Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Again: 419…

As more and more Cameroonians join the global-village on the internet, they’re also more and more targeted by cyber criminals. Receiving so-called ‘419’ mails. These mails leading to crimes through internet are named after a Nigerian law that fights these crimes.

Nigerians have the doubtful honor that their country’s name is used as a synonym for corruption and internet fraud. As major Nigerian crime organizations based in South-Africa, The Netherlands, U.K. and the U.S.A. are responsible for the most of the e-mails.

The criminals use the innocent’s lack of knowledge to trigger their greed. At The Vanguard we try to inform our public about these crimes. So each member of our society can make his or her own choice how to deal with the received ‘419’ emails.

Safety guides:
1
Never, never, never give your identity details by mail or through internet sites. No bank or any official institution will ever ask you to do that.
2
Do not open any attached files in mails received from persons you do not know. If the mail is from somebody you do know, but the way of writing (leaving your name out, different language etc etc.) makes you raise your eyebrow, you can bet on it your friend did not sent it. Somebody else using your friends name did. It mostly contains a virus. The best anti virus scanner: don't open strange files.
3
Use your common sense: nobody is going to sent you a lot of money. You did not win a lottery when you never took part of it. So always be on guard and ask yourself: what’s the catch? If things look too good to be true? It’s mostly not right!

If anybody gets victimized by these mails while being warned, it’s right to say they were to greedy. Hence the phrase ‘If you fool me once, shame on you. If you fool me twice, shame on me.’

Here follows another example:

"Dear customer!

Unfortunately we were not able to deliver the postal package which was sent on the 20th of February in time
because the addressee's address is incorrect.
Please print out the invoice copy attached and collect the package at our office.

United Parcel Service of America."

Or a mail like this, sent by web30103 @ signet.com.sg:

"£1,000,000Pounds has been awarded to you in the U.KPROMO.send to this office the following:
Names...........
Tel..............
Age............
Address..........
Occupation.........
Country.............
Email: claimsdesk101 @ live.co .uk"

By our international desk Auke VanderHoek

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