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 3/31/07 newspaper article re 419

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Borstal Boy
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

U.S. Internet fraud at all-time high
'Nigerian' scam and other crimes cost $198.4 million


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/31/MNGSCOVGGI1.DTL&hw=419&sn=001&sc=1000

Eric Rosenberg, Hearst Newspapers

Saturday, March 31, 2007


(03-31) 04:00 PDT Washington -- Americans lost a record amount to Internet fraud schemes last year, and the notorious "Nigerian 419" scam is blamed for the largest individual losses.

A government report on 2006 Internet crimes also records the sudden emergence of extortionists who use e-mail to deliver ominous threats that grave consequences await unless money is sent.

The new federal statistics show that Americans reported losing an all-time high of $198.4 million to Internet fraud in 2006, up 8 percent from 2005 levels of $183 million and 191 percent from 2004 levels of $68 million.

Law enforcement officials believe that actual losses are higher -- many victims don't report the crimes because they are embarrassed or afraid to do so.

Of the Internet criminals who could be traced to their location, 61 percent resided inside the United States, followed by criminals based in the United Kingdom at 16 percent. Nigeria-based criminals were next at 6 percent.

According to the new statistics, victims of the 419-type scams had an average loss of $5,100 last year, an increase of $100 per incident compared with 2005 levels and an increase of $2,100 per incident compared with 2004.

Federal officials call the scheme the Nigerian 419 scam because it originated in that West African country, where Section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code deals with fraud. In Nigeria, the 4-year-old Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it has successfully cracked down on the large majority of home-grown scammers and has recovered more than $750 million for victims all over the world. The agency works closely with the FBI, said commission head Nuhu Ribadu, and most scam e-mails now originate elsewhere in Africa or in Eastern Europe. But he acknowledges that the name has stuck even as the scammers have moved elsewhere.

There are numerous variations of the 419 theme, but the general outlines are familiar to almost everyone with an e-mail account. In an unsolicited e-mail, a purported African official says he needs the recipient's help in transferring millions of dollars from the bank account of a deceased African leader, company official or senior government bureaucrat. The e-mail recipient will receive a sizable percentage by helping him do so.

That aid would be in the form of cash that the thief says is needed to cover "transaction costs" up front to consummate the deal.

Once a victim pays, the African official invariably requires additional funds when the transaction encounters fictitious snags.

The U.S. Secret Service pegs annual U.S. losses to the 419 scam -- both through the Internet and regular mail solicitations of victims -- in the range of "hundreds of millions of dollars."

"It is amazing the kind of people who fall for this," said Johannes Ullrich, an Internet fraud expert with the Sans Institute in Bethesda, Md., a computer and Internet security training organization. "It's not just the bored retiree, but it's also professional people you would think who would know better. The greed factor turns off their brains."

Shawn Mosch, of Bloomington, Minn., who runs a Web site -- ScamVictimsUnited.com -- dedicated to warning consumers about such schemes, says the 419 scam has raked in huge sums. She said one person who contacted her organization claimed to have lost between $200,000 and $300,000.

The extortion e-mail scam -- also known as the hit-man scheme -- involves a threatening note warning the victim that he will be killed unless he pays thousands of dollars. The FBI calls it a "recent high activity scam" that began appearing in e-mail inboxes last December. Some solicitations demand payment of $20,000 or more.

Like many 419 scams, the hit-man solicitations often are peppered with broken English and misspellings. One such solicitation forwarded to the FBI in December said ominously: "I have followed you closely for one week and three days now. ... Do not contact the police or F.B.I. or try to send a copy of this to them, because if you do I will know, and might be pushed to do what I have being (sic) paid to do."

The FBI has received about 159 complaints since the scam emerged, said John Hambrick, the top FBI official at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. The FBI has received no reports of money loss or murder threats that were carried out, he said in an interview.

The hit-man con "is almost the reverse of the 419 scam," said Hambrick. "This is a threat of the loss of life and the other is an enticement to enrich you. I think folks are more willing to believe that someone is going to make them wealthy."

The Internet Crime Complaint Center, which has been tracking Internet fraud trends for six years, is a joint enterprise of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, an agency that trains law enforcement officers to combat economic and cyber crimes.

Of the 86,279 fraud complaints in 2006 that the Internet center referred to law enforcement agencies for investigation, Internet auction fraud accounted for the highest volume, with 45 percent of complaints.

Complaints about Internet auction fraud usually involve instances of a victim who buys goods or services through an online auction but never receives the merchandise from the seller after making payment, or the victim is selling goods through an auction, ships the goods to a buyer and doesn't receive payment.

In terms of volume, complaints about nondelivery of items purchased on the Internet was in the second place, followed by Internet-related check and credit card fraud.

Chronicle Foreign Editor Gail Bensinger contributed to this report

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Last edited by Borstal Boy on Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lester
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

ALl the more reason to bait them and waste time -

plus shouldnt that be 3/31/07 and not 5/31 Smile

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HugginsDUI
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
The age old federal statistics show that Americans reported losing an all-time high of $198.4 million to Internet fraud in 2006, up 8 percent from 2005 levels of $183 million and 191 percent from 2004 levels of $68 million.


Crying or Very sad How can there be this many gullible people in my country...

...Wait a sec. When I say "ppl", it automatically shows up as groovy cats. April fools joke? What time is it over there in the UK?

Ok, very funny mods Laughing
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Jervis Tetch
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Borstal Boy,

Yeah saw those stats today March 31 in the San Francisco Chronicle--page 1.
Of course they do not reveal the true figures as many victims are too ashamed to admit they were scammed.

Yours truly also noticed the 'hit-man' scam too, also mentioned in the article.

cheerz---jervis tetch

mods--ya got a sense of humor no matter what I do!

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What a FUCK, for doing this i will make sure by tomorrow i will be in Washington and send the FBI to pick you up where ever you are by all means just believe i must do this and use it as a prove that i am who i am. I give you just 1 hour to take my passport out from that page or eles when i get to Washington there will be no forgiveness just take my word. I will send all boxes and documents covering the boxes in your name to Washington and you will be asked so many question and if possible you will go to Jail with my power i PROMISE I MUST DO IT.
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Borstal Boy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:27 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Of the Internet criminals who could be traced to their location, 61 percent resided inside the United States, followed by criminals based in the United Kingdom at 16 percent. Nigeria-based criminals were next at 6 percent.


This was the most curious part of the article to me. Is it even remotely possible that more than half of this shite comes from the U.S.?

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rumbero
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

same thought here. Do they have the right stats.

Quote:
61 percent resided inside the United States

Nigeria-based criminals were next at 6 percent.
,

I'll start checking all the IPs very carefully. We have been baiting the wrong people

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Dolores
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

They do say "internet criminals" rather than specifically advance fee fraud in that part, so perhaps they're referring to a broader range of things there. People in the media often use technicalities like that to beef up their statistics so they'll be more shocking, using context to make it less obvious that that's what they're doing.

That said, it might be a bit of a stretch to pull that in an article focusing so closely on 419 scams, so really, I have no clue. Very Happy Maybe we <i>are</i> missing something.

In any case, there are tons of ways to skew statistics, intentionally or not.

I'll go put away my tinfoil hat now. Wink

[Edit] What JT says below about non-US victims is right too. I somehow overlooked that part. Embarassed

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Last edited by Dolores on Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:18 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Jervis Tetch
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

To: Borstal Boy & Rumbero--

That article originated from The Washington Post--the newspaper that eventually got Nixon dumped in 1974. And rightfully so. HE scammed us!

The concept of the 419-scam is apparently a 'new and shocking' scam here in the colonies to the huddled masses, when of course it goes back almost 100 years to the Spain 'help-wealthy-son/husband-get out of jail' scam. Only by 'snail-mail' back then. And years later here comes The Internet. And it makes for great tv-time NOW. But well done by Brian Ross and Chris Hansen lately.

No mention of UK/Oz/Canada/African victims who also fall for this, among other numerous countries. The Post only concerned with USA victims, so that 61% figure is a tad skewed when all world-wide vics taken into account. There are a s**tload more outside the US borders. I'm sure the Abidjan lads work their evil on vics in France too. Maybe Quebec as well.

I repeat myself, be sure to watch www.dateline.msnbc.com this Tuesday April 3rd to see the ID Theft scam wind up in Africa with Chris.

cheerz to the both of ya--jervis (for the family)

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What a FUCK, for doing this i will make sure by tomorrow i will be in Washington and send the FBI to pick you up where ever you are by all means just believe i must do this and use it as a prove that i am who i am. I give you just 1 hour to take my passport out from that page or eles when i get to Washington there will be no forgiveness just take my word. I will send all boxes and documents covering the boxes in your name to Washington and you will be asked so many question and if possible you will go to Jail with my power i PROMISE I MUST DO IT.
His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Kwame Bawuah-Edusei
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Jervis Tetch
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi again Dolores--

Thanx on that--

JT

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What a FUCK, for doing this i will make sure by tomorrow i will be in Washington and send the FBI to pick you up where ever you are by all means just believe i must do this and use it as a prove that i am who i am. I give you just 1 hour to take my passport out from that page or eles when i get to Washington there will be no forgiveness just take my word. I will send all boxes and documents covering the boxes in your name to Washington and you will be asked so many question and if possible you will go to Jail with my power i PROMISE I MUST DO IT.
His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Kwame Bawuah-Edusei
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4X1X9
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Jervis Tetch wrote:
when of course it goes back almost 100 years to the Spain 'help-wealthy-son/husband-get out of jail' scam.


It's been going for well over a hundred years, the first recorded Spanish Prisoner scam was documented in 1588 (see http://home.austin.rr.com/tsote/scams/various.html)
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it wasn't me
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

As was put earlier, the media make the statistics suit the scam. By saying 61% USA, they bring it to your front door (if you live in USA!)

If it was UK, they would have found statistics that suited the UK people and so on.

It's the media.

Also, as for it being an article on 419 so it should concentrate only on 419, once again...

It's the media.

If it's not shock, shock, shock, it's gotta be on your doorstep.

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Jervis Tetch
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi 4X1X9--

Viewed your link.

The BIG question now is--so how did they do it back in the days [1588] before even snail mail? Turtle/pigeon mail? Message In A Bottle, to quote Gordon Sumner?

cheerz---jervis tetch

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What a FUCK, for doing this i will make sure by tomorrow i will be in Washington and send the FBI to pick you up where ever you are by all means just believe i must do this and use it as a prove that i am who i am. I give you just 1 hour to take my passport out from that page or eles when i get to Washington there will be no forgiveness just take my word. I will send all boxes and documents covering the boxes in your name to Washington and you will be asked so many question and if possible you will go to Jail with my power i PROMISE I MUST DO IT.
His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Kwame Bawuah-Edusei
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4X1X9
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^^

Or maybe they just used the old fashioned and passe walking up to another human being and having a conversation with them routine Wink
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Glacius
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't know where they pulled that 61% USA number out of but we might only seeing a small slice of what it going on. Perhaps USA scammers aren't using guestbooks to obtain email addresses but they are using some other method e.g. buying spam lists, shotgunning email addresses, etc.

Or maybe they are also including phishing which might make the number more realistic.
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Jervis Tetch
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^4X1X9--

I'd like to think that shrewd/astute people have been around as long as scammers have been, even that far back.

Anonymity is the key for them--and us. I like and hope to think that in ANY century those before us had the smarts enough to shine-off any stranger who accosted them on the street/Appian Way etc with tales of a fab fortune to be had, for so-many shekels/drachmas/lira etc... 'Hey, I'm on my way to the agora to buy some manna, take a hike!'

cheerz, jervis tetch (for the ancestors)

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What a FUCK, for doing this i will make sure by tomorrow i will be in Washington and send the FBI to pick you up where ever you are by all means just believe i must do this and use it as a prove that i am who i am. I give you just 1 hour to take my passport out from that page or eles when i get to Washington there will be no forgiveness just take my word. I will send all boxes and documents covering the boxes in your name to Washington and you will be asked so many question and if possible you will go to Jail with my power i PROMISE I MUST DO IT.
His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Kwame Bawuah-Edusei
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4X1X9
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Jervis Tetch wrote:
I like and hope to think that in ANY century those before us had the smarts enough to shine-off any stranger who accosted them on the streets


Some did some didn't, the man responsible for bringing the word confidence (con) man into our vocabulary William Thompson used to operate on a face to face basis http://chnm.gmu.edu/lostmuseum/lm/328/
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