Internet Scams

A commenter on the past post wrote –

OMG, anyone dumb enough to fall for these so called ‘scams’ almost deserve it. If you fall for this, eventually you are gonna give your money away to someone, why not them?

How can someone be so naive about these e-mails etc and think they are real? i mean come on, where have you been the last 20 years?????

It’s a simple matter of education. A lot of the people scammed are elderly or not computer literate. They are new to the internet, and they do not know these things have been around for 20 years. It is interesting to me that many people want to place the blame on the victim of this crime rather than on the *criminals* who trick people.

The lottery scams are probably the most successful for the scammers as far as easy fast money. Many people are already of the belief that they will win Lotto at some point during their life. They believe it will happen and some of them buy a lot of lotto tickets for many different lotteries. When they get this email all rational thought goes out of their head, and all they think is “I knew it would happen one day, and finally all my dreams have come true”.

And note that in some countries, you can actually get an email from the lotto company telling you that you have won – the UK lottery companies do this as well as other countries. Of course, you have to buy a ticket for it to be legitimate. These scammers are good at what they do. So good that they will cover a lot of the questions you might have in their first email. For example – from the lotto scams repository

An exclusive list of email addresses of thousands of individual and corporate bodies were picked by automated random computer search from the internet. No tickets were sold.

The victims reply to the scammer and usually several emails go back and forward before they are told of any fees. The amount will always be small, and it will sound reasonable – oh, I only have to pay $100 in courier fees to get my check? Oh, they want to send it by courier so it will be safe and not get stolen? Well, it’s a small price to pay to get the millions I have won. And in their heads, they have already SPENT that money. In fact they’ve spent it long before that email arrives – I know I have plans for my $20 million dollar win, don’t you?

Once the first $100 is paid, they might have a problem with customs letting the courier into the country, they might have to pay taxes, there’s plenty of different tricks the scammers use. This time the amount will be more, maybe $600-1000. Again, the victim thinks – it’s a small price to pay to get my money. The victim will probably try to negotiate with the scammer to pay less – can you take it out of the money once I get my winnings, I don’t have enough to pay that right now but I can pay and give you the rest when I get my winnings. And of course the scammer will take anything the victim will give.

They might then refer the victim to a fake bank website. These can look extremely real. The victim gives all their banking information to the scammers. The scammers use that information to make fake checks in the victim’s name, and they may have got credit card info as well, which they will have shared and/or sold to other scammers. They may send a file to the victim which contains a keylogger.

If the victim does not cooperate, they will often be threatened. We have all your information. We know where you live. Pay up or we’ll send someone around. This can be especially upsetting to elderly victims.

The scammers use email extractor programs to retrieve email addresses from the internet. They are especially keen on countries which do not have a good understanding of English. India seems to be the current favourite of the scammers, Russia and Asia are always popular. They will send out *thousands* of emails over the course of a day, and they usually get about a 10% reply rate but higher in non-english speaking countries. They do this each day. Except Sundays, when they go to Church in the morning with all their scammer friends, then back to the internet cafes in the afternoon for a little more spamming and scamming.

The thing people don’t understand about this scam is that the victims get emotionally and financially invested in them. It seems so obvious that it’s a scam to those of us educated on the topic but they are not looking at it logically like we are.

I really dislike it when people seem to feel morally or intellectually superior to victims of these scams. It can happen to *anyone* who doesn’t know about them. That is a large amount of people on this planet.

Nobody deserves to be scammed. Absolutely nobody.

Internet Safety, scam victims are not stupid, scambaiting

Scam article on 60 minutes.

I’d actually talked to the producer of this story about being *in* it, with regard to scambaiting and my butterfly bait which does have excellent scammer pics.. The way things worked out, they got help from the EFCC and the story had a lot of story without adding scambaiting to it.

And I’ll be honest, I’m relieved not to have done it. I would have done it in the hope of people being educated but as a scambaiter it was a fairly scary idea and if I had done it I would have been like a cat on a hot tin roof. We’re all about flying under the radar.

The criminals who do the scamming are actually pretty racist in their own way. They think it’s ok to scam westerners because we all have plenty of money. It is accepted in their culture to do this and make money out of it.

Sometime in the next few weeks I have a pretty exciting announcement coming up which involves these scams. So keep checking back to see what the deal is. :)

scam victims are not stupid, scambaiting

Internet Safety & Scams – What You Need To Know.

Everybody wants something,
they’ll never give up.
Everybody wants something,
they’ll take your money and never give up.

The lyrics above may be familiar to fans of Degrassi, a long ago tv show. However they apply on a daily basis when you are on the internet.

As I type this right now there are over 100,000 people, most of them in Nigeria but also in other countries all over the world including the US and UK who wake up in the morning and their day job is to SCAM people. Yes, that is what they do for a living. And some of them do it so well, their lifestyle includes gold chains and BMW’s.

So here’s a few things you should know about internet scammers. First of all, the golden rule.


Never, not ever, no way, no how. :)

The Next Of Kin, or Advance Fee Fraud scam.

This message may come as a surprise to you, but there are no wives of dead world leaders with trunkboxes full of money that they want to share with you if only you will help them. There is nobody in Africa with a large fund that needs to go into your bank account. Nobody over there has cancer and a large fund that they’d like you to give to charity. Nobody really wants you to stand in as next of kin. What they want is your money, and they’ll never give up.

How these scams work is, they tempt you with large sums of money. Then there’s a small fee that must be paid. Then there’s another, and another, and another. I recently spoke to a victim who has been paying his scammers for *five* years.

And people say oh, how can anyone be so stupid? It’s because they invested, emotionally and financially into the scam and they find it very difficult to stop. It is like gambling, only you’ll never win with these scammers. Here is a good article which gives you a bit of info on how these scams work – The Perfect Mark


Once they know you exist, you’ll get every scam email known to man, and they will keep trying in the hope you will fall for one of them. So you’ll get scam emails until the end of time.

The JOB scam.

This particular scam is becoming more and more popular, especially in Australia. Who wouldn’t like a bit of easy money? You get an email that offers you a job as a company representative. If you take the job, you will receive fraudulent or possibly stolen cheques from the scammers. You put them in your bank, the bank will “clear” them and then you send the money back to the scammer, usually by Western Union or Moneygram. The only trouble is, “clear” means nothing.

Please note this quote in this article by the executive vice-president of the American Banking Association: “Federal law requires banks to make the funds you deposit available quickly, but it’s important for consumers to know that just because you can withdraw the money doesn’t mean the cheque is good,” said Edward Yingling, executive vice president for ABA.”

That applies equally to all countries that we know of – Australia also. Just because the bank “clears” the cheque does not mean the money is really there for you to spend. It can take up to a YEAR for a cheque to bounce.

In the US, scam victims are often ARRESTED for banking the fake cheques. This adds insult to often serious financial injury!

As a scambaiter, I have a safe mailing address where the scammers post me things, and I have quite a collection of these fake checks. Take a look here. There is over 3 million dollars worth of fake checks there. Don’t try this at home people, it isn’t safe. You can learn how to do it safely, if you want to know where email me.

The Lottery Scam.

You get an email telling you that you have won the lottery! How many people dream of winning lotto, quitting work, having a life of travel and luxury. So you’re pretty excited, and you reply saying “How can I get my winnings?” – it’s simple. Just pay a small payment. But that won’t be the end of the payments, and you haven’t won lotto at all, and you’ll never see any money or be able to quit work, in fact you might have to work more to make up for the money you send.

I believe this scam is one of the most unpleasant of them all – it gives people hope, and then crushes it into little pieces. :(

There’s a lot more scams. Love. Ebay. Rental. Puppy. Children. Donations. And while I write this these scammers are coming up with new and better ways to scam people out of their money. Joe Wein’s website lists many of the types of scams and how they work. Joe is also an incredibly nice guy who has helped me with an incredible amount of stuff all designed to hurt the scammers.

You can report any scam mail you receive and check to see if it is a scam by using the Scam-O-Matic – all mails from scammers that you submit are added to the blacklist which helps scam victims find out that it’s a scam.

My advice is to keep up to date with the scams, and if you ever have any questions visit Scamwarners Is This A Scam forum and ask – is this a scam?

If you have any questions I am only ever an email away – Contact Snoskred – and always willing to help when it comes to this kind of thing. ;)

email safety, Internet Safety, scam victims are not stupid, scams