Economic Downturn Hurts Nigerian Internet Scammers

Economic Downturn Hurts Nigerian Internet Scammers

Pity the Nigerian scammers; they now have to work harder to fleece their victims. According to one scammer, “The financial crisis is not making it easy for [Americans]…and the money they don’t have, we want.”

A new article in the Washington Post highlights how the global economic downturn has affected scammers. I highly recommend the article not only for the entertainment you may get from their ‘plight’, but also for the insight into their tactics and understanding of victim’s psyche.

Here are a few points from the article to ponder:

  • Contrary to popular belief, Nigeria only ranks third – behind the United States and Britain – in housing the most scammers.
  • Nigerian scammers say Americans are the easiest prey.
  • With the current economic squeeze, Americans more easily believe:
    • Offers requesting your  “URGENT ASSISTANCE” in transferring millions of dollars
    • Work-from-home scams, which authorities warn is flourishing as jobs are lost
  • I’m selling greed,” said one swindler. “You didn’t apply for any lotto, and all of a sudden you just see a mail in your mailbox that you’re going to win money? That means you have to be greedy.”
  • “There is another thing scammers always say in Nigeria, that every day, another [victim] is born in America.”

The FBI-backed Internet Crime Complaint Center says that scam reports by Americans grew 33 percent last year, and U.S. authorities say Americans lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year to cybercrimes.

Help put spammers out of business. To avoid becoming the next victim, keep a sharp watch on your purse- and heart- strings. If no one fell for e-mail scams, criminals would quit sending them.

Learn more:

  • Read the full article in the Washington Post
  • Watch McAfee’s Stop Hcommerce series to learn more about how Nigerian scams work.



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