Nigerian Net Scam, Version 3.0

from the ever-changing dept

I’ve often wondered how anyone could possibly believe any of those ridiculous Nigerian money scam emails. Most people I know seem to get a few of them every day, and any reasonable person might question how legitimate they are. I’m actually surprised that it’s taken the Nigerian scammers this long to realize that, when blanketing the world with these messages, the scam probably had a limited lifetime. It seems that they’re now changing their tactics and coming up with new, more sophisticated scams to trick people into giving them their money. The latest trick is to buy big-ticket items, such as cars, that are for sale online. Then, they send a cashier’s check for the sale price and transportation fees, but ask for the transportation fees to be wired back. Many people follow through, assuming that once a check has “cleared” it’s been shown to be legitimate. The truth is that checks clear before they’re official – and these checks are all counterfeit, leaving the owner of the bank account holding the (empty) bag. Again, I wonder why the transportation fees need to be sent back at all. If the buyer already has the money, why wouldn’t they just arrange the transportation fees from their end? The whole thing still sounds sketchy, but it’s clearly more advanced than the original scam – and I’m sure they’re only going to get more sophisticated over time.

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Comments on “Nigerian Net Scam, Version 3.0”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

I hope I don't sound like a bigot...

But it’s because of things like this that I would be very leery of dealing with someone from outside the U.S. for any sort of financial transactions.

I have bought and sold a lot of things on Ebay and other auction sites and I’ve always taken great care to confirm that people are who they say they are.

I have so far been lucky and not been taken, but I imagine it’s only a matter of time.

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