Tuesday, January 03, 2012

3 reasons why people are (still) getting scammed online

The following video has been shared on Facebook by some of my friends in Malaysia. I took particular interest to it as it was a 60 Minutes Australia production and was surprised to find that the Nigerian scammers were found in Kuala Lumpur.

After watching it I can't help but wonder how people are still getting scammed after the internet has been around for so long and there are just SO MANY CASES! So, here are my opinions:

3 Reasons Why People Are (still) Getting Scammed Online

1. Greed
"You have won a gazillion dollars from the lottery in Mordor! To access your money, please wire us all your life savings for the transaction fee and you will be so OMGWTFBBQRICH!!!"
 Note the style of "CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL".
Familiar Font Art from Microsoft Office 97?
Why in the world would anyone fall for this? I've received several emails/calls like this before. First off, I've never even BEEN to that particular country they claim I won the lottery at; secondly, their command of English was way off.

Scammers are so successful because everyone's looking for that "ticket to fortune". Out of 100 emails they send out, there would be 1 blinded by dollar signs and blindly hand over thousands of dollars over an untracable & nonreversible transaction through Western Union & Moneygram. 

2. Desperation
Like in the video this poor old lady got scammed after being involved in an online romance. I can understand that you can get emotionally attached to a person online but to send them your life savings and rack up a debt? That's just going way too far.
 Tries to buy plane ticket to visit online lover - Credit Card DECLINED

But I guess there really are very deperate people who will do anything just to find love. However, the moment it involves money, I suggest you run. Not only cause I'm a cheapskate, but I worked damn hard to earn my money and why should I part with it for someone who says sweet nothings in bad English and not to mention never even seen?

For some weird reason no one ever suspects why these scammers do not own a webcam... Hmm...

3. Stupidity
This is probably the MAIN reason why people are still getting scammed.

Please people, if it's too good to be true, IT PROBABLY IS! Such a simple rule and yet people still get scammed. 
Fry makes a point.
It may not be valid nor reasonable, but still... a point.
Educate yourself about scams, you don't have to do full research just Google the "company" or individual's name and you'll see if they're blacklisted on websites that compile these scams. If anyone you don't know contacts you about money, don't respond!


That being said, the Nigerian scammers caught in Malaysia wouldn't be the last ones. There are definitely more and with Malaysian police, I highly doubt they'll be arrested. The only reason why this video of arrest exists is because it's an Australian effort. Otherwise its *cough*bribe*cough cough*

I do have one question though, is the scammer that stupid to collect the payments at Western Union with his own name? If yes, that means he doesn't have the means of obtaining a fake credential with his fake name.

But that being said, does this mean the lady in Australia sent money to a name OTHER than her online lover? That's just really dumb...

If she DID send it to the name of her online lover, and a different man picks up the money with transaction details but not with the identification of the receiver's name... Why doesn't Western Union just make it mandatory for photo identification of the receiver's name to collect the funds?

*shakes head* Humans...

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