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Wonder How Much People Lose From That Nigerian E-mail Scam

The Highlander

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Wonder how much people lose from that Nigerian E-mail scam--you know, the one in which millions of dollars will be yours if you only pony up some front money?

The answer: $5,000. Or at least that's the median loss among those who reported being taken by the fraud to federal authorities.


That's one tidbit in the 27-page 2005 Internet Crime Report issued Thursday by the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Known as IC3, the center is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. This latter group is a Congressionally funded, not-for-profit corporation comprised mostly of law enforcement agencies, state regulatory bodies with criminal investigative authority, and state and local prosecution offices.


Last year, IC3 received 231,493 online complaints online, up 12% from 2004 and 89% from 2003. These complaints consist of a variety of offenses, including auction frauds, reshipping schemes, counterfeit check schemes, hacking and computer intrusion attempts, and child pornography Web sites. IC3 analyzed 97,076 of last year's complaints to develop a picture of the current state of online fraud.


Of that 97,076, some 2.7% claimed to be victims of the Nigerian E-mail fraud. Do the math, and more than 1,300 people paid $5,000 or more to the fraudsters for that one scam, the highest of any of the frauds. Check fraud ranked No. 2 in financial losses, with a median loss of $3,800 per victim. Other types of confidence schemes accounted for a median loss of $2,025.


Other findings in the report:


* Total dollar loss from referred cases topped $183.1 million, with a median dollar loss of $424 per complaint.


* Internet auction fraud comprised nearly two-thirds of complaints, with non-delivered merchandise and/or non-payment accounting for 16% of complaints.


* Men represented three-quarter of perpetrators, with half of the lawbreakers living in California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Men more than women--by a 64-36 margin--were more likely to file a complaint. The average age of a complainant was 40. One third of complainants came from California, Florida, Texas, and New York.

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One day I got an email at work from Nigeria offering me a share in the oil royalties...you all know this one. I decided to write back and sent a smart &%$ reply. Surprisingly, I got an immediate reply asking me why I didn't believe the email. We bantered back and forth for almost 30 minutes----it got nastier and nastier until he threatened me with viruses and other attacks of my systems. I then told him that I was part of the US Post Office trying to find thieves like him and I was on to him. Funny, everything stopped. I don't get those emails at work anymore!

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Guest mlpasley

There's a variation of that scam being passed off as someone winning the lottery or a contest that someone entered (unnamed, of course)


Only at the very end does the Nigerian email angle pop up. The twist now is a certified bank check that will originally come back as a good check.


We've had at least one news report in our area from someone who lost some money, but baulked when they wanted her to cash the check and send some of it back.

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sadly, even though so many are wise enouigh to not fall for lottery, nigeria, bank account, etc. phishing scams, just one out of a million emails sent already makes it worth the criminals' while...


and scam continue to flood email servers... :)



cheerio &

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