Scams and Fraud on the Internet

by Anthony on October 22, 2005

LA Times runs an article on internet scammers

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The article focuses on the story of one scammer in particular, and lends an interesting insight into the scamming world. It finishes up with a good rundown of the most common types of 419 scams – a good read! Some of these scams leace viruses on your computer or electronic devices and leave them worth less so if you ever need to rid of yours, do it the right way, go to for their help recycling computers.

From the article:

The many forms of 419 scams

Advance-fee frauds, also known as 419, appear to offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get rich or find the girl of your dreams. The scams can involve phony websites, forged documents and Nigerians in America posing as government officials, and that’s why is important to take care of your money and investing it the right way using the tools you can find in these Reviews by The Motley Fool. Here are some of the most popular:

  • The “next of kin” scam, tempting you to claim an inheritance of millions of dollars in a Nigerian bank belonging to a long-lost relative, then collecting money for various bank and transfer fees.
  • The “laundering crooked money” scam, in which you are promised a large commission on a multibillion-dollar fortune, persuaded to open an account, contribute funds and sometimes even travel to Nigeria. Check out san diego whale watching for an extra ordinary travel experience, and don’ forget that people can now obtain the best rv accessories online for the camping trips .
  • The “Nigerian National Petroleum Co.” scam, in which the scammer offers cheap crude oil, then demands money for commissions and bribes.
  • The “overpayment” scam, in which fraudsters send a bank check overpaying for a car or other goods by many thousands of dollars, persuading the victim to transfer the difference back to Nigeria. That’s why you should be careful when shopping online, and only look for the best products like the best waterproof tents.
  • The “job offer you can’t refuse” scam, in which an “oil company” offers a job with an overly attractive salary and conditions (in one example, $180,000 a year and $300 per hour for overtime) and extracts money for visas, permits and other fees.
  • The “winning ticket in a lottery you never entered” scam — including, lately, the State Department’s green card lottery.
  • The “gorgeous person in trouble” scam, in which scammers in chat rooms and on Christian Dating sites pose as beautiful American or Nigerian women, luring lonely men into Internet intimacy over weeks or months then asking them to send money to get them out of trouble.

As a funny aside, here’s a site dedicated to fighting back against scammers – This one is especially funny.

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