<![CDATA[
]]> In Nov 2005, a news reported…


British and Nigerian officials are teaming up to warn Internet users of
fraudulent e-mails that try to con recipients into handing over cash.…

The so-called Nigerian 419 scams have been a problem for a number of
years; the partnership issued a statement Friday warning people about
e-mails that “ask for help in moving large sums of money in exchange
for a share of the spoils.”


Christine Wade, director of consumer regulation enforcement for the
U.K. Office of Fair Trading, said in a statement: “If you are targeted,
recognize the 419 for what it is–an attempt to defraud you. Do not
reply and do not give your personal details out. You are not about to
become rich. These scams bear the hallmarks of professional
criminals–use your common sense and don’t become their next victim.”


The scams were named “419ers” after the relevant section of the
Nigerian criminal code. Many, but not all, originate from Nigeria and
other West African nations.



Last month, Microsoft announced a partnership with the Nigerian government to help track down and prosecute criminals involved in the scams and other Internet-based fraud originating there.




Nuhu Ribadu, the executive chairman of the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission of Nigeria, said in a statement that “419 and other
Nigerian variants of cybercrime have done unquantifiable damage to
Nigeria’s image and credibility. The government has resolved to deal a
fatal blow to the cybercrime networks operating from Nigeria and the
West African sub-region.”


The commission said it will be monitor cybercafes and take on a
“significant” number of cases against such criminals based in Nigeria.



Nigeria has agreed to work with the other 26 member countries involved in the antispam effort known as the London Action Plan.


British and Nigerian officials are teaming up to warn Internet users
of fraudulent e-mails that try to con recipients into handing over cash.


The so-called Nigerian 419 scams have been a problem for a number of
years; the partnership issued a statement Friday warning people about
e-mails that “ask for help in moving large sums of money in exchange
for a share of the spoils.”


Christine Wade, director of consumer regulation enforcement for the
U.K. Office of Fair Trading, said in a statement: “If you are targeted,
recognize the 419 for what it is–an attempt to defraud you. Do not
reply and do not give your personal details out. You are not about to
become rich. These scams bear the hallmarks of professional
criminals–use your common sense and don’t become their next victim.”


The scams were named “419ers” after the relevant section of the
Nigerian criminal code. Many, but not all, originate from Nigeria and
other West African nations.



Last month, Microsoft announced a partnership with the Nigerian government to help track down and prosecute criminals involved in the scams and other Internet-based fraud originating there.




Nuhu Ribadu, the executive chairman of the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission of Nigeria, said in a statement that “419 and other
Nigerian variants of cybercrime have done unquantifiable damage to
Nigeria’s image and credibility. The government has resolved to deal a
fatal blow to the cybercrime networks operating from Nigeria and the
West African sub-region.”


The commission said it will be monitor cybercafes and take on a
“significant” number of cases against such criminals based in Nigeria.



Nigeria has agreed to work with the other 26 member countries involved in the antispam effort known as the London Action Plan.

—–
3 years after the news was announce, 419 scams only seemed to have continued to strive on the web. The early starters are probably so rich that they have migrated and continued to scam at their new locations. They might even have new “followers” in various parts of the world, including UK, Hong Kong, Middle-East, US, etc. You don’t have to be a “Nigerian” to run or be part of a 419 scam. 419 scam has been further “globalised” where the scammers are no longer restricted to Nigerians.

Verbal or written agreement (if any) to cooperate and work with other countries is just one issue. If no action is taken, it is completely useless.

Perhaps the difficulty arised because 419 scammers work in a network, including other scammer(s) in another location, and possibly money mules as well. It is possible to track down a scammer, but what if there are too many cases. Nevertheless, “too many” is not a good excuse for doing nothing. If they are determined to resolve the issue for good, they could nab a few scammers for a start and issue severe punishments to the rest. This will send a message that “We mean what we say”, or “We mean business”.

However, was this ever done? And why not?

Whatever the case, scams will continue to evolve and will change with the times. Greediness is a common human “disease” that could not be cured.

The best defense is to be educated, to perform due diligence when in doubt, and always check the web to find out more. The scammers have used the web to attack and cheat others. The web is also your best information source and defense against any crime. The internet is a double-edge sword.

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