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Great News on the Scam Front

Those who have been following this blog for a while know that I follow the scams in an effort to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening on the darker side of the Internet so that you know what to look for and how to protect yourself. We’ve had some great news today in the fight against the scam artists. May 19, 2008, saw 38 people in 5 countries indicted for a Romanian-based phishing scam that was part of a global crime ring. "International organized crime poses a serious threat not only to the United States and Romania , but to all nations," Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip said in a statement from Bucharest , where he announced the charges. "Criminals who exploit the power and convenience of the Internet do not recognize national borders; therefore our efforts to prevent their attacks cannot end at our borders either." 33 people—many of them from Romania —in Los Angeles faced 65 counts on charges ranging from racketeering to bank fraud and identity theft.... [Read Full Article]

Nigeria or Bust Part III: Fend off the Scam and Track down the Scammer

This has been a busy weekend for our friend Abbey. If you have been following this for the last week or so, you will recognize Abbey as the South African scam artist whose efforts I have been examining and sharing with you as a kind of object lesson in Internet safety. With a false identity (drawn from the film, The Maltese Falcon), I have been corresponding with Abbey to get a good look at how this Nigerian Scam, as it’s called, is played. Here is the latest activity:   Good Morning Mr Gxxxxxx, Thank you for the information provided there in, I wish you luck in your endeavor in turkey and believe me whatever you desire and you put in efforts you shall surely get in this life. it is imperative i let you know the basis of this transaction and the urgency needed to act fast. i took up this transaction, seeing it as a destiny or rather an opportunity to establish... [Read Full Article]

Nigeria or Bust: Update Number One

Well folks, it has begun. To give you an idea of the way some Internet scammers work, I decided to answer the letter that I found in my mailbox. I created a false identity for myself, a new e-mail address and I wrote my response. To keep others from sending e-mails and ruining the game, I have removed my fake contact details): Dear Abbey: Thank you for your letter, the transaction looks very interesting and I would like to know more. You understand the need to be discreet so please communicate with me here, at this e-mail address: It is my personal e-mail. I look forward to your response and all the details on this interesting transaction. Sincerely, Cxxxxx Gxxxxxx, Esq. I received this answer in return: Good Day, A lot of thanks for your message. Your urgent response confirmed all my trust and confidence in you to deliver this project. with the arrangement in place , it will be done... [Read Full Article]

Nigeria or Bust: No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

I came in to the office today and fired up my e-mail, as I usually do, expecting to see the usual litany of press releases, e-newsletters, messages from coworkers and so on, wondering what I should write today for your small business edification, but I got this instead (it is reprinted verbatim):  Good Day, Thank you for your devoted time and willingness to adhere to me, i really appreciate it and i promise you will never regret it, as a matter of fact this will bring change in our lives and our children children will reap from this establishment, I'm not here to waste any of your time or mine but to tell you what the transaction/business is all about. There has been an account here in my country south Africa that has been dormant for years in a bank i work as a branch manager (ABSA BANK) a well known commercial bank; of which the owner of this account Mr. Morris Thompson died in a plane crash with his family and since then no family member knew about this account and no further... [Read Full Article]

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