NOTE: If I offend anyone due to their country of origen, then I am sorry. In NO way do I imply that everyone from the regions listed is untrustworthy. I am just using areas from my experences and it will be explaind why.
Ive have been around the internet block for over 16 years. In fact my first net experence was connecting to a telnet based chatroom through DOS! God Im old. Anyways I always keep on top of the latest scams and tricks. How the operate, where they operate, and what usually tips people off. Now professional scammers usually do not do things like this. But in my experence those are few and far between, you have more wannabe scammers out there and just general scum.
Scamming did not reach a real art form until about 2000. The internet was in it's infancy and e-commerce was just starting to thrive. The first reported scams came out of Russia and were well planned and kept from over saturation. These involved hitting people up for small amounts of money. Now accepting credit cards was not really widley done at that time. So usually they involved western union payments and personal checks. Those people never saw the items that they paid for. It is hard for a US bank to recoup funds from a bank in another country and we all know that once you send money by western union it is gone. This led into what was later called "shop admin". This involved setting up a store and accepting credit cards. Now instead of the information going on a secured server, the site admin saw the information. By the time someone noticed that something was wrong it was to late, their card was maxed out.
Now these scams worked for a time until someone leaked them on the net. Now Nigeria in Africa is a hot bed for scams on the net. The shop admin idea killed a lot of small internet retailers, mine included, because they saturated the net so fast and so hard people stoped trusting small companies. It wasnt until major retailers, about 2005, started their own sites that the trust had come back. Some people still do not trust small ecommerce sites.
Now that the history lesson is done, lets discuss some ways to tell if the person might be lidget, or if you want to get some more background from them.
English is the most spoken language on the internet. Not everyone can speak or type english very good, that is understood. But usually professional sites will have perfect english, and those who are professionals will type it fluently. Now there are a lot of people out there that are perfect programmers and are completely trustworthy that do not speak or type english that well. So how do you tell the difference? Well lets discuss that.
Say your wanting to hire someone who might not type english that well. Ask them a few questions:
1. "Do you do a lot of buisness with Americans?" (Change language as needed)
2. "What country are you from?"
3. "Where do you live now?"
Now those simple questions can make you see some paterns. Lets do answers and what to watch out for.
1. If they answer yes and their english is a little bad, then it is probably the truth. If the answer is yes and their enlish is horrible then it is probably a lie.
2. Most scammers will answer this as either America or England, because Nigeria was once a British colony and we all know everyone loves Americans lol
3. If they give you the country you live in push for details. If you know the area then ask them something like "Hey thats cool, I used to hang out at riverdale park. Ever been there?" In this instance "riverdale" Would be something I made up. Then you will know if they are lying. A note, that trick has worked for me multipul times.
Just a few questions to judge a response.
Now I have noticed a patern with most scammers. They have a certain way of trying to lure you in. There are 3 stages to a scammers conversation with you.
1. They try to build themselves up. They talk about how good they are and how much they can do for you
2. They try and play on your greed. Telling you how much money you will make with them. They also try and play on impulse. Saying that they dont have time for you to wait around for you to decide. They have other clients.
3. Anger. If steps one and two fail they always resort to anger. It comes in many forms but they usually call you the scammer and they dont need your money because they are rich. Etc.
Here is one of my personal real life examples.
I had a car for sell on the internet. I had it posted on a site dedicated for selling used cars. Now this car wasnt perfect. It was 10 years old and needed work. I had it posted for $500 this is a copy of the email correspondence I had with that person.
Them: Hi Friend, i see you car on (websitename with held) and i want to purchase it.i send someone to go to you and move it.they have payment by cheque and take car from you.please email back.i buy cars and sell them in home country laura
Me: The car is still for sale but I am cureouse. Where will this care be going and who will be paying for shipping costs? Because I will not pay for it.
Them: i pay to ship you take cheque i have other cars to buy so accept now or i not by from you!
Me: Ok but my policy is that they check will have to be held by my bank for 30 days. Once the payment has cleared you can send someone to get the car. I will have the company that you will send to hold the title in escro. If this is not acceptable you can send the money by western union or a bank transfer.
Them: you no want to deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you ripper!!!!! i buy lot of cars. i rich. i will just forget about you!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: Ok if you are so rich and important then why do you want to buy a 10 year old car that needs so much work?
I never heard a resonse back from that one. Chances are it was a stolen check. Now from that conversation you can see the three stages. Also notice the grammer. The over explination. And not all people who start out with the word friend are scammers, some people dont know the correct way to call someone from another country, but a lot of scammers use this. Also if your female they will use "honey" a lot.
Also another thing scammers will use is western union or xoom. A lot of countries have no access to paypal, so not all people asking for that type of payment are scammers, but be leary if they DEMAND it. Now xoom has a feature, a code word that can be added and suposedly the person can not get their funds if they dont know it. Well that is a lie. I owed a buddy in Africa some cash sent it xoom and forgot to tell him the password. Well he got it anyways because as a show to me he paid the xoom clerk $5 to not ask for it. Made me rethink a lot of things. Also just because they give an address to send it to in your home country dont automatically make them ledget, they might have someone working that will send the money to them somewhere else. And it is hard to prove that you got scammed when sending a WU payment. Trust me I have fallen for it and have tried to get my money back, it wont happen.
Now another big thing going around are people using stolen paypal accounts. For either recieving or sending money. Now when reciving money and shipping out a product ONLY send to the varified address. When recieving money for services only deal with someone who has a telephone number listed WITH their varified address. When in doubt call that number and ask the person if they are the ones sending the money. One time on a payment for a computer part I called and asked the person if they purchased it, they didnt, turns out the mans son was using his paypal account without his permission. So it cant hurt to call. Now google has started the voice thing where people can get a phone number from an country. But as soon as you call the number it tells you if it is google or not. If you have that happen to you then be very careful. Anyone who wont give you his real name and number has something to hide. When in doubt get on sype voice and/or video with someone. It is a lot harder to lie to someone that way. Oh yeah if you do get on voice with someone and they are in an internet cafe, be leary. Because if what you want done can be done within an hour or so then where they are dont matter, if it would take days or weeks then be leary because how can they complete a big project in an internet cafe. The fees would be enormouse.
Also scammers from Africa or the Middle East will ask HUGE prices for their services. I asked a scammer one time why they did that and his answere was that all Americans were rich. $10,000 is nothing to us because we make more than that in a week. This isnt becuase the are ignorant, it is because they watch to much American tv and movies where everyone seems to be rich and have lots of money. Some of it to is our currency. We run our currency on small denominations. $1, $5, $10, $20, and $100 dollar bills. Some countries, like Iraq, do not have a bill under 1000 denar. So to them 10,000 of their currency might only seem like $5 under USD. And this is a common mistake. I couldnt figure out the currency in England to save my life. Now to tell just ask them if their understanding is off, or the actually want that much money. Usually a scammer will always ask for a huge amount.
Ok, well thats it for now. I hope this has been helpful. Have any questions feel free to ask by replying, no PM's please. I want everyone to benifit. If you have something to add also please do.
Also for those ledget business people out there. I hope this helps so someone dont mistake you for a scammer. Take care all.
EDIT: Another thing going around. Getting unsecured credit cards (cards with a credit limit, not where you have to put money on it) are hard to come by in most under-developed countries. They have to use secured. Which means they have to add money to it before use and that money is their credit limit. If someone ever offers to "top off" your credit card then dont be leary, RUN! A nice scam to get your goods and your credit card number.