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  1. #1

    Watch who you sell to, online. If it's foreign...

    Online scams create "Yahoo! millionaires"
    In Lagos, where scamming is an art, the quickest path to wealth for the cyber-generation runs through a computer screen.
    By Leonard Lawal, FORTUNE
    May 22, 2006: 3:28 PM EDT

    (FORTUNE Magazine) - Akin is, like many things in cyberspace, an alias. In real life he's 14. He wears Adidas sneakers, a Rolex Submariner watch, and a kilo of gold around his neck.

    Akin, who lives in Lagos, is one of a new generation of entrepreneurs that has emerged in this city of 15 million, Nigeria's largest. His mother makes $30 a month as a cleaner, his father about the same hustling at bus stations. But Akin has made it big working long days at Internet cafes and is now the main provider for his family and legions of relatives.

    Call him a "Yahoo! millionaire."

    Akin buys things online - laptops, BlackBerries, cameras, flat-screen TVs - using stolen credit cards and aliases. He has the loot shipped via FedEx or DHL to safe houses in Europe, where it is received by friends, then shipped on to Lagos to be sold on the black market. (He figures Americans are too smart to sell a camera on eBay to a buyer with an address in Nigeria.)

    Akin's main office is an Internet cafe in the Ikeja section of Lagos. He spends up to ten hours a day there, seven days a week, huddled over one of 50 computers, working his scams.

    And he's not alone: The cafe is crowded most of the time with other teenagers, like Akin, working for a "chairman" who buys the computer time and hires them to extract e-mail addresses and credit card information from the thin air of cyberspace. Akin's chairman, who is computer illiterate, gets a 60 percent cut and reserves another 20 percent to pay off law enforcement officials who come around or teachers who complain when the boys cut school. That still puts plenty of cash in Akin's pocket.

    A sign at the door of the cafe reads, WE DO NOT TOLERATE SCAMS IN THIS PLACE. DO NOT USE E-MAIL EXTRACTORS OR SEND MULTIPLE MAILS OR HACK CREDIT CARDS. YOU WILL BE HANDED OVER TO THE POLICE. NO 419 ACTIVITY IN THIS CAFE. The sign is a joke; 419 activity, which refers to the section of the Nigerian law dealing with obtaining things by trickery, is a national pastime. There are no coherent laws relating to e-scams, the police are mostly computer illiterate, and penalties for financial crimes are light.

    No penalties for breaking the law
    "The deterrent factor is not there at all," says Thomas Oli, a Lagos lawyer, citing the case of a former police inspector general who was convicted of stealing more than $100 million and got only six months in jail.

    "What do you want me to do?" Akin asks in pidgin English, explaining why he turned to a life of Internet crime. "It is my God-given talent. Our politicians, they do their own; me, I'm doing my own. I feed my family - my sister, my mother, my popsie. Man must survive."

    The scams perpetrated by Akin and his comrades are many and varied: moneygram interceptions, Western Union hijackings, check laundering, identity theft, and outright begging, with tall tales of dying relatives and large sums of money in search of safe haven. One popular online fraud often practiced by women (or boys pretending to be women) involves separating lonely men from their money.

    Attempts to speak to government officials about Internet crime were futile. They all claimed ignorance of such scams; some laughed it off as Western propaganda.

    But last November the Economic Fraud and Financial Crimes Commission won a high-profile case that had dragged on for years against Emmanuel Nwude, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years for bilking a Brazilian bank out of $242 million using an Internet scam involving phony bank drafts. The commission is also pursuing a case against 419 kingpin Fred Ajudua, a lawyer and businessman accused of using the Internet to steal $1 million from a victim in Germany.

    Some officials, who asked not be identified, said young people are drawn to Internet crime as a way of getting back at a society that has no plans for them. Others see it as a form of reparation for the sins of the West.

    Or as Akin puts it, "White people are too gullible. They are rich, and whatever I gyp them out of is small change to them."

    http://videowize.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    811

    Re: Watch who you sell to, online. If it's foreign...

    as ebay says on every page:
    caveat emptor.

  3. #3

    Scam Or not A Scam?

    I won a Auction for a TomTom900 on Ebay. It is from china and Im paying about
    150.00. He wants me to send the Money via "western Union" in china. He seys once he receives payment he will ship item immediatly. I will give auction number in a private messege. Scam Or Not Scam???

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    152

    Re: Scam Or not A Scam?

    There's no such product as far as I can tell. There's a TomTom GO 910, but not a 900. Why would some guy in China have one anyway?

    Oh yes, Western Union is a dead giveaway for scam. Untraceable.
    Last edited by Dynamoo; 05-26-2006 at 12:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    7

    This One Is New... Auction Scam

    http://mercuryindustries.com/index.html

    I have had several emails from this company,, and now they say you sell on ebay.. and they will deliver the goods.. mmm sounds fishy to me..

    This sounds like the scam of people looking for financial excutives in different countries.. where you give them your account details etc.. and you then have to western union it to who they say to send it too.. I remember reading a post here by a girl which it happened to...

    Dont these people have anything else to do .. then rip off and scam people

    bubbly40

  6. #6

    Re: Scam Or not A Scam?

    well, how is the company's feedback on ebay? I'd start by researching this first...that might help give you some answers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    14

    Re: This One Is New... Auction Scam

    just say i want to know if it really is a scam.. i joined up, and they have send a couple of questions out, it seems fine at the moment, they say the next day will be a transaction... they want me to send money via western union, and take commision.. if i was to just spend the money what would happen?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Reality
    Posts
    947

    Re: This One Is New... Auction Scam

    Quote Originally Posted by leroy
    just say i want to know if it really is a scam.. i joined up, and they have send a couple of questions out, it seems fine at the moment, they say the next day will be a transaction... they want me to send money via western union, and take commision.. if i was to just spend the money what would happen?
    You'll get locked up. Don't do it. Follow my advice in the other thread.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    7

    Re: This One Is New... Auction Scam

    leroy,
    DONT DO IT... it happened to me,, luckly I kept all the correspondents that I recieved from them,, I then took it down to the cop station and sign a stat dec.. stating I only applied for a job,, apparent this is fraudulent money.. boy it really scared the you know what out of me.. I SWORE i would never answer one of those emails again,,,

    I would rather stave than do this
    bubbly40

    PS,, when that money hits your account take it to the cops..and explain to them about it . they will pat you on your shoulder..
    Last edited by bubbly40; 06-08-2006 at 01:37 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    811

    Re: This One Is New... Auction Scam

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbly40
    http://mercuryindustries.com/index.html

    I have had several emails from this company,, and now they say you sell on ebay.. and they will deliver the goods.. mmm sounds fishy to me..

    This sounds like the scam of people looking for financial excutives in different countries.. where you give them your account details etc.. and you then have to western union it to who they say to send it too.. I remember reading a post here by a girl which it happened to...

    Dont these people have anything else to do .. then rip off and scam people

    bubbly40
    its a form of money laundering. I suggest that you forward that information to your local FBI branch. They are the only ones that can handle these types of scam/spams.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2

    Scam http://stechcomputers.com/

    MR. Ernest Harris is partner of MR. Craig A Gerlach, Mr. Craig asked me to send the money transaction will be taken care through http://stechcomputers.com/ for this Miss Tameka Arnett another partner of Mr. Harris asked me to send the money deposit of $825 through the Western Union. after that I haven’t got the merchandise neither the Money back from Mr. Ernest Harris, till today he keep saying that he has sent me the money order but still I haven’t received such money order from him till today. Neither has he provided any documentation for the money order has been sent to me.
    before doing any Business with this Sam Artist website http://stechcomputers.com/ chat with me to know about this scam Group.

  12. #12

    postaroo

    I posted a bundle of bamboo to sell on postaroo, for 45.00; usually a local selling site. Advertized pickup only. was contacted by ; I guess a female; and said not to worry about shipment that she will have her shipper pick up the bamboo. so after 2 weeks and still no check. I said no deal. well; it was like i didn't say anything. Then in 2 more weeks , told "her" that I have sold the bamboo to a neighbor. Still they insist that the check is on its way. 2 weeks after that (6 weeks now) a check arrives for 2500.00 I took it to my bank, looked ok but still needed more, took it to the bank it was drawn from; Bank America; and they did a search on the account, "Closed Due To FRAUD" well how about that.
    Now on the other end, "She"doesn't realize that I have been having suspicions. And is pleading for me to keep 10 % for my trouble and return the rest via Western Union to her. Now a second check arrives 1900.00; what the hell?
    I have let the local police dept aware of this; they sent me to the FBI; who have a web site just for this internet scamming. But they don't have the man power to follow up on eveything that comes across it. I guess if it was a million or more they might. Fortunately I havent lost any thing this time; but what about the ones who do; gullable people on fixed incomes; the elderly. How can they repay an amount like that when they are on a fixed income and they have no where to go; they give up and just repay the bank for that check. Maybe they have to go without a pecription that month, a few meals, or heat. They don't understand somtimes that there are bad people out there; that will do things to them like this.
    I must say that the ones that have really been intrested in getting these people is the Post Office. It is a Federal Offence to Scam through the mail.
    And they have all of the info that I have.
    Here are the e-mails from this person. The most recent first.
    Beginning at the bottom.

    Subject: Bear with me.......

    Hello Sasha,
    i am happy that you did got the check at last but i am pleading once again to help put it in your bank account so as to clear in time,well am gonna compensate you for the lateness and disturbing you on this deal,i urge you once again to help me out with these
    I will await to hear from you.
    Tracy.

    Now there are 2 checks here. The second one is for 1900.00 what is going on here.
    I need an address from you so I can mail these back to you.
    Reguards, Sasha

    tracy cuningham wrote:
    Hello i beg you to get the check deposited ok,it will clear in your acctt ok,well take 10% for the stress ok,i urge you to help me out.

    Hey Tracy, I am going to send the check back to you. I don't have the bamboo. and I cannot take your money.

    Warm wishes, Sasha

    tracy cuningham wrote:
    Hello i am pleading on behalf of the check you gat that you should try and get it cashed cos it has been deducted from my acct,all i want you do now is to get it cashed at the bank and deduct 10% outta it for the lateness of the payment getting to you on time.i will like you to get me updated asap.

    Here is the information where you are to send money to via western union:
    Name:Quyntwan-henry
    city:stockton
    state:california
    zipcode:95203

    If it shows up here I will return to sender. The bamboo is gone.

    tracy cuningham wrote: Hey i am so sorry ,well you will have it soonest ok.

    I have no check from you

    tracy cuningham wrote: Hello am, very sorry that you did not get the check all this while ok,plz it was deducted from my acct so kindy let me know if you have the check.
    Regards

    Tracy NO> This is OVER> One month now. I was sick of looking at the bamboo in my yard. Now it is GONE! YOU SNOOZE YOU LOOSE
    Sasha

    tracy cuningham wrote:
    Hello Sasha,
    I am sorry that you did not get the cheque all this while,but i was informed that you did have it today so i want you to take it to the bank for deposition or get it exchanged with instant cash ok,i urge you to bear with me for the lateness of the payment in getting to you.well the check wont take more than 2-3 days before it get cleared at yur bank.
    Here is where you are to send back the excess funds to via western union.
    Name:Quyntwan-henry
    city:stockton
    state:california
    zipcode:95203

    No there is no check.
    Today marks one month that you have been blowing smoke up my butt. I told you the week before last that the deal is OFF! Today my neighbor bought the bamboo. So please quit writng about some check in the mail. If you sent a check at all you could have walked it here from China by now.
    Reguards, Sasha

    tracy cuningham wrote:
    Hello Today is the begining of the week and i believe you have the cheque by now,i want you to kindly get me updated if you gat the payment by now,kindly get me updated so as to know the status of the transaction.
    Get me updated asap!!!!!



    Still haven't seen a thing in the mail from you.

    tracy cuningham wrote: Hello Sasha how are you doing,am sorry that i did not get to you all this while,well i want you to kindly get back to me if you did got the check cos its been sent and ought to have been delivered by now.get me updated.
    Regards.


    Hi Tracy, It has been 2 weeks yesterday since you contacted me about my bamboo and said we had a deal. Well, even if you were sending a check from China; it would have been here by now. Unless I have a check in my mail box by Friday 7/14; there will be no deal.
    Thanks, Sasha

    tracy cuningham wrote:
    Hello kindly await the payment this week.
    Regards.

    Not Yet. as of 3:10 Saturday.

    tracy cuningham wrote: Get me updated as soon as you have it.
    Regards.

    Nothing yet.... I'll keep you up to date.

    tracy cuningham wrote: Hello how are you doing today?Well i believe the check will get to you soonest so kindly keep watch on your mail ,so get me updated as soon as you have it.You are to get it deposited and deduct your money then send back the excess to the information which am gonna get to you.
    Regards.

    as soon as the check clears.

    tracy cuningham wrote:
    Hello Sasha its nice to hear from you,well i want you to get me updated as soon as you have it,well the check might not take up to 5 days beforeit get clears aty your bank ,so i believe we have a done deall.
    Regards.

    It is still not here.
    I will deposit it the day it arrives; it usually takes a week. I also sell on ebay and the few times that I did take a personal check it took a week to 10 days. I can check through the autimated teller. Thank you, Sasha

    tracy cuningham wrote:
    Hello well i want you to get me updated as soon as you have the check,it will be deposited into the bank acct till it clears ok.....
    Get me updated..
    Regards.

    Thats fine; I'll be around this week. I'll keep an eye out for your check.
    Sasha

    tracy cuningham wrote:
    Hello Sasha how are you doing,well i will be outta office till monday so i want you know that the check will get to you this new week so keep watch on your mail ok,i will call you later to let you know about the homepickup.
    Regards.

    Thats fine

    tracy cuningham wrote: Hello its nice to hear from you once again,well i will await to hear from you so that i will give you the shippers information where you are to send back the excess funds to so that the homepickup can be done at your base.
    Regards.

    Ok, I'll let you know when the check arrives and clears.

    Thank you, Sasha

    tracy cuningham wrote:
    Hello its nice to hear from you aboutb the transaction,well now that i have your full information in regards to the deal,i want you to kindly turn all offers down asap and await the check which will get to you soon....So then i will talk about the homepickup at your base.
    Regards.

    I will take 45.00;

    I will give you the location when the check clears. Or I have a pay pal account and can send you a bill from there.
    Thank you and warm wishes, Sasha

    tracy cuningham wrote:
    Hello well its nice to hear from you about the item,well you have nothing to worry about the shipping at all,my shipper will come for the homepickup at your base.so get back to me with the information so tat the check will be sent out asap.

    tracy cuningham wrote:

    Hello Seller,
    I am very much interested in your item which is on the advertising
    site of the postaroo.com .All i am asking for is the full conditions
    of the item,final asking price and some pictures of the item if
    available.The mode of payment will be a via Us check.
    There has been an offer of a home pickup by the shipping company
    through the local shipping agent.To make the transaction fast i will
    need this full information to commence payment as soon as possible.

    FULL NAME:
    ADDRESS:
    LAST ASKING PRICE:
    DIRECT PHONE NUMBER:

    This payment that will be sent out to you will include the shipping
    fee that will be sent back to the shipper via WESTERN UNION as soon
    as the check is cashed.Awaiting you reply if interested
    Kindly get back to me at [email protected]
    Thanks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    22

    Re: Scam Or not A Scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by aletheanikoleta
    well, how is the company's feedback on ebay? I'd start by researching this first...that might help give you some answers.


    screw the feedback, the only way that western union ISNT a scam is if the person you are buying from is very close to you. never do anything through western union.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    215

    Re: Scam Or not A Scam?

    Somehow people create imaginary feedback on ebay. Now I know people will probably say it cant be true, but somehow they manage, because I've seen scammers who have over 100 feedbacks and they haven't just purchased $1 items, but expensive things which the feedback have been left for.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    811

    Re: Scam Or not A Scam?

    it can be $1 items or $1000 items. The "fraud" is that no one pays ofr it, but just for the feedback.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    55

    Re: Scam Or not A Scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Samtheman
    Somehow people create imaginary feedback on ebay. Now I know people will probably say it cant be true, but somehow they manage, because I've seen scammers who have over 100 feedbacks and they haven't just purchased $1 items, but expensive things which the feedback have been left for.
    Theoretically, it's not that difficult. Put up an auction for any item, have a partner bid on it, and raise the bid every time someone else bids on it. WHen the partner wins the auction, the two exchange positive feedbacks about each other, even though no payment is exchanged nor item sent. Just accept payment through some means other than Pay Pal and Ebay can't really track it.

    Colin Neilson

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