I got a text message from an Elizabeth.Zamora@Bridgeportct.gov

sub; RE: donations!!!

"donation was made to you by Mrs. Liliane Betterncourtm, contact her at: lilianebettencour@163.com" for more info.

when I made contact I got an email saying she had gotten my number from a web journal and felt strongly to write to me, and so on. I printed out all the emails back and forth. I got the wikipedia.org link and a picture of her. She said she had 'Dementia' and did not have a lot of time as the doctors where ordered to take away all electronic equipment. I got a Right to claim form and a power of attorney letter from a law firm. I checked out the bank, which does exist, but I don't know about the contact person. The phone number given is an electronic voice message. I was almost ready to open an offshore account for $2000, as advise by the Credit Foncier but I decided to investigate and found the scam when I put her name in google. It seemed so real, I'm glad I didn't do it. I did send personal information before I realized it may be a scam. So they have my driver's license# and my passport#.

What can I do now to protect myself from identity theft?

closed as off-topic by Neil Smithline, schroeder Nov 28 '15 at 5:27

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about Information security within the scope defined in the help center." – Neil Smithline, schroeder
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    Chalk it up to experience and don't do it again? – Xander Nov 28 '15 at 1:50
  • 2
    I am sorry this happened to you but I don't think this is the right website. – Neil Smithline Nov 28 '15 at 2:40
  • 2
    Maximal disbelief in unsolicited random contacts and the development of effective BS filters is a major necessity on the internet. Sometimes it has to be developed through experience which is a very rough way to learn that there are a lot of untrustworthy people and scammers out there. The word of the day is "con man", every culture has instructive stories about the "confidence trickster", they want to gain your confidence so you willingly let them steal from you. The first level of defense is to refuse to participate by direct communication... curiosity or alarm is often the baited hook. – Fiasco Labs Nov 28 '15 at 3:54

This sounds like a typical scam, the tip-offs are:

  1. A message from a complete stranger claiming that they will give you money.

  2. Creating a sense of urgency to push you to do things quickly and not think them through. ("...and did not have a lot of time as the doctors where ordered to take away all electronic equipment.")

I'm not sure what you can do to protect yourself from identity theft, except for watch you accounts extra-carefully for suspicious activity, and report anything that you notice.

For any North Americans that read this thread: the Better Business Bureau has launched an online Scam Tracker tool where you can search keywords to see if other people have reported the same scam.


This is a very difficult question: I had this happening to me once as well - my passport and driver license were stolen at an airport. "Identity theft" as used by many actually refers to theft of identity for purposes of obtaining credit cards or other monetary funds by either stealing from you directly or impersonating you. In this case, you stand vulnerable to impersonation (given you gave no financial information) and perhaps even the chances of abuse by people who want to obtain a fake passport. You need to first get a FULL credit report and continue to do so quarterly for a year at least. Then you would be wise to enroll in some of the paid services for identity theft protections (although those are supposed to PROTECT your identity , they are not intended as post-remedy solutions)... but still they can help A LOT

You mentioned you gave your passport NUMBER and driver license NUMBER, does this mean that you didn't actually provide them with a copy of each? Just the number?

  • Can you explain how these identity theft protection services are helpful? ie what do you get for your money? – Mike Ounsworth Nov 28 '15 at 2:05
  • Some of them actually have contracts with credit card institutions and credit institutions to monitor if anyone is applying for a card on your behalf. I actually thought they do monitor some other government registry systems too. But as I had mentioned, they need to be purchased prior to the incident - and quite frankly most people, including myself, do not see a value in investing constantly in such services – BitwiseStarter Nov 28 '15 at 2:08

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