Saturday, December 24, 2005
Ian Katz Business Writer for the Florida Sun Sentinel had this rather sad story of an individual victim of Advance fee fraud (419) that occurred on a dating site.
"For Gerri Tennenbaum, it was a "vulnerable moment" when she trusted someone she thought of as a friend. Now, the victim of an elaborate counterfeiting scheme, she might be out $9,200, her rental apartment and any hope of getting Hanukkah gifts for her two children. A divorced schoolteacher struggling to raise her 9- and 12-year-old boys -- both of whom are mildly autistic -- Tennenbaum was feeling frazzled in early November by eight days without electricity after Hurricane Wilma."
Another lonely and vulnerable victim harvested off a dating site by a cyber criminal in Nigeria, who was duped into cashing counterfeit money orders and wiring the money (Western Union) to Nigeria.
For the full story, please read; Chatroom 'friend' takes all mother has using online money-order scheme.
It is the individual in these crimes that suffers the most. The best defense against the cyberscum (cowards), who hide behind a keyboard and do this is to make people aware.
Here is a previous post, I did on Criminal Activity on Dating Sites.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) (Nigeria) goes after this type of activity in Nigeria and recently actually paid back some money to a few victims.
Romance Scam 419 Yahoo Group (US) is a good resource on dating scams and they are known to scam the scammers. Of course, if you are confronted with internet fraud, it is always best to report it to the authorities. In the U.S. you can do so at the Internet Crime Complaint Center (FBI).
As parting thought tonight, Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukkah. Protect the good people out there by passing the word to those who are unaware of the dangers that lurk on the internet.