one hundred calls every day with concerns over scam phone calls and emails, many of which are forwarded on to alert others.

GROSSMAN: "It was clearly a scam designed to get confidential information that can be used for identity theft."

While some are more obvious than others, they all have the same objective: to trick consumers.

GROSSMAN: "They don't say you've won a million dollars or two million dollars, they say there's been some problem with your account. Your credit card is being charged one thousand dollars, if you didn't order this, please click on this link."

Local IT workers say the majority of their time is spent filtering spam, but somehow the promises of lottery winnings, employment opportunities, tax refunds and travel offers continue to pop up.

GROSSMAN: "While often these things seem ludicrous to many of us, they are effective."

Officials say if you get an email that seems suspicious, email or call the Consumer Protection Division.