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Posted by Charlie S ( on August 02, 2001 at 15:03:55:

RCMP busts the Nigerian letter scam but countless others still out there

TORONTO (CP) - While the RCMP and American authorities managed recently to shut down a huge direct-mail and e-mail scam, unlimited numbers of con artists still operate, fooling people everyday despite their too-good-to-be-true promises.
In an ongoing scam, an e-mail is sent simultaneously to thousands of recipients worldwide, promising "a prosperous future, money-earning power and the admiration of all."

A collection of some of the most common online scams:

Nigerian letter scam: While arrests recently crippled one of the world's biggest scams, variations on the same idea still surface on occasion. The rip-off involves an offer from a supposed rich businessman from a developing country needing help transferring money out of the country. The victim is asked to give their name and bank account information for the money to be deposited into and in exchange, a large cash fee is provided. Millions of dollars have been swindled from unsuspecting people using this scam.

E-mail processor: A guise for a typical pyramid scam, offering thousands of dollars a month in part-time income in exchange for some simple e-mailing from home. The e-mailing ends up being a recruiting mission to rope more victims into the operation and the promises of income are hugely exaggerated.

World Currency Cartel or the International Exchange Alliance: An e-mail announces a limited-time offer to exchange a minimum $25 US into $100 of legal currency. The $25 investment can be expanded into any denomination, no matter how large. The result is a return package of "legal currency" from a Third World country, each dollar worth pennies.

False credit card charges: A bogus company sends what appears to be an invoice for hundreds of dollars in pornographic videos. A message at the bottom of an e-mail says the credit card will be billed within 48 hours unless the recipient calls a phone number to cancel. The victim calls, confirms his credit card information, hangs up and unknowingly is ripped off.

University diplomas: Commonly referred to as diploma mills, companies offer a variety of allegedly realistic diplomas from non-accredited schools around the world. Some companies will accept money and mail out a phony degree but many are fly-by-night operations and disappear once any money has been collected.

The Canadian Press, 2001

Charlie S

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