Scam is used by dishonest people to cheat unwary folks.
The Nigerian Scam is one of the oldest scams. Typically, one gets an e-mail supposedly from a friend asking for help (e.g. need money desperately to buy a return ticket home) and to follow instructions (e.g. transfer money) to get him out of the trouble. There is a “promise” to repay the debt. Some get emotional & forget logic and the importance of verifying (double checking). They rush off to write a check.
Even if a tiny fraction of the recipients fall into a scam, the scammers get rich. Even if they are caught (possibly after a long time), the resources needed to get back the money (extradition, law suit) are too much and not cost-effective.
There are variations :
- Someone who had inherited millions of dollars
- A company claiming that you had won a big prize
- Some scenario suggesting “It’s too good to be true”.
- are sloppy copy cats (with typos and errors in the message)
- simply change the settings (Edinburgh, Scotland instead of Nigeria)
- may use malware to take over some computers and send scams from the hacked account
A few took right actions
- Called their friend and his/her family to verify
- Use nick names to check if the sender is a hacker
- Warn friends about the attack