One of the top 'Nigerian prince' email scammers has been arrested. Known as "Mike," the Nigerian man presided over a multinational network behind email scams worth more than $60 million. The scams used malware, fake email accounts and other tricks to lure people into giving their information. Interpol says one scam netted them $1.5 million.
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. Nigeria isn't the only country where these scams originate, these scams now come from anywhere in the world.
Trending topics are gold dust for spammers. These events generate enormous levels of online interest worldwide. Internationally popular events like the Olympics provide scammers with plenty of potential new victims. By piggybacking news headlines spammers can increase traffic volume to their websites. To date it is estimated that over $80 billion has been lost to 419 scams alone explaining why these scam emails continue to exist and grow in frequency and ferocity.
All of these taken together make for a typical scam email, they always seem to follow the same pattern, spammers are nothing if not predictable.
There are many more variations of the 419 scam but these are the most common. Incredible though it may seem, people still fall for these scams. These scams are continually repeated as they are reaping rewards for the cybercriminals. Remember you should never send money to someone who contacts you via email and neither should you reveal personal or financial information via email or over the phone.
Read about some recent email scams you should watch out for:
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