Although Nigerian scam is one of the most known and most recognized online frauds, there are still people who get into this trap and lose money. But computer users are not the ones to blame – scammers usually make the malicious scheme look so real that even the biggest skeptics fail to resist.
The name “Nigerian scam” usually stands for any online scam that involves cashing fake checks or helping to transfer money from certain country. But the scam that recently was exposed actually originated in Nigeria. The Nigerian scammers are still not arrested, but a Washington woman that supervised the fraud was punished this week. She will be imprisoned for two years, although many people she fooled wish the punishment was harder. Fake checks worth $1.1 million were found at her house at the time of arrest. Other checks and money orders worth approximately $600,000 were already sent to gullible people.
The worst thing about Nigerian scam is that victims don’t realize they are doing something illegal. The scammers send thousands of emails asking to cash a check or money order because they supposedly live outside the USA and they can’t do it on their own. They usually even add some sad story next to the “help request”. People who are generous and agree to cash money then become responsible for the scam as well, because they are those who come to bank with fake documents. The scammers don’t risk anything – they can always send another thousand of fabricated requests. But they turn the helpful people into really terrible position when the scam is exposed.
Security experts and police chase scammers, but they agree that the only way to stop the scam is educate people.