The majority of these scams are out of Russia and Ukraine, with some out of the former Soviet Union (FSU) countries.Nigeria, Ghana and the Philippines have recently jumped on the bandwagon.These scams are often known as 'Nigerian 419' scams because the first wave of them came from Nigeria.The '419' part of the name comes from the section of Nigeria’s Criminal Code which outlaws the practice. Scammers may ask for your bank account details to 'help them transfer the money' and use this information to later steal your funds.
“We go on the internet…We start making friend with you,” Danjuma says, explaining that they trawl Facebook and dating websites incessantly, looking for lonely women with money to spare.
He put himself through college, and after working as a Nigerian soap opera actor and door-to-door men’s clothing salesman, he clawed his way into journalism.
Before that, he used to hang out with nomadic cow-herding kids, children who sell bottled water by the roadside, and budding scam artists.
If paid, the scammer may make up new fees that require payment before you can receive your reward.
They will keep asking for more money as long as you are willing to part with it.
So, if I wire this money to a person I don’t know with only a password between them receiving the money or not, what is to stop them bribing or whining their way to getting the clerk to hand it over? If Western Union didn’t have a password system in place, it wouldn’t trick otherwise savvy people from thinking this was a legitimate escrow system that they could trust. And why did the details look like a cut-and-paste job? The final red flag was when the supposed brother-in-law started asking for the transaction number of the payment before he arrived. But when I thought about it, once he had that transaction code, the only thing stopping them from having my money was a clerk I don’t know in a country I don’t know, who may or may not bother asking for a password. I’m sure a friendly clerk could look the transaction up for them.