Scammers use pictures to prey on generous donors - CBS46 News

Scammers use pictures to prey on generous donors

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ATLANTA (CONSUMER ALERTS) -

There are scams out there right now that tug at your heartstrings while promising to line your pocketbook.

One of them shows a picture of a woman hooked up to a hospital ventilator, seemingly clinging to life. A note explains how unsuspecting victims can help the woman fulfill her dying wish and make some money in the process.

"The pictures that are sent of the dying people and the death certificates that we received are used multiple times in multiple scams," said US Postal Inspector Maria Albright.

Victims are then told the money has been dyed black or yellow to avoid detection. Scam artists might even send a sample and tell victims they need to pay to clean the money.

Postal inspectors call this a "black money" scam and say it cost victims around the world roughly $100 million. Officials say they're now targeting the U.S.

If you get a suspicious email or letter with signs of this scam, report it.

"You will also be helping other people who may be scammed by the same individuals in the future," Albright said.

Also beware of emails or letters in general from people you don't know, especially emails asking for money. Don't click on links or open attachments unless you're sure you know the person. And even then, only do it if you have up-to-date antivirus software and a firewall in place.

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