a reply to: Skid Mark
There is a website which is essentially the name right at the beginning of this video with a 'dot com' after the end of it wherein there are literally
thousands of accounts from people known as 'scam-baiters' playing all manner of games on scammers from Nigeria and elsewhere. I've read over this
website for years, and at one point was even a member. It was trendy back then, but the popularity has fallen off as awareness of these scams has
Interestingly these are known as "419" scams (from which the website takes it's name). The numbers 419 represent the Nigerian section of the penal
code to which these scams fall under. 419 scamming is/was actually considered a formal "occupation" in Nigeria. The reason for this was, sadly,
because of how successful these scams were. Official estimates of losses are in the hundreds of millions. Officials estimate that official estimates
represent probably only 10% of actual losses because most people are too embarrassed to admit they've been bilked out of hundreds, if not thousands,
Here in the US the scam is knows as an "Advance Fee Fraud" and it is a very active type of fraud even now. Thieves have realized though there's an
easier way to play the game. It is quite common on places like craig's list and local newspaper classified ads. And sadly, even though people should
know better from all the fame and publicity of the Nigerian 419 scams of a decade ago, they don't and still fall into the same traps. The scammers
today have gotten much, much, more creative (and different) though. There's two basic versions, and here's how they work...
1. Scammer lists an advertisement for some desirable item (complete with pictures) at a seemingly excellent price point. A unsuspecting buyer will
respond. The scammer will concoct some story (military and overseas, you name it) and pitch the buyer into thinking there are several other buyers in
hot pursuit of the item. The first trip-wire is the scammer will try to get the buyer to give him a deposit on the item (to prevent other buyers from
buying it out from under him and then just steal the money. OR worse, they will try to get the buyer to pay for the item in full (or in part), or to
pay some shipping fee to see the item. In any case, all monies sent just disappear.
2. (and this one is more sinister) A scammer will respond as if he's a potential buyer to an item you have listed. They scammer will act very
interested, but again they will have some excuse about not being able to do a face to face cash deal. The scammer will then offer to put a deposit on
the item with a certified check. They will offer to make the check out for several hundred (or even thousands) of dollars more
than the item
is listed for. This additional fee is to cover your expenses to ship the item to them. They'll even provide a shipping address (and this is where
unsuspecting people get tripped up...no thief would ever provide his address, right? So this must be legit.). The scammers will make the check out
for hundreds/thousands more than shipping would ever cost, and they tell the person to just return any unused funds to them via money order. The
seller deposits the (bogus) certified check in their bank, arranges for shipping and then cuts a check for the balance to be returned to the buyer.
The item ships to an undeliverable address (vacant home / business, etc.). The certified check from the buyer bounces, but the money order from the
seller clears. Because the seller believes the certified check is real he (wrongly) assumes it's safe to take the risk on getting the money order
(not realizing the certified check in no way is collateral for the money order).