Internet Fraud refers to the use of Internet services to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims. The ultimate aim of fraudsters is to make money from sometimes greedy or naive targets. Greedy or naive because one of the most popular Internet fraud technique which is scamming consist of sending emails to unsuspecting recipient, promising them huge sums of money in exchange for help in laying hands on some imaginary funds locked up in a financial institution for one reason or another.
The top 10 countries, according to Internet Crime Complaints Centre (IC3) Report for 2010, are United States of America, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, China, Canada, Malaysia, Spain, Ghana, Cameroon and Australia. There are 3 African countries in the list, in order of merit: Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon. With only 5.7% of Internet users in African and Internet penetration of 11.4% as of March 2011, this report is very disturbing.
I have had myself to warn some of my family members who got such emails and were excited to soon become “millionaires”. They got really displeased when they realized they were about be another statistics of Internet fraud victims. A good website you can use to learn about the various methods and techniques uses by Internet fraudsters is:http://419.bittenus.com/. In case you have been victim of 419, you can report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. If you have received an email and you would like to check if the email is a scam, Fraudwatchers.org provide a very good tool: The Scam Email Checklist.