Monday, August 24, 2009

Scammers Love Your Money

We generally classify email messages pretending to be from a family member of a (often African) dignitary or from a desperate young woman as scams. In the first case, the sender sometimes explains that following the death of an influential dignitary a large sum of money is blocked in a bank account somewhere. With the recipient’s help and using his or her financial backing for a money transfer, the sender says that it would be possible to release the money. Substantial compensation is offered to whoever agrees. In the second case, the unknown beauty becomes a friend with the victim and suddenly has a terrible money problem.

For some individuals, these swindles, called advance fee fraud (also known as 419 fraud) and romance scam, are a primary source of revenue. They also employ lottery and fake price scams.

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