I’m sure everyone has heard of the famous Nigerian scam by now. If you haven’t, here’s a brief summary. You get an email from “royalty” in Nigeria, claiming that you are an heir to a fortune of someone who has just recently passed away. It’s quite a substantial sum and you’re very lucky to have been named as the recipient of this fortune! There are only a couple of things that you must do in order to get this money transferred to your accounts in your home country, where you will then be free to spend it lavishly on whatever your heart desires. You simply have to pay a small fee to get it transferred out of Nigeria and into your accounts. Sounds simple, right?
It is simple – a simple scam. They promise fortunes of over $100,000 dollars so when you’re asked to pay the “paltry” sum of $2000 to get the money, it seems like a complete bargain and you’re more than happy to pony up the money, because you’re licking your chops thinking about all of the jetskis you’ll be able to ride with your hundred grand in cold hard cash.
Like I said, most of you are probably intimately familiar with this scam as it has been around almost as long as the internet itself. It was very effective in the past, but now it has been lambasted so heavily even in the mainstream media that even the most simpleminded internet user out there won’t fall for it. That doesn’t mean that there is nothing to fear on the internet though. Online scams are the biggest way that consumers are getting defrauded every single day of every year as we more further and further into the information age. Transactions are happening on the internet more and more these days, and that opens up the door for faceless theft.
I think the reason we see scams online so much more often is because those who are perpetrating these crimes are highly intellectual and a bit sociopathic. They wouldn’t have the self confidence to pull off a scam in the real world, so they turn to their area of expertise to funnel money into their banks accounts while not having to speak to another human being at all. It is the worst kind of depravity and governments across the world are all actively involved in fighting it on a daily basis.
Don’t let governments be the only ones fighting against online scams though. You as an internet user need to be acutely aware that these scams are out there, and you need to protect yourself from as many of them as possible just by using smart and sound judgment while you browse the internet. This means installing pop up blockers and using antivirus and anti spyware programs as much as you can to make sure that you’re not being attacked or scammed in any way.