There are many ways to avoid scam websites on the Internet. When getting an email from a bank that is not familiar, chances are it is a phishing email attempting to get credit card information, bank account numbers or a Social Security number by sending the potential scam victim to a scam web site. In addition to phishing Internet scams, there are the Africa scams which are typically scam letters from Nigeria along with the check scam. Coming from the email reader’s perspective, the letter says it will give the reader millions of dollars or pounds for helping them get themselves along with their fortune out of the country.
Another version of the scam letter has the scammer’s character in the email dying of cancer. Before they die, however, they want the email recipient to have part of their fortune in exchange for them helping orphans. This is one version of the charity scam that is used by scam letters from several overseas countries. To clarify, this scheme, which can be found in the African scam, involves a dying person who has cancer or some other disease and wants to donate the money to the person receiving the email. The scammer claims they are doing this because they have no relatives and they have had a change of heart in the face of death. As a result, they want the email recipient to start a charity to help poor orphans and motherless children.
Sometimes, the scam victim has to send money or cash a check for the large fortune to be released. This is where the check scam comes in. The check scam involves the victim cashing the check and sending the money back to the scammer before the bank realizes it is fake and withdraws the amount from the victim’s account. The phishing websites and the check scam make up some of the Internet’s top scams.
Communicating with the scammer usually involves receiving an email, at least initially. The scammer poses as any number of professions. The Africa scam usually has gold or cocoa merchants from Ghana, Sierra Leone or Benin who have escaped to Cote d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast with their fortune. There is also the account manager or director at the Central Bank of Nigeria who has discovered a vast fortune in the account of a deceased person. They want to give it to the scam victim either as a relative or next of kin if the account is not known and the bank employee is trying to get the money out of the country with the victim’s help. Nigeria seems to be a major source of email scams and the Nigerian scam letter is widely known.
The Africa scam is not confined to just Africa. While the theme and story are pretty much the same, the source can be from any country or continent. The scam letters come from Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America as well as Africa. Scams such as the check scam come from other countries as well.
Sometimes the Africa scams will mention the U.N. and claim that the U.N. is giving away money for economic development or some similar economic plan. A more recent version of the Africa scam is related to Nigeria and the United Nations together where 419 victims can receive compensation. In other words, the Africa scams attempt to defraud 419 victims a second time by telling them in another scam letter that they will get their money back from the previous scam. Some of the other countries where the African scam letter claims to originate from include Burkina Faso, Sudan and South Africa as well as Nigeria.
One notorious scam that seems to come from Europe is the UK lottery scam. The email recipient receives an email with the subject heading, “congratulations, you won.” It is usually typed in capital letters. The scam victim has to provide information about themselves in order to receive the prize.
Although the Africa scam occasionally will use the lottery theme, most of the lottery scams seem to be associated with Europe or a large American company. Some of the countries besides the UK include Spain, with Madrid frequently mentioned, the Netherlands and Brussels, Belgium. Sometimes, the lottery scam will claim to come from Yahoo, Microsoft or Coca-Cola.
Learning how to recognize scams on the Internet can prevent a potential loss of money to a criminal. Phishing and Africa scams such as the Nigerian scam letter are becoming known. Scams coming from Africa can be recognized and reported.