TOPIC: scam no more
scam no more 8 years 3 weeks ago #28972
The activities of Nigerian based scammers (a.k.a yahoo boys) can be stratified based on the type of yahoo boy in question. There are three species of yahoo boys which I call:
Type A, Type B, and Type C
These types of scammers are moderately determined and given an alternate source of income will rather not engage in such criminal activities.
These types of scammers are also moderately determined and mostly scam for fun, having to do stuffs like that online fascinates them. They are mostly teenagers from well to do homes.
These scammers are the most dangerous types; they are criminally minded and have chosen to be bad people even before they had contact with the Internet. The Internet just enable they conduct a stay-at-home-theft and are mostly within the ages of 25-35yrs. These scammers can conveniently speak with more than five international English accents – as an Arab, Indian, and Chinese that sort of thing.
70 percent of the scammers in Nigeria falls into the type A group. To them it is just business which they make a living out of. They use this means to send monies to their folks at home as such the some folks sometimes encourage them to sustain the returns. Type B and C are lavish spenders mostly hanging out in rather raucous parties spending their takings on cute looking women. After expending their take for a couple of months, they go broke and return to their drawing boards (laptops) to restrategise.
Type A scammers being moderately determined average 8-10hrs on a daily basis preying for victims, while the more determine type C average 15-18hrs preying for victims online .The impact of the activities of this scammers on the local economy is minimal as most local entrepreneurs are computer illiterate and don’t agree with online transactions. In fact this has gone a long way in reducing local crime rate on the streets since the crimes now are transportable through the Internet to the advance world which is less risky for scammers.
Scammers’ attack methodology
These scammers execute their attacks in phases just like other cyber attacks:
Phase one – Scouting and foot printing
In this stage, they go in search for online chat fora like Myspace, yahoo, facebook etc, romantic forum is a gold mine because they get people dying to get romance online. The age group of their target victims is very important to them. They aim at women between the ages of 35-45 and men within the ages of 45-55 that will be easily carried away by cute looking faces they don’t have courage to approach offline.
Phase two- Exploitation phase
Patience is a very important ingredient in phase one as they need to hold a contact and interest him or her for like a couple of weeks via phone and mail before making demands usually backed with some heart torching tales: in their phone contact, the victim will assume the scammer is UK or US base because he has gone to some websites to configure his local GSM number to a virtual UK number or has purchased a London SIM which make him appear to be in the UK. The sadder story is that the victims never learn lesson they keep sending money intermittently, they never learn lesson. The more sophisticated type C can get a victim to part with money at a lesser period plus they can craft phony business site that offer very attractive phony deals in stocks or physical products like phones, cameras etc. It is always advisable to avoid anonymous sites that make abnormal offers that you know are not achievable in any market in the world, our greed and passion leads us to all kinds of trouble.
The scammers operate in families (groups) , members of a particular family can share trade secrets to some extent like clients and hidden websites. The more chat sites you know the more your chances of catching a victim a.k.a maga But it is a taboo for members to share trade secrets with members of other families. Members of a particular family can trade clients or hand rich clients to more experience members within the same family for consultation for fear of loosing the client; and the taking will be divided among one or two supporting scammers. In most cases, there is usually a point man in a particular family that connect with an agent abroad for quick delivery of funds mostly through Western Union Money Transfer, and at some exorbitant commission charges. An internet café is usually owned by a particular family and when the café goes down, they find it difficult to migrate to other café as the former café is already a joint and security net for them and hosts a lot of their criminal softwares.
Because of the general feeling of insecurity in the Cyberword, it is advisable to transact in market places like Clickbank, Amazon that are well known and trusted. Transacting with Mr. X (The unknown) online is risky in the sense that you can’t hold anyone responsible. But when transacting with a site like Google you know you don’t have anything to fear: I don’t mean transacting with a site that pops up claiming to be www.google.com and look exactly like Google site. When you want to transact with any popular site, use the address bar and type in the link yourself. But if you are bent on transacting with the unknown, then tell him to give you his business and residential address. Most scammers spoof (hide) their IP address and appear to be using US IPs so that it will look like they reside in US. With their business address you can blow their cover. Just type in Google in this format:
rphonebook: surname first name
bphonebook: business name OR bphonebook: business type
Example: try typing “rphonebook: Abubakar” without the inverted
Commas (you can click on map to get his street direction)
After verifying his name you can still ask him to appear before a webcam, immediately you have a glimpse of his image, press the printscreen button by the upper right hand side of your keyboard to get his image, open paint under Accessories and paste his image for future reference. you can send his image to efcc.com in Nigeria .You can also ask for the name of his ISP, past clients, things like that will allow him leave tracks for verification.
Tools scammers use
They use legitimate tools like Google phonebook, email extractors to get their victims hooked. They have a large data base of email addresses they collect through email extractors into a notepad, the more addresses you have the more your chances of hooking up with a clients. So next time you see a guy always playing with notepad in a public browsing centre it is time to start asking questions.
Google phonebook is an important tool they use to get valid business names and residential addresses in the US and also to build a database of phone numbers to broadcast their phony deals. A simple command like rphonebook: surname OR bphonebook: business type will take care of that.
They also maintain a large collection of pictures of cute looking ladies and handsome looking guys with thick chest and flat bellies as prey for their victims in search for romance online. So next time you come across a model like angel in messenger please run.
The Internet is a cooperative venture and we are all suppose to protect each other. Some bodies are in charge of the Internet and this Bodies like ICANN( Internet Corporation for Assign Names and Numbers ) have to escalate their roles to a more protective one. The core function of the internet is managed by ICANN/IANA a non profit organization – www.icann.org . Specifically ICANN coordinates the assignment of the following identifiers that must be globally unique for the Internet to function:
• Internet domain names
• IPaddress numbers
• Protocol parameters and port numbers
In addition ICANN coordinates the stable operation of the Internet root DNS server system. ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet, to promoting competition , to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities and to develop policies through private- sector, bottom-up, consensus-based means.
If you are selling IP addresses to people then you should know the kinds of people you are selling IP addresses to. If you are hosting a domain or sites then you should know the kinds of sites you are hosting . Bodies in charge of distributing IPs to dealers and sub- dealers should make sure that the final consumers pass some criteria before they consume the IP addresses. What kind of site is this guy hosting , do I have his pictures , does he have license to run business in the country he is physically residing in, are the kinds of question hosting firms and ISPs should be asking. ICANN can liaise with licensing agencies in various countries to do this. If we all close our eyes to this issues like this, then I foresee the collapse of the Internet in the near future.
Mostly, scammers needs an ISP and a domains hosting company to operate , may be if these companies start sharing the liabilities of scam victims then they will start reasoning with us . the amount of monies that are lost to scammers is sickening, and most organizations don’t disclose these figures for fear of the media, because lots of people have now taken scamming as a profession. They make good income and take good care of their families. They have succeeded in turning the transitory income to permanent income. Eighty percent of scam victims are non coloured Americans and Europeans , which are mostly women, so the governments of these countries are eminently suited for a role in this campaign.
It takes two to beat one, there are US and UK citizens that help the scammers transfer money to preferred destinations. Since local banks in many countries now have fraud alert. Western Union is a notorious distributor of scam funds. Most scammers use Western Union to cleanse their dirty money or use the funds to order for products such as laptops and phones and sell them cheaply in their locales.
But governments in both regions are not helping matters. Down here in Nigeria and other third world countries, the government is focused on tackling corruption in the polity at the expense of corruption in the Cyberword. In the US and the UK the government is a bit lackadaisical about the activities of ISPs, domain hosting firms and email clients- they just want taxes and then Yahoo can have millions of scammers on their network. Don’t you observe that when you report a spam or scam activities to yahoo nothing is done about it. Currently in Nigeria we a working on an initiative to remodify these scammers to potential entrepreneurs in the IT outsourcing market because they are flexible on the PC and our first target is the type A scammers .With initiatives like this, we are cautiously optimistic we will see some light at the end of the tunnel.
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