Scammer Tactic #1
1. They pose as professionals, ie, Barristers, Government Officials, Company Directors, etc, but the giveaway is that they use free e.mail addresses, eg, gmail, Windows Live Mail, Yahoo, etc. Some Scammers are crafty and use mock corporate mail extensions, which are available via some free e.mail providers.
Scammer Tactic #2
2. For credibility, some Scammers pretend to be UK-based and use what look like UK telephone numbers but are actually virtual numbers, which may redirect to anywhere in the world (UK – Nigeria, for eg). These are the digits to look out for at the start of a virtual phone number.
Dialling from outside UK
+44 70** *** ***
+44 3** *** ***
+44 84* *** ***
+44 87* *** ***
+44 9** *** ***
Dialling from inside UK
070** *** ***
03** *** ***
084* *** ***
087* *** ***
09** *** ***
Scammer Tactic #3
3. African Scammers are notorious for using Western names or names of real African officials or personalities. This is to engender confidence in prospective victims.
Scammer Tactic #4
4. Early on in the Scam, the Victim will be given the e.mail address of a third party, often a lawyer or clergyman and asked to contact them. Usually, it is the same Scammer using a different e.mail address. The purpose of this is to draw the Victim deeper into the plot and darken reality.
Scammer Tactic #5
5. The Victim will be asked for their bank information. It is a common misconception that the Scammer wants this info to in some unknown way access the Victim’s funds. The information is actually fairly useless to the Scammer; it is requested to make credible the Scammer’s claim that the funds he is promising in his e.mail will be paid into the Victim’s bank account.
Scammer Tactic #6
6. Often, the Scam e.mail will be typed in UPPER CASE CAPITAL LETTERS. It is believed that the main reason Scammers do this is that the keyboards that they use in African Cyber Cafes are dual language and English may only be accessed through UPPER CASE.
Scammer Tactic #7
7. The Scammer will soon ask for the Victim’s phone number. This is to ensure direct and immediate access to the Victim whenever the Scammer chooses to call and pressure the Victim to pay up.
Scammer Tactic #8
8. The Victim will be asked to provide a scan of their photo ID, ie, passport or driving licence. This serves 2 purposes; to ensure that the Victim is who they say they are, and to provide the Scammer with a scan of a genuine ID which may be reused to scam others.
Scammer Tactic #9
9. Any ID provided by the Scammer will always be faked or stolen. Scammers on dating sites will use pics lifted from the internet. Tineye.com is a good resource to check suspect pics.
Scammer Tactic #10
10. Scammers will reuse scripted e.mails. Copy 2-3 line extracts from suspicious e.mails and search for these on the internet. There is always a chance that identical e.mails have been posted on forums to warn others.
The next time that you see a suspicious e.mail, refer to the above 10 Ploys and stay one step ahead of the Scammers!