questionsdo scams actually work ?

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Yes, they work, which is why they continue to send those sort of emails.

SPAM emails also works, which is why you continue to get those as well.

Sad.. yet true.

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I wouldn't keep getting emails from rich Nigerian princes, or winning notices from lotteries I didn't enter if some moron didn't fall for it occasionally.

There are a lot of people who are either too trusting, or too greedy, so the scams work on them :-(

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Surprisingly there are still a lot of computer-illiterate people out there, which is who I think these scammers usually aim for, since they are generally less aware of these scams and don't Google it if it sounds fishy. I think they are a bit more trusting and don't realize how many scammers are on the internet trying.

There's also the lonely older ladies that get taken advantage of that are just looking for companionship. My friend's mom dumped tons of money into one of these guys (started out as one of the gold bar/brick scams) because she was getting the companionship and attention from a man. She was getting emails, phone calls, and he basically turned into an internet boyfriend. She gets attention, they get her money.

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Send me $100 and I'll tell you.

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My friends were looking for houses to rent in NY, and someone claiming to be out of the country tried to get them to put down a security deposit sight unseen. They didn't fall for it.

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Yes my fine peoples. I am the son of a rich business man who is now deceased. My families fortune is worth some $150 million US Dollars.I a unable to get this money from my home country.
If one of you wonderful peoples Western Union me $300 I will give to you $50 million US Dollars.
Jesus blesses you.

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I frequent another forum where it seems like once per day someone shows up to ask about how to undo the damage from various scams.

The most successful scams recently seem to be:
* People selling cars from a remote location, guaranteeing your money back if you don't like the car after it arrives.
* Secret shopper, where they mail you a bogus check or money order that you deposit at your bank and then send them a lesser amount. Lots of other variations on this one that all involve a bogus check.
* Timeshare resellers, who make you think they have a buyer lined up and all you need to do is pay them a few hundred in documentation fees.

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Yes they do work. I had a guy working for me that should have known better but cashed some "postal money orders" for someone that couldn't that turned out to be (amazingly) fake.

He paid off the bank and was a bit wiser - though it was hard for him to live it down.

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@elforman: What is your credit card number so I can send the money?
I want to know so bad, and $100 is not that much!

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I always wonder who could possibly be stupid enough to fall for that kind of thing (especially the nigerian prince scam) but unfortunately, and sadly, i think the majority of it is old people. i think almost all young people, and most middle aged people, know enough to know its not legit. but i think old people tend to be more trusting, and more ignorant of how rampant and aggressive some of these scams can be. if i got a call saying they were the police/fbi/cia and they needed my social to make sure it wasn't being used in an overseas money laundering scheme, i'd respond with some colorful language and hang up. but i think the older generation doesn't realize that anyone can get your name, number and address from any website, and use that to gain your trust. i want to kick all scammers in the nuts, but the ones who focus on old people.... well... i won't type in public what i'd like to do to those scum bags

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One of the latest secret shopper scams is they give you a company credit card to go shopping at department stores for clothing and electronics, then you turn over the merchandise to the "manager", and get paid for your time.

Turns out the credit cards are counterfeits with stolen numbers, so you just got your face on the video surveillance tapes while the real crooks have thousands in merchandise (per victim) to resell on ebay/craigslist.

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My dad actually knew someone who fell for that Nigerian Prince one.... you know the old saying, a fool and his money are easily separated.

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I actually do some mystery shopping, when I get a chance. There are legit companies out there, but there are lots of bogus ones you have weed through.

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I always agree to the terms of them sending me a cashiers check. Then when I see that it is counterfeit I contact the FBI and hand over the counterfeit check/all e-mails/information I have.

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I am amazed at how many people are still so internet illiterate. I must get at least 5 forwards a month that say "THIS IS REAL, CHECKED ON SNOPES, SEE THE LINK". I have either already seen it and know it is fake, or I click on the link IN THE EMAIL, which takes me directly to the Snopes page stating that the email is a hoax. People are also lazy.

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None of this is new... It used to be sent around in the snail mail and then the Fax machine was created and it went crazy and finally we have the InterWeb where everything is real and true, and , where it costs penny's to send thousands of scam messages instead of dollars for a few letters or faxes....

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One of my favorite Office moments

Pam Beesly: Well I just wanna take a minute to talk to you all about something very serious. Once every hour, someone is involved in an internet scam. That man is Michael Scott. He's supporting about twenty Nigerian princesses.

Michael Scott: Hey, you know what? Forgive me for caring

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If it didn't work, they wouldn't try. I love when they have the bad grammar and spelling.

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Yes they do !

These people make tens of millions of dollars each and every day from around the world.

This site is dedicated to baiting and catching some of them. These are the surplus letters for demonstration purposes.

http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=18

Read wisely and take notes.

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Well I must be really stupid then because I can't see what is wrong with the message they sent you. What is wrong with PayPal? How do people usually pay on craigslist? I've never used it so I don't know. I didn't see that they were asking you to send the item before they paid. Is that what they do when after you send your email address?

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@kc6201:

Tell you what,

Send me $50. cash and I will send you the full details of PayPal,

by return mail.

I promise !

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@computiac: I've used PayPal before. I don't see that the person was asking the OP to send them money. Why can't you just explain it to me instead of making a joke that's already been done in the thread a few times?

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@kc6201: Did not mean to make fun of it.

It is easy for someone to breach your PayPal account if they have your account address. This would include transferring cash,using it for purchases forwarded to a different physical address and so on.

It would be like someone stealing your CC card numbers.

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@kc6201: In addition, PayPal is the scammer's friend in these cases.

You get your payment, then send the phone. What happens next is that PayPal finds out that a stolen credit card was used, and they reach out and take the money back. Or, the "buyer" says the phone never arrived. Or was "not as described", having some damage. PayPal takes your money back.

The other big red flag is someone wanting you to pay for something they're selling via Western Union. Once WU has your money, it's untracable and unrecoverable. You never get the item, but can't get the money back.

Why do all of these work? Because people are greedy. They'll see a $750 offer on a phone that would sell for $200 - $300, get excited about that, and forget to wonder why it makes any sense.

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@rhmurphy: How do people usually pay on Craigslist then? Or do people usually do business with people in their own city so they pay in person?

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@kc6201: For Craigslist, cash only, which implies that it's got to be a local transaction. If you must ship something, the best form of payment is a USPS money order. They're verified as good when you cash them (so counterfeits are detected), and once it's cashed the money can't be taken back (like PayPal). You can use PayPal safely as a seller as long as you're careful to document the item, ship using a trackable method, and only ship to verified addresses. If you don't, the buyer is in control.

That's the seller risk. On Craigslist the buyer risk is higher, and they want something like PayPal so they can get their money back.