Fight internet scam and fraud...
Don't be a victim of a fraud or a scam.
In todays digital age there are many ways to conceal identity and conduct shady business from distant countries that rules and laws or your current location may not apply. The governing police may not have the same strength and enforcement of governing laws in some places around the world like it is in your home town.
This is why people with malicious intent take advantage of situation of such sort.
It all starts with a tempting offer, offer that you cannot refuse. In your mind you already think how much money you will gain from this deal... but then it hits you.
Two popular scams uses email fraud and classified advertisement overpayment.
Email fraud is a popular scam used to elude victims into a huge lump sum heritage or fake lottery winning. Classified advertisement will elude scam artists into sending a fake check with request of overpayment.
This is how it works:
Email scam starts with an email stating that you are the sole survivor of a large lump sum heritage that an unknown uncle left you in a foreign country. You then being asked to provide paper work and send us money to process the paper work through lawyers and bankers that obviously are fake, and you end up paying fees receiving nothing.
Email lottery scam tells you won a lump sum. In order to receive the money you need to send money to a delivery company and percentage of money conversion from a foreign currency to process the request. Obviously you end up with nothing.
Classified advertisement scam starts with you posting a product for sale or room for rent. The alleged interested party will tell you that they are sending you money for the product including a delivery and overpayment so when you get the check then they ask you to take what is yours and send them the remaining.
Fake check awareness: most checks can be verified before they reach the bank so you don't have to pay bounced checks fee. Checks such as western union or postal money order can be verified over the phone or at the local branch. But if you do deposit the check through the bank it will take about 2 weeks for processing which makes many people believe that the funds are there and that's how this scam works.
How to spot a scam?
If it's too good to be true, then it is suspected to be a scam.
What can I do?
Some scams and fraud once the money is in their hands there is nothing you can do. Especially if the money was delivered to countries with incapable police help such as Nigeria. Many countries have a police unit that help solving those crimes and can be contacted through the internet or by phone. Most countries will make the effort to catch the scammers.
In some countries where police is no use to catch the scammers the only thing can be done is either ignore them or toy with them. I have decided to toy with them. The way it is done is simple. I placed an item for sale in a popular classified section on the internet (such as craigslist.org) and many scam artists jump right out and send me an email willing to buy the item. I play along with them and agree to all their demands but using a fake name and address. When they conform to sending the fake check I inform them that I am sending them the overpayment back through western union, but, provide them a fake number to reach. They obviously would go to western union only to find out that there is no money there. So I proceed with telling them that I made a mistake with the account number, and one excuse follow another makes them run to the fake cash many times. Not to mention that I demand the check to be send only through express delivery which cost them money in addition to running around.
Internet crime complaint center
National fraud information center
Avoid internet investment fraud
FBI - internet fraud