Nigerian 419 Advance Fee Scammers Move To... LinkedIn?

from the suckers,-suckers-everywhere dept

It still seems difficult to believe that anyone falls for those "Nigerian" advance fee 419 scams, but time and time again we read about smart people who should know better who fall for them. And reports come in about just how much money these scams make. And, the really amazing thing, is that many of the victims are so convinced by the scam that even after it's all revealed, and they've lost all their money, they still believe the scammer's story. However, times are getting harder to convince people about these scams over unsolicited email, so apparently they're starting to move onto social networks, including business social networks like LinkedIn. Perhaps I just use LinkedIn in a very different manner than most people, but I find it hard to believe that if some random unknown person suddenly "connected" to you on LinkedIn and offered you a cut of a multi-million dollar stash, you wouldn't be suspicious.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 1:22am

    What's interesting is how some of these people who recieve these types of emails take advantage of the scammers.

    For your amusement, check out the story about the "P-p-p-powerbook"
    http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/P-p-p-powerbook

     

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  2.  
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    Anonomous, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 2:04am

    I always tell them that if they are setting on millions a small good faith payment of $5000 dollars would be nothing to them.... I never hear back LOL.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 2:05am

    Re:

    Oh man, owned by Mike! Link in the article.

    Duh!

     

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  4.  
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    Sean, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 2:05am

    Greed

    Greed Greed Greed

     

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  5.  
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    Legitimate Businessman, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 2:50am

    Someone wants to join your linked in message

    Hello Mike,

    Legitimate Businessman would like to join your network. He has sent you a short message.

    Mike, good news. I am forming a startup based on an internet 2.0 technology that is sure to succeed! I estimate minimum returns of more than 10x within two years. All I need to do is secure some Angel funding. I decided that you seemed like the type of person willing to contribute to this. I estimate this technology needs $100,000 to begin a virtuous cycle and I am hoping 20 lucky investors will make the smartest investment they've ever made with $5000. If you are interested, please let me know within 48 hours as I have lots of offers already coming in and can only promise a spot for that long. - Legitimate Businessman.

     

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  6.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 4th, 2008 @ 3:15am

    Evolution?

    This is essentially financial Darwinism. If you're dumb enough to fall for any scam that starts "I have a huge amount of money to give to you but I need some of your cash first", maybe you're too dumb to be in charge of money. Doubly so if you consider yourself enough of a "businessman" to use a site like LinkedIn.

    Oh, don't get me wrong - I hope the scammers get caught and punished. But I don't have sympathy for the victims, caught by their own greed and naivety. Remember, the reason why you get so many spam emails is because people like this are answering them.

     

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  7.  
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    The NIGCOMSAT-1 Team, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 3:52am

    NIGCOMSAT-1

    The Nigerian Communications satellite has been successfully launched. Now Nigerian business gurus can have direct access to immediate profit anywhere on the African continent! Launched by a nation that produces quality goods that are meant to last, China, NIGCOMSAT-1 will surely revolutionize the role of the small-time investor and bring low risk/high reward opportunities to a new level.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NigComSat-1

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 4:06am

    a fool and his money are quickly parted

     

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  9.  
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    tech press release, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 4:08am

    smart conman

    conman are becoming smarter and technologically savvy day by day. what is more funny is some of my friends even forward the microsoft lottery scam email enticing me to become a victim

     

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  10.  
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    Jones, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 4:27am

    How can one be such a moron?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 4:34am

    I've always had kind of a softspot for conmen in general... I don't know why. I suppose I see them as sort of "gentleman criminals". The methods of ensnaring people are either so complex as to be entertaining (or at least impressive) despite the monetary loss, or so stupid and ridiculous that hearing about people getting caught is also hilarious.

    I know that one day, I'm going to get caught by a con and these words will come back to haunt me.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:20am

    "A fool and his money are soon parted" should be:
    "A fool and his money are soon elected"
    (Will Rogers)

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:04am

    We had a woman here who murdered her husband to keep him from finding out she'd blown all their savings and gotten a second mortgage on their house on a 419 scam. She was just too embarrassed to tell him where all their money went, so she shot him instead.

     

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  14.  
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    Jumbo, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:11am

    all my deacesed relatives in Nigeria

    I've been getting a lot of E-mails lately about relatives I have over in Nigeria dying and leaving me their millions. I have to say that if I were greedy and a fool, I'd have lost a few bucks by these scams. BUT ,
    1. I'm white and have no ties to Nigeria,
    2. My family is in the U.S.
    3. If this is real, it would be easier to mail to my real address than my E-mail.
    4. Oh wait that would be a crime using the postal service which can be investigated and prosecuted .
    5. What are the chances of ten + millionaires living in Nigeria let alone all being related to me?
    6. The names they use to scam are not what you'd expect a Nigerian name to be, such as Mr. Steven Williams.
    These people know that greed is good for them.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:14am

    Re: Someone wants to join your linked in message

    You obviously lack the poor spelling and grammer skills for that kind of work.

     

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  16.  
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    www.custompcmax.com, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:28am

    A fool and their money... (you know the rest)

    I feel bad for people that get it in their mind that these things are real. I mean, these scams are SO obviously fake. But, they feed into peoples greed and/or need and they catch themselves a sucker every now and then. To hear that they are infiltrating social networking sites is scary, because this is a whole new level of deception. Befriend people and then tell them about the money, and I bet they get more takers than with just emails.

    Ultimately, if it seems to good to be true, it probably isn't true.

    http://www.custompcmax.com

     

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  17.  
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    BillGod, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:00am

    Once of the greatest sites on the net

    If you have never been to http://www.419eater.com/ go there and check it out. They scam the scammers. They make them take pictures of fish on their heads, get tattoos of stupid things and all kinds of funny crap.

     

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  18.  
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    Hank, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 10:49am

    count me in...

    you mean to tell me that I can get a cut of the $18.5M dollars your husband Smith David, who used to be the Nigeria Oil Federation's accountant, stashed away in a hidden bank? All I have to do is wire you $20k by Western Union to cover the bank filing fees and pretend to be your financial adviser from America? Then you will let me fly out there to receive the money during a big party you are going to throw in my honor? Quick Mrs. David, tell me where to send the money!! I want my cut of the millions and I want to party like a rock star!! What airport do I fly into?!

     

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  19.  
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    Hank, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 10:55am

    Re: Once of the greatest sites on the net

    Another great site is http://www.ebolamonkeyman.com/

     

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  20.  
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    Nightmare (profile), Jun 4th, 2008 @ 11:50am

    not only social sites

    They're in dating/other social networking sites. I actually got an IM from a "woman" claiming to be from Oregon, but was working in south africa at the time. She couldn't get her story straight. She said she was in Johannesburg, but gave me a Nigeria phone number and wanted me to call. lol I fucked with her for months before getting bored with it. Multiple names, multiple people involved, and I made "her" think she got me killed for talking to "her". For all I know it wasn't even a woman. "She" was, of course, trying to get money out of me....didn't work lol

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    One of the more recent trends I've heard of is the scammers using Army.com emails and claiming to be soldiers trying to liberate terrorist money, but they need a bank in the states to do it.

     

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  22.  
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    Gina, Jun 5th, 2008 @ 10:03am

    I've noticed the 419 stuff happening all over the place. It's even happening at the site I work at ( Salesconx) because we're an online marketplace. Thankfully we're still small enough to monitor everything closely to avoid any scamming. I hope LinkedIn starts to monitor this stuff better!

    -Gina Salesconx

     

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