The scam scourge is prevalent in our society. Scam-artist exists virtually everywhere in the world and they can hit any target. It’s is a fallacious statement that Nigeria has the highest numbers of scammers. Unfortunately, Nigerian scammers are notorious. In this post, I will give tips on how you can easily detect a bait originating either from within or outside your location. For clarification purposes, I will define a scam-artist, a spammer and a hacker. I will also explain the relationship between these set of con-artists.
Who is A Scam Artist/Con-artist/419?
A scammer is a person who attempts to defraud others by presenting a fraudulent offer and pretending that it is legitimate.
Con artists look for ways to manipulate strengths and weaknesses. They will either paint a picture of wealth and ease, or increase your darkest fears, or a combination of both. A scammer will do the followings to their target/client:
Basic tricks used by Scammers
play on your sympathies,
instil in you a sense of security in dealing with him or her,
separate you from your friends and family by placing extreme secrecy on all facets of the deal,
convince you to depend only on the scammer and to believe only in the scammer; convince you that your friends and family, banks and law enforcement, are all lying and that only the scammer is telling the truth.
and distract you from what is really going on using lies laced with enough truth to make the pattern believable. What we call “sleight of mind.”
Who is A Spammer?
A spammer is considered a person or organization that sends irrelevant or unsolicited messages over the Internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware.
Electronic spamming is the use of electronic messaging systems to send an unsolicited message (spam), especially advertising, as well as sending messages repeatedly on the same site. While the most widely recognized form of spam is email spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media. Other platforms where spamming is possible are: instant messaging spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, social media spam, spam mobile apps, and file sharing spam. Most spammers have the intention to scam.
Who is a Hacker?
Hacking or hackers are sub-divided into other groups such as white-hat, grey-hat black-hat hackers and so on. However, we are used to only two types of hackers which are the “black-hat and white-hat” hackers. One represents a kind of “protagonist” in a movie while the other is the “Antagonist”
Common Types and Forms of Hackers/Hacking
A security hacker is someone who seeks to breach defences and exploit weaknesses in a computer system or network. The subculture that has evolved around hackers is often referred to as the computer underground.
There is a longstanding controversy about the term’s true meaning. In this controversy, the term hacker is reclaimed by computer programmers who argue that it refers simply to someone with an advanced understanding of computers and computer networks, and that cracker is the more appropriate term for those who break into computers, whether computer criminal (black hats) or computer security expert (white hats)
What are the Relationship Between Hackers, Scammers and Spammers?
In order to easily detect a scam bait, we need to know the relationship between a scammer, a hacker and a spammer.
Technically, the 3 are interrelated. Besides, one person can be the three. A scam-artist can employ spamming and hacking to achieve his aims and objectives. By contrast, a white hat hacker is the one who solves the problems created by black-hat hackers.
A scammer can employ the services of a hacker to break into someone else’s computer or account while at the same time spamming his prospective clients persistently. In a nutshell, a scammer is different from the other two, however, a scammer can harmonise the other two.
Why do People get Scammed Easily
Before you get scammed, you will belong to either of the following groups.
- Unsuspecting, selfishness, pride and arrogance, loquacity nonchalant, carelessness, trust and ignorant
- Greed and over-zealousness
Remember, no matter how smart you are, if you will get scammed, you will be scammed especially by a loved one. This brings us to how you can be in a position of being scammed:
Characteristics of Those who get Scammed Easily
- Greed: This is the most important factor for being a scam candidate. please be realistic, set realistic goals, embrace only offers that apply to common sense. An unknown person offers to sell a brand new iPhone 7 to you at the rate of $250, don’t you know something is wrong? If anything is too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Stinginess, selfishness / Miser: If you do not help people around you but you only use them, you will eventually get scammed especially by people very close to you.
- Unsuspecting, Ignorance and trust: This is the only unavoidable means of getting scammed. But under normal circumstances, the saying “Once bitten, twice shy should apply”. Besides, this article will go a long way in putting you in a better position
- Loquacity, nonchalance and carelessness: Please and please know where and who you tell things relating to your financial or business status. Nowadays, a scammer is scamming a scammer. Do not overlook anything that is unsolicited. Do your research before acting
Scammers Mode of Operation: The Nigerian Case-in-Point
Once or twice, I have been scammed by a loved one due to trust. But I have never been scammed due to greed or selfishness or carelessness. I was once scammed due to trust and I learnt my lessons ever since.
Tactics Adopted by Scammers in Targetting Their Clients
- Email spam: I mean you receive an unsolicited email that sends panic into you or offers you something ridiculously good.
- Secondly, Social media: Facebook and other media
- Number 3 is Dating sites
- Text messages Scam: the trend now is for you to receive a message telling you have won a prize from a contest you did not participate in, that your bank has suspended your account and you need to call a specified number in order the re-activate it.
- By downloading a deceptive app to your phone.
- Phishing: the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. So do not click on any link or download just anything from untrusted mailers.
- Also, note that any ID provided by the Scammer will always be faked or stolen. Scammers on dating sites will use pics lifted from the internet. www.tineye.com is a good resource to check suspect pics
- A typical con-artist will pose as professionals, ie, Barristers, Government Officials, Company Directors, etc, but their major weakness is that they use free e.mail addresses, eg, gmail, Windows Live Mail, Yahoo, etc(check my pic above. Some Scammers are crafty and use mock corporate mail extensions, which are available via some free e.mail providers.
- Furthermore, scammers work in cliques or groups. Early on in the Scam, the Victim will be given the e.mail address of a third party, often a lawyer or clergyman and asked to contact them. Usually, it is the same Scammer using a different e.mail address. The purpose of this is to draw the Victim deeper into the plot and darken reality.
- For you to fall more easily, most scammers pretend to be based in Europe. some Scammers pretend to be UK-based and use what looks like UK telephone numbers but are actually virtual numbers, which may redirect to anywhere in the world (UK – Nigeria, for eg). These are the digits to look out for at the start of a virtual phone number. Dialling from outside the UK
Examples include: +44 70** *** ***, +44 3** *** ***, +44 84* *** ***, +44 87* *** ***, +44 9** *** *** and similar numbers
- Often, the Scam e.mail will be typed in UPPER CASE CAPITAL LETTERS. It is believed that the main reason Scammers do this is that the keyboards that they use in African Cyber Cafes are dual language and English may only be accessed through UPPER CASE. But today, msot scammers are very smart.
- The Victim will be asked to provide a scan of their photo ID, ie, passport or driving licence. This serves 2 purposes; to ensure that the Victim is who they say they are, and to provide the Scammer with a scan of a genuine ID which may be reused to scam others.
- The Scammer will soon ask for the Victim’s phone number. This is to ensure direct and immediate access to the Victim whenever the Scammer chooses to call and pressure the Victim to pay up.
- Scammers will reuse scripted e.mails. Copy 2-3 line extracts from suspicious e.mails and searches for these on the internet. There is always a chance that identical e.mails have been posted on forums to warn others.
- closely observing the image below%