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