If you are an email user you are probably very familiar with the overall scheme. Someone from another country has a problem. They have lots of money, and for one reason or another they need your help to get it out of country. All you have to do is set up a bank account, keep a percentage of the oodles of money deposited, and send the rest of the money to another spot.

I spent 6 years running a public access computer facility. I saw this scam several times. I would be asked to print some official looking document, or scan some official document. I have lost count on the number of times I patiently explained SCAM. The good news was that I knew these people had no money. They could not be milked.

The end result was always the same. To get their mitts on the money, they had to send money. My folks were safe!

Eventually they mostly came around to figuring out that the whole deal was a scam, and there was no harm done.

Being homeless and penniless does have its advantages at times.

A much more interesting case is erupting in Australia. It caught my attention because the whole story does not pass the ‘smell test’. No Nigerian Scammer would play the game this way.

Rule number one in a 419 Nigerian Scam is that the scammer does not actually give real money to the ‘scamee’. The whole system would break down if that were the case.

But, in this case Real money was involved. And it is an interesting situation.

A BRISBANE woman fleeced Nigerian scam artists by stealing more than $30,000 from their internet car sales racket, a court has been told.

Sarah Jane Cochrane-Ramsey, 23, was employed by the Nigerians as an “agent” in March 2010 but was unaware they were scam artists, the Brisbane District Court heard today.

Her job was to provide an Australian bank account through which they could funnel any payments they received through their dodgy account on a popular car sales website.

Cochrane-Ramsey was to keep eight per cent of all money paid into her account and forward the rest to the Nigerian scammers.

However, the court heard she kept the two payments she received – totalling $33,350 – and spent most of it on herself.

The car buyers who were ripped off reported the matter to police, who traced the account to Cochrane-Ramsey.

It doesn’t matter how you look at it, this is an interesting legal tussle. A good lawyer for the young lady might argue this case in many directions.

Certainly this is an interesting story. You can find more:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/breaking-news/aussie-woman-scammed-nigerians-court/story-e6freonx-1226279598283

http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/02/23/scammed_scammers_australian_woman_steals_money_from_nigerian_online_racketeers.html

Simon Barrett

  

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