Tag: Internet fraud

Now it isn’t just scam e-mails…

But the Nigerian princes with massive oil wealth they want to put into your bank account now also are hitting on old broads on religious dating sites, and making out like bandits:

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A San Jose woman bilked out of $500,000 by a Nigerian scam artist on a dating website luckily recovered $200,000 from a bank in Turkey, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. The case of the 66-year-old woman conned out of her money through a meeting on ChristianMingle.com should serve as a warning about fraud schemes on international dating sites, Deputy District Attorney Cherie Bourland said.

“You get the love drug in you and you end up getting duped,” Bourland said. The victim, a divorcee, joined ChristianMingle and befriended a Nigerian man who falsely claimed to be “David Holmes,” an Irish citizen working on a Scottish oilrig, Bourland said.

He used a picture he said was of him but was actually an image of a male model he downloaded from the Internet, Bourland said. “There had been phone calls,” Bourland said. “He did not seem to have a Nigerian accent. He sent her flowers. But they never met in person.”

The district attorney’s office later discovered through the man’s Skype account and email address that he was living in Nigeria, which is “a hot bed of online scams,” Bourland said. The scammer convinced the woman to wire him $300,000 as a loan for his oil business, with much of the money coming from her retirement account and funds she received after refinancing her home, prosecutors said.

Seriously, I understand that she is a victim and I need to feel sorry for her, but are people this f-ing stupid? You send that kind of money to some dude you have never met, and obviously never seen (she thought he was Irish, and he is Nigerian, so I think unless he had a sophisticated AI to mask his image, or I am assuming incorrectly we are dealing with your usual Nigerian scammer, there is no way she saw him), just because you connected on electronically? Maybe I am not wired correctly, but there is just no sort of connection, not even one made in person, that would lead me to give that kind of money – especially from my retirment account – that would leave me inclined to give more than a couple of hundred dollars to someone else whose home address I do not have, and have verified.

Look, if it feels like it is too good to be true, it likely is. Maybe it is my nature to simply distrust every fucking body and just expect the worse from people in general, but damn, I just don’t get why people get fooled. I am not saying I am smarter or better than these people, and that I have never been had. Anyone can have a low moment. But I have always had my eyes wide open when someone was taking advantage of me. The choice was mine to make, and I made sure I was comfortable with whatever I was losing. Heck, I have often thought of reverse scamming one of these Nigerian scam artists, but the threat of pound-me-in-the-ass-prison (they enforce laws here, even if they get done willy-nilly and mostly against enemies of the state, which I am sure I am to the people in charge) has prevented me from doing anything.

Beware the debonair foreign entrepreneur you meet on whatever dating site you frequent, or you might end up with your clock cleaned.

Stupid scammers got caught..

Was home today and got a call my Caller ID identified as from a “unassigned” number 425-998-1533 (I will get back to that number in a bit) on which a lady whose accent I immediately placed as Asian told me that my home computer had transmitted an error code to them because of malware infection. Right! That’s beyond the obvious red flag. I suspect that their usual victims must not have a clue about computers, or run more virus and malware software than Fort Knox on their PCs like I do, but I immediately realized something was seriously off with this call. When I prompted her for more details she told me she was a rep from a company called Alertsoft. She started telling me that she represented my computer manufacturer. I was on my computer so I immediately looked up “Alertsoft”, and from that web site that clearly shows that it was put together by someone whose first language is not English, I deduced that that her claim was false.

My first guess was that this was some crooks trying to sell stuff to unwitting and unknowing people, but as the conversation went on that changed. When I asked her for my computer’s brand she was clearly stumped and she tried to give me a run around. I realized that something seriously wrong was going on when she told me she needed my IP address to run a scan of my computer. If she was working for my manufacturer and her company received a malware alert from my machine as she claimed, the IP address would have to already be known to them. She was trying to scam me. No doubt about it. I had to do some considerable research because this information does not come out easily on searches – they must have put some serious time, effort, and money hiding their actual schemes and scams from being noticed – but while she was trying hard to bullshit me I hit the jack pot. It is a big scam.

I was not going to give her either my IP address or a credit card number, which she assured me was only needed for verification purposes and to which no charges would be applied, like she asked. So I prompted her for an IP address on their end I could ping, for verification on my side, you know, and at that point I think she realized she was caught and hung up on me. I immediately dialed that number I gave above (go ahead and do so yourself)back and got a recording warning the user that this number was being used by scammers that “phish for identity and user data to exploit”. They are some kind of Middle Eastern scam organization involved in criminal activity that ranges from stealing people’s identities – with all the consequent problems – to tricking them into letting them compromise their computers and downloading software they then use to commit other such types of crimes with.

Neither your computer manufacturer nor anyone that operates security software would be calling you on the phone and asking you for your credit card, for verification purposes or otherwise, and then for an IP address they can use to download software to your computer on. There is no shadow group out there that scans all the world’s computers for malware. Just like you do not win the lottery in Spain if you didn’t buy a ticket, or are too stupid to live if you believe a Nigerian government official that needs your bank account information, to transfer hundreds of millions of locked dollars from an oil sale, and promises you a few million in return for that help.

Buyer beware. If they call you from Alertsoft or any other such bullshit company don’t tell them anything other than to fuck off and die.