Computer Crime Research Center


Internet con artists are money vampires

Date: October 30, 2007

If you have a public e-mail account, the odds are you've gotten an e-mail from someone overseas needing to transfer millions of dollars out of a corrupt Third World country into a safe place in the United States.

The sender might even write "Urgent" or "Strictly Confidential" in the subject line. He or she will try to entice you by offering a hefty portion of the money. All you need to do is send a few thousand dollars to cover the "transaction costs."

You might not fall for such an obvious hustle. But every month, countless numbers of trusting Americans do, according to law enforcement officials.

No one knows exactly how much money is lost to these scams every year. Many victims are too embarrassed to come forward. But federal law enforcement officials estimate it could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars in the United States alone.
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