The Spanish Prison Scam in the 21st Century

You just can’t know too much when it comes to scams. Now here’s another interesting tidbit from the Atlantic:

A vicious and intriguing cyber-war has broken out in the Spamosphere, or more specifically in what I’d call the “Scamosphere.”

I’m speaking of the emergence of “scam-baiters,” the avengers of the Scamosphere, who’ve arisen to take on “419” con artists, the scammers who pose in spam e-mails as agents for the widows of deposed finance ministers of Dubai or vice chairmen of the Ivory Coast Cocoa Trading Board. The ones who promise you a share of a multimillion-dollar “inheritance” stashed in a Swiss bank account in return for your help in getting access to it by posing as the legal beneficiary. The ones who then try to persuade you (and it’s amazing how many are blinded enough by greed to believe the pitch) to fork over one “advance fee” after another to “estate attorneys,” “private bank managers,” and other fictional “facilitators”—until you awaken to the fact that you’ve been taken or are broke. (The name 419 comes from the number of the section of the Nigerian criminal code that applies to fraud, though the advance-fee fraud is actually a variation on the centuries-old “Spanish Prisoner” ploy.)

Click here to read the full article.

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2 Responses to The Spanish Prison Scam in the 21st Century

  1. Truth To Power says:

    Nothing new here. Whether it is an online scam or a legally executed bankers scam?

    Unregulated capitalism the free market. Stop complaining.

  2. J. Soden says:

    Back when I was a travel agent (21+ years of surviving airfare wars) I used to do talks to groups regarding travel scams. Was fun and amazing how many folks had fallen for one.

    Best rule of thumb: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably ISN’T.

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