It's been quite fascinating, over the years, to see how the various "Nigerian" scammers have adapted and evolved their strategies. While variations on the originals exist, over time we keep seeing new scams show up. They started, obviously, with the traditional 419 "advance fee" scam, asking you to help them get more money out of Nigeria. Then, they morphed by paying attention to current events and making the scams more closely related to events
happening in the news. Then there was the scam where they would buy something on eBay, but send a forged check that was much, much higher than the purchase price, asking you to send back
the difference. Of course, the victim would only find out later that the check was a fake and that he had been cheated out of all the money sent (as well as the value of the sold item). Then, they started combining
phishing and advance fee scams, to make you think your friends needed money wired urgently to Nigeria. Oh, and who can forget when they started a scam that didn't prey on the victims' greed, but their love of cute puppies
The latest is that they're placing ads for apartments to rent in high rent districts, and then asking prospective tenants to do a money transfer to a friend or relative to prove you have the money available
. That seems legit -- and since it's to a friend or a relative, the prospective tenant knows that the money is safe. Except, once they've forwarded on a scanned copy of the transfer payment receipt, the scammers go to the bank pretending to be the recipient and withdraw the money. It's a bit more complicated, but again, it's a scam where the victim is easily tricked because there doesn't seem
to be anything wrong with what's happening.