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As Online Users Become More Adapt To Internet Scams; Scammers Find New Tactics To Exploit

Greetings to you, my friend.
I know this will come as a surprise to you, because you do not know me. My name is Abdul Al-Shallah and I am the son of a deposed government official in Nigeria.

Sound familiar? It’s a boilerplate opening for one of the most common scams in the known world — the Nigerian scam, also known as the “419 scam” or the advance fee scheme. The elements are always the same: someone (preferably royalty or some sort of official) has come into a lot of money, but needs another person outside of the country to use their money for a bribe (or to pay legal fees among other means) to spring the money free. The result is also predictable, with a wire transfer to a con artist’s account and a fake check that confirms a scam has taken place.

imagesThis scam is a hallmark of the Internet, but it’s actually much older than that — the advance fee scheme in its modern incarnation dates back to the early 1980s, and various forms can be traced back to before the 20th century. The reason that it sticks around, unsurprisingly, is because it never ceases to swindle millions of dollars from duped victims. The scheme, and many others like it continue to flood inboxes daily, often hitting the Spam folder before you ever lay eyes on it, waiting for a more trusting person to make a trip to the Western Union.

But that’s not to say that Internet scammers are resting on their laurels and leaving their dirty work to these classic methods. As Internet users become more sophisticated (and laugh at the advances of the forlorn Nigerian prince or similarly befallen individual), the chances of finding a willing innocent victim slowly dwindles. Like any other industry, scammers are looking for smarter, more efficient ways to reach their big payouts and to keep their “businesses” running smoothly, so they are forced to adapt and reach new extremes to get their money.

Now, security experts are seeing disturbing trends among scammers that make the old schemes appear to be child’s play. Appealing to the emotional pull of a victim is now just part of the scheme, which now includes familiarity dupes and long-term schemes to raid a bank account. These cons are more targeted, more ruthless and can take out even large corporations and entire governmental programs. There’s a new evolution in Internet con artistry, and it’s putting everyone at risk.

Check out the four new and scary ways con artists are getting their money on the Internet, and real-life examples of how they work by clicking The Next Web – Four New Ways Online Scammers Are Taking Your Money.

 
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Posted by on 03/17/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Mystery (Secret) Shopper Scam & How It Works

There’s been an increase in employment scams pertaining to mystery/secret shopper positions, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The reason the secret shopper scam is so believable is because many retail and service corporations do hire evaluators to perform secret or random checks on their competitors. Scammers know this and capitalize on the opportunity.

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Victims have reported to the IC3 they were contacted via e-mail and U.S. mail to apply to be a mystery shopper. Applicants send a resume and are told that they will be subject to an extensive background check before being accepted as a mystery shopper. The employees are sent a check with instructions to shop at a specified retailer for a specific length of time and spend a specific amount on merchandise from the store. The employees receive instructions to take note of the store’s environment, color, payment procedures, gift items, and shopping/carrier bags and report back to the employer. The second evaluation is the ease and accuracy of wiring money from the retail location. The money to be wired is also included in the check sent to the employee. The remaining balance is the employee’s payment for the completion of the assignment. After merchandise is purchased and money is wired, the employees are advised by the bank the check cashed was counterfeit, and they are responsible for the money lost in addition to bank fees incurred.

In other versions of the scheme, applicants are requested to provide bank account information to have money directly deposited into their accounts. The criminal then has acquired access to these victims’ accounts and can withdraw money, which makes the applicant a victim of identity theft.

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The article above published by Scam Prevention – The Ladders — For a list of other types of scams by SPTL, Click here.

 

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