Forget Russian election hacking for a moment. What’s with the up-surge in West African scamming lately? Facebook is rife with accounts festooned with pictures of pretty girls who are eager to meet YOU! They want to chat and learn all about you, sucker!
They chat and inquire and tease and stroke and, eventually, they get around to money. Can you send me a little something to help out with school? I need funds to get home. Can you help? Some pretext to separate you from your currency while your head is filled with dreams of… oh, my, you’re actually thinking THAT???
I’m hit by about five or six of these a week lately. Perhaps it’s because my profile is marked single. Though, when I look at their friends lists, I see a lot of not so single men friending them. Sometimes I friend them too. After all, I’m in the business of dealing with people and I practice inbound marketing — it really could be a prospective client. But mostly I report them and their accounts get pulled. Sorry, guys.
The thing is, I’ve been around a bit. I got online in the mid 80s, before the public Internet existed. I ran a bulletin board for about nine years from 1989, and I worked for four different Internet Service Provider companies, owning part of one and all of another. I was there before online scamming began. I was part of Interpol’s crackdown on the Montenegro international modem dialing scams. I’ve seen just about all of them.
The thing is, with all the modern technology, most of the scammers haven’t learned anything. They haven’t gotten any better. They still do the same old same old. But, it seems they don’t have to improve because there is still the same old (new) crop of suckers ready to be plucked. Guys seem to keep lining up for a pretty face. What do they expect to get in return? Really?
And whether it’s Mrs. Argus naming you as beneficiary of her 72 million dollar charity donation, or Sally from New York, New York, wanting assistance with her unpaid bills, somehow there is always someone who wants to be next in line to send a $5000 proof of validity payment or $100 just to help out a little. I hate to tell you but that 48 inch TV you just won? It doesn’t exist. That British Lottery payout? Nope. Not that either. The kid in France who needs you to send just $10 to help with her medical bills? Sucker! They have national medical insurance in France. She has no medical bills!
Not The Brightest Bulb In The Lamp
But the scammers are just as dumb, too. They make all the same mistakes they have for years. They are so obvious. Why does anybody fall for it? But many still do. You’d think the amount of time a scammer must spend on line would make it more profitable to build an Internet business instead. Apparently not.
I think I’m going to run a new course for scammers. There is so much they need to learn. They are lacking so much in sophistication. Or maybe not. Maybe it is their wide-eyed naivete that translates to the suckers as “she sounded so real, so in need of my help!” that actually works for them.
Wow. There sure are a lot of them these days. It’s like a whole ‘nuther economy!