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Reporter's Notebook: Internet scams and hoaxes (access required)

By Sam Boykin I’ve got great news. It seems I’m about to come into quite a bit of money. I don’t want to give away too many details, but there’s this deposed minister of agriculture from Nigeria who’s gotten himself into a bit of trouble. It seems he’s embezzled several million dollars, and he’s singled me out to help him get it out of the country. All I have to do is help him transfer the funds into an account and I’ll get a sizeable cut of the dough. The only catch is I have to pay a few thousand dollars for taxes and transfer fees, but that’s nothing compared to the bundle I’ll get afterwards. I’m already looking at real estate on the coast! Of course, the above scenario is an infamous Internet scam that’s been going on for years. I thought about this online fraud while writing a recent story about Charlotte company Calyptix, which sells an anti-spam and virus protection device. That got me thinking about Internet scams and hoaxes from the past decade.

One comment

  1. Great post.

    Perhaps I can add to this that the best way to guard against being ripped off by online sales or auctions is to use an online escrow company. Although it does add some cost, that will take uncertainty out of the transaction.

    For my money, the best bona fide online escrow (and there seems to be ten fraudulent escrow sites for every bona fide one) is probably Escrow.com (http://escrow.com). In fact, it’s the only one that eBay recommends.

    Take care,

    Ulf Wolf
    multiTRIM
    http://multitrim.wordpress.com/

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