The UK website Scam Detectives has published a two-part interview with a self-described former Nigerian 419 scammer. Take all of this a healthy dose of skepticism–the author admits he has no way of verifying if anything the guy says is true. Oh, and the reason I call it a short interview is because halfway through the second call, the author tells the scammer he doesn’t like him and wants to hang up. Before that happens, though, you get to read about foot soldiers, something called a wash wash, and the response rate on scam email blasts. [More]
Are you a student looking for a summer or long-term tutoring gig? Be sure to stay away from the foreign tutoring scam, especially if you’re looking for work on Craigslist.
Good news, everyone! The advance fee fraud scammers of Nigeria have decided to stop fussing with old-fashioned checks and wire transfers, and have switched to an advanced new technology. They’re called “ATM cards.” Shiny!
Andy logged in to Gmail on Sunday, and his friend Jeff started to chat with him. Things seemed a bit off, but Andy really became suspicious when Jeff asked him to wire $500 to an injured friend in Nigeria. The real Jeff, of course, was off playing XBOX and has no friends in Nigeria. Like the scammers hitting up people’s friends for money via Facebook, thieves can log in to your e-mail and chat accounts, pretending to be you.
37-year-old Nigerian scammer Paul Gabriel Amos convinced Citibank officials to wire him $27 million belonging to Ethiopia. Rather than go with the usual Nigerian nom de plumes like prince or will executor, Famous Amos pretended to be an official with the National Bank of Ethiopia. Amos forged “official-looking” documents that confirmed his status with the central bank and instructed Citibank to await faxes telling them where to send the country’s cash.
They met Rempel the next day with a suitcase. They said it had $10.6 million in shrink-wrapped U.S. bills. Rempel wanted more proof. His new friends pulled out one bill and “cleansed” it with a liquid “formula,” which washed off some kind of stamp. Rempel was told that process made the money “legal tender.”
Last week, “This American Life” featured a 30-minute piece on people who scam the scammers—in this case, three guys who prey upon small-time Nigerian con men and try to trick them into placing themselves in mortal danger. “This American Life” tells how they almost got a guy to enter a Western Union office in Chad carrying an anti-Muslim/pro-Bush note that announces his intention to rob the place. Whether you think these stunts are funny probably depends on your level of empathy even for criminals, and whether you think the avengers ever fully succeed. But c’mon, getting someone in another country to hold up a sign that’s offensive in your language is pretty much always funny.
The latest iteration of the so-called 419 advance fee scam features adorable puppies to win the hearts and bank accounts of Craigs List and Puppyfind.com readers.
[Michelle Waltenburg of Tacoma] was on the Craigslist web site looking at the classified ads for pets when she came across an ad for a “lovely English bulldog puppy needing a loving and caring home.”
What’s interesting is that the “dead parrot” they use is actually a metal duck. Once a scammer, always. — BEN POPKEN
A stranger called Beth. He knew where she lived in Manhattan, in the upper West side. He knew Beth had a fireplace in her bedroom. Beth’s apartment was not for rent, but the caller saw an ad on Craigslist saying it was. Beth did not place this ad.
Here’s a sexy beeb video of a Nigerian cybercafe getting busted for sending out spam-scams. As thrilling as it is to see these jerks arrested, the EFCC’s job has to be akin to whack-a-mole.
Beyond merely laughing at duped 419 scammers, now you can help shut down their fake banks by stealing their bandwidth.