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US Lady Swindled of $400,000 in Nigerian E-mail Scam

In the biggest incident of its type, an American lady, Janella Spears, disclosed that the Nigerian Internet criminals have defrauded her of $400,000 (£269,000).

Janella, a registered nurse from Sweet Home, Oregon, stated that she begun to dispatch the money to the crooks in 2005, following a posting that claimed to give her millions of dollars left behind by a relative who died long ago. The scammers frequently established online contact with Spears, in a so-called 419 scam, whose name was inspired from a section of criminal code of Nigeria. Further, they claimed that she would be offered a significant amount of $20.5 Million in return for the cash money she has been sending to facilitate the wiring of the wealth out of the country.

419 scam is a common Internet fraud that employs the trick of sending the spam e-mails in millions.

The scammers replied with bogus official certificates and documents from the Bank of Nigeria and also from the United Nations. All the fake documents assured Spears of the payment of the amount.

These all processes continued for more than two years during which the scammers propelled her to send more frequent payments that amounted up to $14,000 each time. Ultimately, Spears sent over $400,000 in obsession by remortgaging her house and spending the retirement savings of her husband.

This incident was disclosed when the Oregon Department of Justice found that they were investigating a case of money laundering. They explored that a total amount worth $144,000 had been wired by someone to Nigeria at a Western Union in a span of three weeks. This led the investigators to turn towards Spears. According to Investigative Reporter Anna Song, Spears was testified, her home was searched and her e-mails were also reviewed but she was not charged.

However, luck matters the most to find a victim, but the relatively lower cost to send an e-mail is indicating towards the high gains in such frauds. Researchers at the University of California revealed in a study that a single response took an aggregate of 12.5 Million spam e-mails. However, bigger operations that send out billions of e-mails could make £2 Million annually.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

» SPAMfighter News - 11/29/2008

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