Why Scammers continue to thrive
Many people around the world are probably familiar with the infamous letter scam which is usually from Africa. It is usually a lengthy letter or Email/Fax with solid grammar however the main point of the message, usually around 3/4 way down is typically the same. It will mention along the lines of a death of a very wealthy family member whose bank account is difficult to gain access to for a variety of reasons. The message will be asking you to provide your bank details to assist with the money transfer (usually from around 1 to 10 million US Dollars). The message will also point out that they will give you 10% of the funds for assisting. Their obvious intention is to get access to your bank account so they can wipe you out.
You may think to yourself who is going to fall for such a ridiculous scam. The answer is, hardly anyone at all however scammers are thriving out there, and not only Africa. It only take one or two victims to make it a scamming success, so if it's not you then it's bound to be someone else in the end.
Very few people will read the whole contents of these messages let alone fall for the scam. However, for the scammers they are looking at success rates through percentages. It only takes 3 or 4 victims a year for this to be successful. Sending out bulk Email to 1000's of recipients is not a problem at all nowadays. You can easily find people on line who will get huge mailing lists for you for a very little cost. So basically once the letter has been drafted it's simply send and wait, the only hard work for them is probably the next step, trying to convince the few people who do reply.
Typical victims are people that may be in need of the extra at the time of receiving the message. In situations like this for some people, their emotions may overcome them and can appear blind to to intention of the scam. They will be reading the message as simply a money making opportunity without fully understanding the intent of the writer. Whether directly targeted or not these are the victims.
Other typical scams
The Fake Telecom Operator
This is where you receive a call from somebody claiming to be a Telephone operator. They will normally inform you that you have an outstanding bill (even though your payments are up to date) and will ask you for your bank details. If you doubt them they will threaten to disconnect you. They usually do this by simply leaving their receiver off the hook so you are unable to make other calls once he has asked you to hang up. Some people actually gain access to the exchange box in the street and physically disconnect you. They will then reconnect you and demand payment.
The fake "get rich quick" web site stories
These usually come from spam Emails, the main article will usually about some house wife earning thousand of pounds per month by simply sitting at her PC for a couple of hours a day. The online Ezine will normally look legit and professional, however you can tell that it's fake by however your mouse of the various links and see that they all point to the same place. Basically they are trying to get you to buy some expensive rip-off Ebook claiming to make you rich. Stay far away from this rubbish. A good way to check is if the hover your mouse over some of the fake links around the site, you'll see that most of them are pointing to the same place.
The Japanese "Ore Ore" Scam
You would think that a safe country such as Japan wouldn't have famous scams. Violent crime is low compared to other countries but there are many intelligent scammers out there. "Ore" in Japanese means "Me", however it is very informal and only used by males.
Basically, the way it work is, the criminal calls an elderly wealthy woman and shouts with a desperate voice "Ore Ore", the elderly women with her hard of hearing may assume that's its her son or grandson. The criminal then proceeds to explain some difficult situation they got themselves into and need a large amount of cash to sort it out. Many people fall for this and immediately panic, go to the bank and transfer the funds without properly confirming who the account holder really is. Recently, large transaction from personal accounts alerts the police sometimes and security. They may ask you to confirm the receiver before pressing the send key.