An overview of the main types of scam we deal with and the basics of how to avoid being a victim of a scam.
#2886 by Chris Martins Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:05 am
Many of the people I have warned have expressed concern that if they suddenly drop contact with the people who have scammed them, something bad will happen to them.

Some of the people I have warned seemed to understand and believe the warning, but later decide to start believing the people who have scammed them again.

Scammers can be very persuasive and resourceful people. They are con artists and they do this for a living. Here are some things you can expect scammers to do once they believe they have lost you.

  • They will tell you that the people who warned you are trying to get your money (inheritance, lottery winnings, bank draft, job, ect.). Of course they will say that. If they can make you suspicious of a warning, they have a good chance of getting more money from you.

  • They will tell you that one or more of the people you were in touch with are corrupt, but they have been fired or arrested, and you can now continue with the transaction. This is of course false. Often there is only one person using several email addresses and playing several characters. If there truly are several people involved, you can be sure they are all part of the same criminal gang. The person who initially contacted you, the lawyer or barrister, the courier company, the bank or security company, the government officials, the dying widow, the priest from the orphanage; anyone related to the "transaction" is a scammer.

  • They will tell you that you are breaking the law by not doing something they have asked, or because of something you have done in the course of the transaction. Again, this is complete nonsense designed to scare you into cooperating again.
    If they have sent you a fraudulent check they may accuse you of theft of the money and threaten to contact the police.

  • They will threaten you with violence if you do not continue with them. In most cases, the scammers are very far away from their victims. There is no question that people like this can be dangerous, but it is very unlikely they will waste time or energy coming after a victim because they have stopped paying. It is also unlikely that they would take a risk like that. It is far easier, safer, and faster for them to simply send out another batch of emails and hook another victim.

  • They will offer to send you all or some of your money back. This is perhaps the most vicious trick of all. If they send you a check, it will either be for a small portion of what you have paid, or it will be for much more than what you paid, and you will be asked to send the difference to someone else. Either way, the check will be fraudulent. Even if you wait to see if it clears your account, that means nothing. Months later, the check will be discovered to be fraudulent and you will be responsible for the entire amount.

    A variation on that scam is to offer to transfer money into your account. Again, they will ask you to wire a portion of it to someone else. This is trick intended to get your bank account information.

    Another variation is to offer to pay a bill for you. The bill will be paid with a stolen or fraudulent check, or an illegal bank transfer. It will eventually be discovered and the payment will be reversed. In the mean time, they have won their victims confidence and can steal more money.

  • You will be contacted by someone claiming to be from a law enforcement agency, offering to get your money back for you. If anyone offers to get your money back for you, you can be sure it is the same people who took your money in the first place. There will be more fees, you will never get your money back, and of course, the criminals will never be captured. No one from ScamWarners, or any legitimate law enforcement organizations will ever ask you for money, or promise that your money can be recovered. Anyone who does is a scammer.

Remember that the scammers are playing ALL of the roles in the supposed transaction, including bankers, lawyers, refugees, orphans, widows, financiers, loan agents, couriers, diplomats, etc.
Last edited by Chris Martins on Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke

#2892 by ChrisSmith Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:58 am
Regarding threatening people with the law:

I have come across scammers who have even pretended to be from legal courts and have sent fake court summons that say the victim will be sued unless they carry on with the "transaction". Close inspection will always reveal these to be false, but they are a nasty little weapon in the scamming armoury.

The thing to remember is that a scammer will try anything to get you back onboard a scam if he thinks he's lost you. There is no depth that is too low for him - from begging to threatening, he'll try it all. So, if you've been scammed and discovered it, be extra careful and have your guard up as high as it will go.

Just because you may have discovered the initial scam, don't be lulled into a false sense of security. Scammers rarely give up at the first go if they think they still have a chance of stealing your money.

#2896 by bill_b3llo Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:06 pm
Thanks Chris, this is exactly what I've been looking for.

#2927 by Fat Cat Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:55 am
Hi, thank you for posting this, its very informative.

Fat Cat

#3406 by Jillian Sun May 18, 2008 3:21 pm
This thread is invaluable! Thanks Chris!

I'd like to add another tactic that the scammers use to convince hesitant victims:

The scammers will claim to have invested their own money toward the cause.
An example of this is that if a victim has been asked to pay $2500 for fees, but is reluctant to pay because they either don't have very much money or they are suspicious of a scam, the scammer will claim that someone else involved (barrister/banker/reverend) has paid a large portion of it themselves and the victim only need pay a small part, such as a few hundred dollars. The scammer will claim that their own money is tied up this deal.

It is important to note that NO ONE has paid a cent in the scam, other than the victim whose money is being stolen.

Scammers will even produce false receipts of these imaginary payments as proof.

#3675 by benjamin Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:12 am
Just to show how low they can go, I know of someone who had lost a lot of money to the scammer, but refused to pay any more once they realised it was a scam. The scammer then begged for money by saying his 8 month old daughter was dying in hospital and he needed the fees for hospital treatment. When this person refused to pay again, he wrote back and said the baby had died. They love to lay a guilt trip on someone. :evil:
#9379 by NormanF Sat May 02, 2009 2:02 pm
In a perverse way, its not always about the money. Scammers get lonely too and in their minds they think they are doing the victim a favor by keeping in touch. If they weren't thieves - stealing hearts as well as money, they wouldn't be the contemptible scum they are.
#9404 by Jillian Sun May 03, 2009 11:00 am
Norman, you are incorrect. It is always about the money. The only reason a scammer will keep in touch with a victim is if they think they have a chance to steal more money. Sometimes they will bide their time but it is ALWAYS about money. You are correct in the fact that they are contemptible scum, however.

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#9414 by Ralph Mon May 04, 2009 1:54 am
As Jillian suggests, scammers will only continue to write for one reason, and that is if they think they can steal more money from you. Once they realise you wont be sending any they will move on to the next person who they believe will.

I am yet to find one who has the slightest remorse for the pain and suffering they cause. To them, people are there to be stolen from and they will actually pray for a good victim to land in their inbox.

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