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US embassy warns of internet-based fraud

The US embassy will be hosting an informative discussion at the American corner in the National Library on April 2, from 10am to 12pm, on internet-based financial scams

Embassy officials will introduce what internet based scams are, what to look for to determine whether an offer is legitimate or fraudulent, how to avoid becoming a victim as well as take questions from the audience.

Embassy officials will also discuss the most recent trend in international financial scams taking place in Papua New Guinea where individuals posing as representatives from the "American Red Cross" email job offers to support flood relief efforts in the Philippines and then ask the recipient to wire money to them to pay for alleged visa fees, travel insurance, and plane tickets.

After the money is sent, the job offer mysteriously disappears and the money is never refunded. These job offers are not legitimate, and the individuals sending the emails do not represent the American Red Cross.

In a statement the US Embassy said "every day, people around the world fall victim to swindlers who steal money from trusting individuals through fraud and deception. Victims come from all ages and all socio-economic backgrounds.

The US Embassy has received reports that several individuals in Papua New Guinea have recently been the victim of internet-based fraud which have resulted in the loss of several thousand kina.

"Many scams are easy to detect if you know what to look for, so it is important to learn how to protect yourself," said US Ambassador Walter North, "In many cases, just doing a simple internet search can reveal whether an offer received by email is legitimate."
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