Most people with e-mail accounts have seen the messages in their inbox.
The subject line reads “Urgent Business Request,” and in the body of the message a seemingly desperate person asks the recipient to help transfer money out of Nigeria and into the U.S. The message, in broken English, is sprinkled with words like “top secret,” “trapped funds,” “utterly confidential,” and promises a cut of the funds in return
Most people who get these messages know it’s a common scam referred to as the “Nigerian e-mail scam” — officially called the “419 scam” and also called the Advance Fee Fraud — and they delete them.
But others are falling for the 90-year-old trick, and it’s costing them hundreds — even thousands — of dollars.
Mary Winkler, the woman accused of killing her pastor husband in Tennessee, was said to have been duped by the scam, causing tension in her relationship with her husband. Her family members just this week claims she was abused by her spouse.
A 76-year-old woman in Port Charlotte, Fla., recently reportedly lost $42,000 to the scam; she wired $30,000 to a person in New York and $12,000 to alleged employees of the Central Bank of Nigeria, a local paper in Florida reported.
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Victims Still Falling Prey to Nigerian E-Mail Scam, Scam, Phishing