Iran Police Warns of ‘Nigerian Scam’

Ali Niknafs, a member of FATA Cyber Police

Iran police has formally warned of ‘Nigerian scam’ and urged Iranian nationals to be aware about this fraud technique.

Ali Niknafs, a member of FATA Cyber Police, said Iranian Internet users must be aware about ‘Nigerian scam’. “One of the most common ways of online frauds is Nigerian scam. In the first six months of new Persian year, more than 10% of crimes in Iran’s virtual world were labeled as Nigerian scam. We cannot easily find and identify the international scammers, because they use modern communications ways that limit us monitoring them.”

Nigerian scams (also called Nigerian 419 scams), are a type of advance fee fraud and one of the most common types of confidence frauds in which the victim is defrauded for monetary gain. There are many variations on this type of scam, including advance fee fraud, Nigerian Letter Fifo’s Fraud, Spanish Prisoner Scam, black money scam, or Detroit/Buffalo scam. The number “419” refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud. The scam has been used with fax and traditional mail, and is now used with the Internet. Because many free email services do not require valid identifying information, and also allow communication with many victims in a short span of time, they are the preferred method of communication for scammers. Some services go so far as to mask the sender’s source IP address (Gmail being a common choice), making the scammer more difficult to trace to country of origin. While Gmail does indeed strip headers from emails, it is in fact possible to trace an IP address from such an email. Scammers can create as many accounts as they wish and often have several at a time. In addition, if email providers are alerted to the scammer’s activities and suspend the account, it is a trivial matter for the scammer to simply create a new account to resume scamming.

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