The Oldest Internet Scam – Still around and Working!
Advanced Fee Fraud is the oldest internet scam that you’ve most likely heard about or seen first-hand. (remember the Nigerian prince scheme?”)
This is a scam where big prizes or payments are promised to you while fees or personal information are taken in return. There’s many variations of this scam and we shared a few popular examples below.
In today’s security tip video,
learn more how to spot the oldest internet scam and
how to avoid becoming the next victim.
Be wary of promises of big money payoffs and appeals for financial help.
If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
Never send money or give personal information to strangers over the internet.
While many schemes such as this are quickly dismissed as laughable, the public actually loses millions of dollars every year from the “Advanced Fraud Fee Scam.” Source: nytimes.com
Nigerian Email Scam
Most popular examples such as the “Nigeria scheme” which begins with an email from someone claiming to be a government official who wants to share a percentage of millions of dollars being transferred illegally out of Nigeria. Victims are asked for personal bank account names and numbers among more personal information. And of course, they’re promised money that does not exist! If you do take the bait, the scammer will take your money and you’ll become victim of identity theft.
View the actual scam email examples here: http://www.hoax-slayer.com/nigerian-scam-list.shtml
Contest Winner \ Inheritance Email Scams
Inheritance scams surged to $1.5m as victims paid fees to have funds released that did not exist. source
Other variations of the story are just as popular such as scam emails claiming the recipient is the winner of a contest, or beneficiary in a will. If you comply, they will send you a fake check and ask you to wire a portion of the money back to cover taxes and fees. Next, you will end up owing the bank any amount of money you withdrew.
Another variation of this is winning a fake foreign lottery. You’re send a letter that includes a fake check. They want you to deposit the fake check and wire money to the sender in order to pay the fees and taxes. Next, they promise you that when they receive your payment, you’ll get your prize. Don’t fall for the scam!
Dating Fraud Spam Emails
Romance and relationship scams topped the list last year, with $4.9m paid out. Source
Another popular variation is called the “Romance Scheme” or “catfishing”. Where people use spam email or fake facebook accounts to lure people looking for love and relationships. They play on people’s emotional triggers to get people to provide money, gifts, help pay bills and cover airfare, visas, etc. Fake medical emergencies, claims of financial hardship.
These scammers will try using online dating services or randomly spamming email recipients. They craft together an email portraying a “nice girl”. Next, they promise to send pictures if they reply to a specified email address. These frauds will express strong emotions for you in a short period of time. Next, they will take months ti build your trust, they may even send gifts. They will pretend to book flights to visit you, but will never actually come.
About the gifts… they will send you valuable gifts and make the odd request to send them elsewhere. This is a way they get you to perform criminal activities for them. They might even ask you to buy the items and send them somewhere. They will even ask to send you money and have you send it elsewhere. These are forms of money laundering which is a criminal offense.
“They send out thousands of these day, hoping someone will bite,” said Slidell Detective Daniel Seuzeneau, a police department spokesman.
And people do. Source: Nola.com
You probably have a dozen of these emails in your spam folder right now…
These are just a few of the most popular variations of the oldest internet scam. The advanced fee fraud has so many other varieties such as inheritance notices, job offers, especially mystery shopper job offers, fake lottery winnings, romance scams, and financial legal help. Here’s the most popular variations of the advanced fee scam listed below:
- Nigerian scams
- Inheritance scams
- Microsoft World Lottery Scam
- United Nations Poverty Alleviation scheme
- Facebook global promotion
- Facebook online award promo
- Online lottery awareness program
- Colin and Chris Weir donation program
- Next of kin – fake inheritance
- Gareth and Catherine Bull Lottery Scam
- Google foundation grant
- US Customs and border protection “Trunks of cash”
- Veronica John Garang “Mutual investment request scam email
- Charles F.Feeny “Grant Donation”
- BMW advance fee prize scam
- Google+ awareness reward program
- Phone text message lottery scams
- Microsoft seasons greetings award
- Google anniversary winning notification
- Scam message claims you won a Chevrolet Cruz from General Motors South Africa
- Western Union “Poverty alleviation program”
- Facebook award
- Fake National Lottery Winning notification
- Facebook lottery scam “Certificate of ownership”
- “Please reply to my previous email”
- Michelle Obama wants to give you 4.5 million dollars
- Strangers leaving you $17 million in their Will scam
- Dying widow advanced fee scam
- FBI arrest warning scam
- FBI scam “You are on the FBI wanted persons list”
- Nigerian prince scam – wants to give you tons of cash
- Starbucks “Free $50 coupon” Facebook scam
- House giveaway on Facebook
- iphone X giveaway Facebook scam
- Facebook “Account in violation of service” scam
- Baby has malignant tumor Facebook scam – donating $2 for every like
- Mark Zuckerberg wants to give you millions of dollars
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Prevent Becoming a Victim of Advanced fee fraud
- Do not open unsolicited email
- Never send money to strangers
- Never give out personal information to strangers
- Don’t give out account numbers to strangers
- Do not try to retrieve lost money independently
- Be careful how much personal information you share on social media
Have you been scammed?
Contact your bank or financial institution immediately!