The Internet has made it extremely easy to distribute information to millions of people, including fraudulent business deals and email scams. Fraud and scams are lurking all over the Internet, waiting for innocent victims who will pay or give out their personal details for what they think might be a legitimate business deal. Being aware of what's true and what's not plays a large part in being a responsible citizen of the cyber world.
Click here to see your ad on this page! Or Find other advertising options.
What is a 419 scam?
The 419 scam originated in Nigeria. The 4 - 1 - 9 stands for an old Nigerian criminal code for theft under false pretence. It is also called advanced fee fraud. The scam here is when unsuspecting victims are asked to advance a small amount of money in exchange for a large sum of money. The victims end up losing their money.
Another method of carrying out this scam is where a cheque is sent out for a little more than the actual cost of the amount and then the balance is asked to be refunded. The bank will transfer the funds at your request even before the original cheque is realised. When the original cheque get realised the bank informs you that it is a dud cheque. The victim does not get the money neither does he get the goods back.
There are several people who fall for the 419 scam.
The 419 scammers trap the following:-
. Teenagers and students are more vulnerable
. Work at home mums who want to earn money through online marketing
. Online sellers, especially on Ebay. The scammer will purchase goods and send a cheque for a higher amount
. Businesses. Especially small time businesses.
. First time internet users. Since first time users believe anything everything they read they are more susceptible to fall for the 419 scam
. Users who do not have a good spyware guard can be the next victim of the 419 scam.
. Charities, who collect money during times when natural disaster strike become victims to the 419 scam.
Some of the characteristics of a 419 scam are as follows:-
. A email or letter congratulating you on winning the windfall
. The email or letter is always urgent
. The victims are encouraged to travel
. The transactions are handled by email or telephone
. Request for account information
. The transaction is to be kept confidential
. The scammer will briefly introduce himself as a permanent residency holder of the US but living in an African country.
. Forged documents and statutory forms are used to carry out the scam
The 419 scam is promoted under the following situations,
. A dead relative has left you money
. Purchase real estate
. Rent a apartment or house of an official who is arriving in the country soon
. Transfer funds for over payment
The 419 scammers use very prestigious businesses names and names of individuals to carry out the scam.
If you spot a 419 fraud make sure that you report it immediately, as these scams can quite often be dangerous and the scammers may even end the lives of their victims if they feel that they are threat to their scam businesses.