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ONLINE BUSINESS HELP

How to avoid getting disastrously dot-conned online.
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-07-07

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    How to avoid getting disastrously dot-conned online.
    by Josey Teby

    ...It is estimated that citizens in the U.S. alone are
    losing as much as $1,000,000 DAILY to Nigerian scammers!
    As someone doing your business on the Internet, this
    article will show you how to stay protected online from
    the newer variations and twists of the scams that can
    defraud even the most scam-conscious individuals...

    As an Internet user, have you received a letter, fax or
    e-mail asking you to help a Nigerian {or any other citizen
    who you previously don't know} with a bank transaction -
    and offering you a chance to share millions of dollars?

    This is a typical Nigerian Scam which has been around for
    decades, but now it seems to have reached epidemic
    proportions with the use of the Internet.

    While some people recognize that this scheme, also known as
    the -419 Advanced Fee Scam,- sounds too good to be true,
    unfortunately thousands of other people, daily, keep being
    victimized by this fraud.

    It is not really their fault because daily these scammers
    keep coming up with newer twists and variations to the
    scams to defraud even the most scam conscious individuals.

    Many people engaged in doing business on the Internet are
    increasingly becoming victims of this notorious scam despite
    all the warnings about scams in general.


    *************How The Scam Works***************

    In the Nigerian scam, scam artists entice their victims
    into believing they have been singled out from the masses
    to share in multi-million dollar windfall profits.

    Typically, a company or individual receives an unsolicited
    letter, fax or email from a Nigerian claiming to be a
    senior civil servant.

    In the email, the Nigerian informs the recipient that he
    is seeking a reputable foreign company or individual into
    whose account he can deposit funds ranging from $10 to $60
    million, which the Nigerian government supposedly overpaid
    on a procurement contract.

    In return, the recipient gets to keep a share of the
    millions.

    There are dozens of different variations of this email
    originating from several countries, all involving a plea
    for help and a promise to share the riches.

    But NOTE this clearly-

    It doesn’t matter what the story is...

    It doesn't matter what country is mentioned...

    It doesn't matter how true it looks....

    So far as you don't know the person before and he or she
    is offering you such an 'opportunity of a lifetime' of
    gaining millions of dollars within a short time for doing
    absolutely nothing...

    Forget it...

    ... every single one is just a scam!

    Laws passed in Nigeria outlaw the notorious Nigerian
    advanced-fee fraud letters. Victims of these scams have
    also included Nigerians... to show that not all Nigerians
    are involved in the scams.

    In short, these scams started in Nigeria and has led to
    thousands of Nigerians losing their entire fortunes to
    these scammers. Many have been known to commit suicide
    for losing all they own.

    Yes, even Nigerians themselves are victims!

    The scams are perpertuated by just a few bad eggs from
    among the millions of honest Nigerians worldwide.

    Such honest Nigerians have suffered in 2 ways from their
    few bad eggs in their midst.

    One- by losing millions to the scammers themselves,
    Two- by being blacklisted by other people worldwide.

    It is therefore important not to look at 'Nigerians' as
    the problem, but to look at the 'scammers' as the problem.

    *******The use of the Internet for the scams********
    Since April 1998, U.S. Postal Inspectors have seized and
    destroyed over 4 million Nigerian advance-fee fraud mails,
    resulting in an 80 percent decrease in the number of
    related complaints received by the Postal Service, law
    enforcement agencies, and consumer groups.

    But with the Internet, these scam artists are now using
    emails to trap unsuspecting people, especially those with
    email addresses and websites...

    ... People doing their businesses on the Internet are more
    at danger of falling for these scams.

    These con artists do not target a single company or
    individual, but rather send out mass mailings, e-mails or
    faxes to as many people as possible.

    Even Nigerians receive dozens of such emails on a daily
    basis... many still fall for the tricks.

    The goal of the scammer is to delude the target into
    thinking he or she is being included in a very lucrative,
    although questionable, arrangement.


    *********Some Characteristics of the Scam***********

    . An urgent email from an alleged Nigerian government
    official offers to transfer millions of dollars in "over-
    invoiced contract funds" into the victim's bank account.

    . The victim is asked to provide blank company letterhead,
    bank account information, and telephone and fax numbers.

    . The confidentiality of the transactions is emphasized.

    . Numerous documents with official looking stamps, seals,
    and logos appear to suggest the authenticity of the proposal.

    . Up-front or advance fees are requested for various taxes,
    attorney fees, transaction fees, or bribes.

    . Travel to overseas locations is encouraged to complete the
    transaction.

    . Imposters posing as real occupants or officials may use
    offices in legitimate government buildings in Nigeria to meet
    with the potential victims.

    . A problem with the transaction is staged, and the victim
    is urged to provide a large sum of money to save the venture.

    It is easy to fall victim to this scam. Sometimes, it is
    impossible to tell a legitimate deal from an outright scam,
    especially if you do not seek outside help.


    *********How to protect yourself************

    . Learn how to avoid the bad deals by educating yourself
    and following some basic, common sense principles as
    outlined in ebooks like http://www.nigerianscambuster.com

    . Always keep your private information private. Do not give
    your financial account numbers to strangers or companies
    with which you are not familiar. A scam artist can use this
    information to steal money from you just as easily as
    mugging you at gunpoint or in a darkened alley.

    . Avoid being the next victim - if you receive an offer in
    the mail or via fax that sounds too good to be true - throw
    it away!

    If you get an email offer - delete it ...

    DO NOT RESPOND!

    . Don't be of the opinion that the name 'Nigeria' must be
    mentioned before you are convinced it is a Nigerian Scam.
    These days, the sophisticated ones no longer mention the
    name- Nigeria. Also, other local criminals from other
    countries are now using the same tactics to dupe their own
    people.

    . Learn all you can about the scam so as to avoid falling
    for the newer variations and twists of the scams.

    Better still, visit http://www.nigerianscambuster.com so
    that you will be entitled to the bi-monthly newsletter
    which will keep you continually updated on the latest moves
    and tricks of these Nigerian scammers in particular and
    other Internet related scams in general.

    Remember, it is a wild wild west out there... scammers are
    having a field day at YOUR expense.

    Don't let them!



    **************About The Author******************

    Josey Teby is an expert on the Nigerian scams in paritcular
    and other Internet scams in general. To learn more about the
    Nigerian scam and other Internet scams, download his ebook
    and 7 bonuses in his website: www.nigerianscambuster.com
    The ebook also shows ordinary Internet users as well as
    webmasters how to avoid credit card fraud and chargebacks.

    **********************************************

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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