[Air-l] "Nigerian letter"

Homero Gil de Zuniga hgildezuniga at wisc.edu
Mon May 24 12:10:06 PDT 2004

I know some time ago we discussed upon this topic on the list. Probably
all of us (or at least many) have received an email (scam) from Nigeria
or some other countries promising large sums of money if we cooperate
with the sender.
As I was curious to see how they deploy their fraud, I chose to follow
up with one of the emails. I replied back and tried to gather more
information regarding the mechanism of the fraud. I obviously stopped
when I realized that they required more personal information (necessary
for them to perform a "deposit") which actually would facilitate them to
illegally withdraw money from my bank account... 
Well, up to here it was just a funny issue. But the problem came when I
was constantly receiving "Nigerian, Zimbabwean and Ghanaian letters"
from many diverse sources. Pure SCAM SPAM!!.
I had to stop it somehow, and regular filters didn't seem to work. In
this process, I found the Internet Fraud Compliant Center, "a
partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the
National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)", and filed with them all the
email addresses that I received all these weeks. It worked, now I don't
even get one email related to that "profitable topic".  
Here is the IFCC web site: http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp. If you go
under Statistics they have few reports on fraud over the Internet. I
found it really interesting and amusing. They specifically addressed
what they have denominated as "Nigerian Letter"... But there are many
other fraudulent gems and data on the matter. 
Cheers everyone,

Homero Gil de Zuniga
Mass Communication Research Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

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