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View Full Version : New twist on Nigerian Scam aimed at Artists



meshmaster
06-30-2003, 08:03 AM
I read about these in a recent email from an art email list that I'm on. I can see how the first one would work with non-artists too if you sell stuff on ebay or any other way online... Nigerian scam is getting more complex everyday. I get nigerian scam emails about once a week on my hotmail account lately...
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Two of the Most Recent Internet Scams
Thanks to Markus Kruse at WorldWideArtsResources <http://www.wwar.com> and Kathy Kahre at ArtQuest <http://www.ArtQuest.com> for forwarding the details of the SCAM #1 to their respective mailing lists. I received a similar inquiry myself from a prospective West African buyer in March 2003.
INDEPTH INTERNET SCAM ALERT #1:
DETAILED EXPLANATION OF SCAM:
The criminal will contact you as a client or pose as a representative of a client. The criminal will offer to buy a work of your art usually at full price without much discussing the work or really showing much interest in the work. After offering to buy the work, the criminal will tell you that he or she will send you a check drawn on an American Bank. Once you have received and deposited the check into your bank account, the criminal will tell you that the client is in a hurry and that he or another representative will pick up the work right away.
You will notice that the check you received is for a much larger amount than the artwork that you are selling. The criminal will claim that it is his or her commission for making the sale. The criminal will then ask you to wire or bank transfer the "commission" to them to an account, usually in a West African nation like Nigeria. Everything still seems normal because by now YOUR bank has actually deposited the money into your account.
HERE IS THE CATCH:
The check that the criminal sent looks real and legitimate. However, the check is false and invalid. YOUR bank at first sight also thinks it is legitimate and processes it. Due to your good standing YOUR bank has under good faith credited your account. In other words YOUR bank is floating the amount until they hear back from the issuing bank that the check is bad. The issuing bank will eventually tell YOUR bank that the check is a fraud and YOUR bank will reverse the deposit.
By that time you will have wired the money to the overseas account and no one ever came to pick up the work. You have just lost the "commission" the criminal had asked you to wire or bank transfer to their overseas account. You will never see the money again. Unfortunately, you are liable for the funds even though YOUR bank has floated the deposit for that time period.
SOLUTION:
The only solution is not to deal with any client that seems fraudulent. Almost every time the email from the client originates from an "anonymous" email account. You need to immediately forward the information to the company that is offering the email account. I would also suggest to contact the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) at: http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp .
SCAM #2 REQUESTING CREDIT CARD DATA AND OTHER PERSONAL DATA
EXACT TEXT OF A FRAUDULENT E-MAIL RECEIVED:
"Dear customer,
Recently we have received an order made by using your personal credit card information.
This order was made online at our official BestBuy website on 06/19/2003.
Our Fraud Department has some suspicions regarding this order and we need you to visit a special Fraud Department page at our web store where you can confirm or decline this transaction by providing us with the correct information.
This e-mail address has been taken from National Credit Bureau.
Click the link below to visit a special Fraud Department page to resolve the cause of the problem.
BestBuy.com/fraud_department.html
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ORDER# 1095619 - STATUS: SUSPENDED
ITEMS PURCHASED
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Item No: 73890
CDA-9815 In-Dash CD Player/Ai-Changer Controller
Price: $387.65 Qty: 2 Total: $775.3
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The order listed above has not yet been processed.
The reason for the delay in processing your order is:
- UNVERIFIED SHIPPING ADDRESS
- Information provided:
Shipping
41 WINHAM ST
Staten Island, NY 10306
United States
phone# 206-337-9843
In our effort to deter fraudulent transactions, we need your help in providing us with the correct information. Your prompt response is needed to avoid any unauthorized charges to your credit card.
ANALYSIS:
This scam only lasted two hours before the Best Buy was able to shut down the temporary website. However, hundred even thousands of individuals were victimized when they responded to the link and provided their credit card information. The webpage requesting the information had a Best Buy logo on it making it seem authentic (easily downloaded), but the forwarding URL was clearly not on the Best Buy website. Similar emails have been sent out by individuals posing as eBay, Amazon, etc. The moral: Don't give out personal information such as credit card numbers, ID codes, passwords, etc. to unsolicited emails received such as this. Also, any email originating from a free Yahoo or Hotmail account is suspect since they can be setup and closed down within minutes and are untraceable.