For years e-mail inboxes have been flooded with invitations to help a rich Nigerian businessman reclaim his money, in exchange for a chunk of the riches. While most people see these communications as scams right away, 1000’s of people have been duped into giving money by “advance fee fraud” operators.
An article in the New York Times discusses the exploits of some Net citizens who are essentially scamming the scammers, and what governments and law enforcement agencies are doing to combat the problem.
“You’ve almost surely received e-mail from at least one intriguing stranger in a far-off land offering fabulous riches if only you will help recover some lost fortune. It might be $25 million spirited away during the fall of an obscure African regime. Or $400 million in oil lucre seized by one of Saddam Hussein’s sons. All you, dear friend, need to provide is a helping hand (ideally your bank account) and a few small fees, and a quarter of the money will be yours.”