A friend, lets call him Mr E, a great guy who has two lovely children and has a great job to boot, had been duped to part with his hard earned money of USD21,000.00 by one of these tricksters. I am not quite sure whether he would ever see his money again and I really feel sorry for him. Having said this, I always think always to err on the side when “you think its good to be true, then its probably is!”
There were numerous articles written about these scammers. They go by various labels such as Nigerian scam, Advance Fee Fraud, Scam 419 and so forth. There are a number of good links to information on this scam:
What makes smart people fall into this scam? Some of the victims are not just the elders or retirees but also lawyers, doctors, businessmen, military men, bored housewives….perhaps the allure of earning quick, easy money was the main motivation and all best judgment just got thrown off out of the window.
I mean, come one..first, lets look at the anatomy of the email/fax/online message you received? Dont you think its weird that they found you through reputable business sites? What business site? That someone had actually vouched your credibility to this sender? All of them are telling you that they will want to invest the ill-gained money in your country. I always tell these people – sure, come on over and invest those hell lot of money in my curry flavoured condom factory!
Now, beyond this, I have also known a few cases that sprouted out from online internet dating sites as well. A friend was almost duped by a sweet, young 21 year old au pair who travelled from Ireland and got stuck in California by losing her passport. She started asking for money to cover her travelling expenses to the embassy and also to process her new passport application. Yeah! Right!
So, people, happy safe surfing!