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Government Spam The Almighty Buck The Internet

Nigerian "Scam Police" Shut Down 800 Web Sites 200

Posted by timothy
from the had-to-pay-shipping-on-them-first dept.
Sooner Boomer writes "Nigerian police, in what is named Operation 'Eagle Claw,' have shut down 800 scam web sites and arrested members of 18 syndicates behind the fraudulent scam sites. Reports on Breitbart.com and Pointblank give details on the busts. The investigation was done in cooperation with Microsoft to help develop smart technology software capable of detecting fraudulent emails. From Breitbart: 'When operating at full capacity, within the next six months, the scheme, dubbed "Eagle Claw," should be able to forewarn around a quarter of million potential victims.'"
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Nigerian "Scam Police" Shut Down 800 Web Sites

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  • Ok.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @10:39PM (#29842401)
    Technology cannot eliminate human stupidity. What person doesn't know not to go double clicking on random EXEs, install random Active X controls, etc. yet the number of virus infested Windows boxes shows that most people don't follow that advice. Seriously, how many people think they can make millions by following the directions in these e-mails?

    The success of these e-mails is a testament to human stupidity in and of itself.
  • by causality (777677) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @10:59PM (#29842497)

    Even smart people are often stupid outside their area of expertise.

    That's the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

  • by countertrolling (1585477) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @11:02PM (#29842513) Journal

    The "victims" of these scams aren't as stupid as they are greedy. Combine the two, and you'll understand how Wall Street works.

  • by icebike (68054) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @11:20PM (#29842575)

    Finally! It's about time that international police and anti-crime resources put the same effort in stopping online cross border crime that they do for offline!

    Kudos to Microsoft for helping. Heck, I would accept help from Satan himself, if it reduce the spam and online crime.

    Well, I suspect that even though the tech is not fully deployed yet, these sites were already showing up as scam sites in Firefox and the latest versions if IE.

    I suspect the Nigerian police snarfed up the already useless sites and shut them down in a halfhearted show of being proactive even while on the take. Probably took the opportunity to get rid of a few competitors as well.

    These guys have been operating there for so long that only a corrupt police force could have missed them. There is plenty of evidence these guys are less than squeaky clean: http://hubpages.com/hub/Nigerian-Police--bribe-and-fraud [hubpages.com] and http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=76458 [irinnews.org] etc.

  • by countertrolling (1585477) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @11:21PM (#29842581) Journal

    I like what you're saying, but the "smart" ones recognize its strength and work to exploit it (i.e. by scamming) to the max. Greed produces both winners and losers.

  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Friday October 23, 2009 @12:01AM (#29842737) Homepage
    Scams have always been around, and they have nothing to do with 'stupidity'. This is a conceit of our modern age, where we are desperately anxious to call other people stupid so as to relieve our anxiety that we might not be smart by comparison. Rather, it has to do with scammers who have made a study of human nature (the profession is ancient and goes back to the dawn of time). Calling people who fall for scams 'stupid' is not correct, calling them 'greedy and trying to screw the conman' is much more correct. Consider how many people in the current 'intelligent' audience would fall for the following:

    You take an ordinary pack of 52 playing cards, spread them face up on the table, and offer to bet your victim that you can beat him at a game of draw poker, nothing wild, in which you both draw your cards from a face-up deck, taking any cards you wish. The game will be played according to standard rules except that you and he can help yourselves to any cards in the face-up deck both in putting together your initial hand and on the draw. You claim that your opponent will be unable to beat or even tie you even though each of you sees what the other man holds and even though you will allow him to go last.

    The procedure, you explain, will be as follows: You will draw five cards from the face-up deck for your hand. Your opponent will then draw any five cards he wishes from the remainder of the deck to form his hand. You will then discard any cards you wish and draw cards from the remainder of the deck to complete your hand. Your opponent may then discard nay or all of his cards. He may take any cards remaining in the face-up deck to fill his hand. If he beats you, he wins the bet. Even if he only succeeds in tying your hand, he still wins. In order for you to win the bet, you must end up with a better hand than his.

    Since your opponent gets to go last both on the deal and the draw, it would seem a sure thing for him to at least tie. After all, the best you can end up with is a royal flush, and he can tie that by taking another royal flush in a different suit. (Remember suits have no rank in poker.)

    Actually, you have a mortal lock on this one if you employ the following strategy: In selecting your initial hand, take the four tens plus any other card. Your opponent will either give himself a higher four of a kind jacks, queens, kings, or aces or he will take a straight flush. (Note that the highest straight flush he can make is a five through nine of one suit. Your four tens preclude his building a royal flush or a straight flush higher than a nine.) Either way, he has you beat for the moment.

    You now discard three of the tens and your odd card. Use that one ten to build the highest straight flush you can. For example, if he holds four aces, you give yourself a king-high straight flush. If your opponent holds a straight flush, you build a royal flush around the ten you hold. Now its his turn to draw, but there is no way he can make a straight flush as high as yours because you have killed the other three tens among the discards. Of course, your strategy will work just as well if, for some unaccountable reason, your opponent initially draws some other hand than the ones suggested above.

    Letting your opponent go last, which seems to guarantee a tie for him, actually robs him of any chance of winning the bet. Take out a deck of cards and experiment for a couple of minutes and youll see that all your adversary can do is come in second best.

    In my younger, more adventurous days, I often used this scam on a mark I had badly beaten at poker, if he still had any money left. As soon as he started bemoaning his bad luck, I would say, What do you mean luck? Youre the worst poker player Ive ever seen in my life. Its a wonder your mother lets you out of the house without a note pinned to your chest. You couldnt beat me at poker if I let you run through the deck and pick out your own hand. I would then pause as if suddenly getting an inspiration, and say, As a matter of fact, I bet you reall

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 23, 2009 @12:08AM (#29842769)

    So in other words, they now have your name, the name of your ISP, and your account number with that ISP. A little social engineering (and these guys have had the practice at that), and I wonder what other details about you they could glean...

  • by LifesABeach (234436) on Friday October 23, 2009 @12:17AM (#29842799)
    What do you say to the company that makes the software, that drives the worlds bad guys, that make careers spamming, scamming, and cracking? Thank you?
  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Friday October 23, 2009 @12:22AM (#29842813) Journal

    I suspect the Nigerian police snarfed up the already useless sites and shut them down in a halfhearted show of being proactive even while on the take. Probably took the opportunity to get rid of a few competitors as well.

    Never discount the possibility that a different organisation can offer a higher bribe.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday October 23, 2009 @12:34AM (#29842849)

    I suggest we look to the roots and foundations of 'evil' and how we can circumvent its expressions in life; most cases indicate that 'money' should be destroyed and new cultures and ways of existence need arise.

    Ok, so how are we supposed to do that? In 2009 we still have finite supplies of everything, if I want a ham sandwich I can't magically produce ham by speaking "create ham", it isn't even digital where if you have one piece of ham you can make almost infinite copies without damaging the original ham or using any other parts.

    You know it is your culture that taught you to be jealous of polygamy.

    Um, I don't see how I'm "jealous" of polygamy, its hard enough work keeping one woman happy, let alone three or four.

    It is your culture that taught you to put common man at opposition.

    What are you on? In case you haven't looked at the natural world (as I'm assuming you are basically saying you think humans are nothing more than evolved animals) every animal wants to dominate all the other animals. We as humans at least can do it civilly without much bloodshed and still maintain a society where just about everyone can live without fear of hunger or their safety. Sure, we can't all afford 50 inch plasmas, a Ferrari and 5 Core i7 boxes, but in general most everyone in at least a semi-free society will know they are going to be able to eat tomorrow.

    It is your culture that prioritizes the individual over community.

    Yeah, and look at how well the cultures that prioritized the community over the individual. You know governments such as fascism like Nazi Germany where they felt they needed to kill a few "individual" Jews for the sake of the "community" and don't even try bringing in "modern science" because that is what they manipulated to get the German public to at least tolerate it. Other governments such as communism that end up being corrupt to the core, breed dictators like Joesph Stalin, people who don't care if their people starve like Kim Jung-Il, Which country would you rather live in? North Korea where the "community" comes first, or in the US which is "individualistic" where I can be pretty sure I'll have food to eat tomorrow, the day after that and the day after that and I can be confident I can have medical treatment whenever I need it (even if I might have to pay for it later), and I can at least have a few freedoms (though they are being taken away day after day by the government).

    Very little in what is wrong with humans can be attributed to nature: nurture is where we go wrong.

    Are you just a troll or have you not seen nature? In nature life is brutal, short and in general not much fun. While we have leisure time to think, to ponder and to have fun, in nature you always have to be perpetually looking out against predators, gathering food, and making sure that the members of your own species don't decide to kill you. If you have a sickness no one cares, you just die in pain. You mean to say that the "natural" way of doing things is "better" because we don't have this "evil"? I'd prefer to be sent these spam e-mails than to spend every day fighting to survive.

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Friday October 23, 2009 @12:57AM (#29842935) Journal

    Money is not good, nor evil. Money is just a tool to exchange goods and services. Goods are limited, and so are your services. Money is the only tool we have to express value in something. If everything has the same value, then it is worthless.

    The only time people are exploited in cases like this, is when GREED overcomes LOGIC and REASON, i.e. MONEY FOR NOTHING (and chicks for free).

    People who are scammed like this deserve it. It is a cost of stupidity. Stupid should hurt.

  • Re:Ok.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Suicyco (88284) on Friday October 23, 2009 @04:15AM (#29843567) Homepage

    They aren't stupid, they simply don't know any better. Most people barely understand the concept of things like "executable file" and "activex control" if at all. They just click away, because thats always worked for them in the past. Its not the user that is at fault for everything that happens, even they are the cause. You can't expect everybody to understand what a trojan is just because you do. Some of the malware is very clever, I recently cleaned a slew of corporate computers infected with tons of crap from some users clicking on what appeared to be legitimate security warnings from windows. These popups can easily fool most people. I took care of it by installing good antivirus and antimalware but a lot of small businesses simply have no clue. They buy a computer, it comes with norton for 60 days, they plug away and don't think twice. Two years later they are infected to all hell and have no idea why. I don't fault them, what about Dell and the likes putting trialware of CRITICAL components onto these new systems? They should have bullet proof antivirus on the system for like, as part of the purchase price. The entire PC market is messed up in that regard. In the long run, it helps sales, because people will buy new computers once their old one becomes slow and worn out, like they are tires or something.

    People aren't "stupid" just because they don't have your level of computer expertise.

  • by causality (777677) on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:15AM (#29843791)

    Is it? Even wise people are ignorant out of their area of expertise.

    You have entirely missed my point. Wisdom is not about categories of factual knowledge. It's about knowing and understanding yourself. Our society so thoroughly fails to appreciate wisdom and so greatly overvalues cleverness and so few people are independent learners that I am actually having to explain this.

    It's a mundane, lower-level interpretation of what I said, and it fails to capture the full essence of it, but it could be rephrased this way: wise people know when they are not informed enough to make a good decision. So if it isn't their "area of expertise" (even if they DO subscribe to such a self-imposed limitation) then they know they are ignorant and they know that they need to correct their ignorance before making a decision. That's because wise people know themselves and appreciate both their strengths and their weaknesses, both their capabilities and their limitations.

    Fools, by contrast, assume that they know more than they actually do. This is usually because of what you might call arrogance but also happens because of plain old poor judgment (which is itself a weakness that can be remedied). Because they recklessly and haphazardly overestimate their understanding, they get screwed by such scams.

    Note that fools can otherwise be very clever, in that "high IQ" sense. They can accumulate vast amounts of memorized factual and procedural knowledge. They can even be the foremost experts in a specialized field. This alone does not cause them to make good decisions. To see the surprise that people show when smart people do stupid things, you'd think that this were some big mystery rather than the simple and self-evident observation that it actually is. Unfortunately, this is another thing that I would not have to explain if the difference between wisdom and cleverness were more widely appreciated in our society. The result is that we as a people are very good at complicating simple matters.

    So before responding, the wise might research that person e-mailing them and take steps to find out whether he is in fact the Nigerian prince that he claims to be. They might do a Google search and see if other people have also received similar unsolicited e-mails, which would quickly inform them about the nature of the scam. What they would not do is respond from a position of ignorance to an unknown third party about a financial matter without first performing some due diligence. Furthermore, the truly wise are honest people and for that reason, they do not expect to earn vast amounts of money for little or no work on their part and are rightfully suspicious of such offers instead of titillated by them.

    Now I know that's a rather dry response, but the beautiful simplicity (by comparison) of my original statement gets lost in even the best of explanations.

  • by jonadab (583620) on Friday October 23, 2009 @08:09AM (#29844545) Homepage Journal
    > (hell, the entire song is in (very bad) English; they even stole our language.)

    They didn't steal the language from us. They got it from the bloody limeys.

    Incidentally, so did we.

    > Oddly, the yahoozee seem to buy only American after they steal American money

    American goods are uber-cool throughout pretty much the entire third world. Buying American stuff is a form of conspicuous consumption, a banner that says, in effect, "I can afford all this, look at me, I'm wealthier than all y'all, ha ha ha."

    One notable exception is automobiles. The US makes a lot of cars, but the most popular conspicuously-expensive cars are of European manufacture (Rolls Royce, BMW, Mercedes Benz, etc). Oh, and cigars, of course, come from Cuba.

    So if these "yahoozee" are buying American cigars and American luxury cars (e.g., Cadillac) then they might be making a statement about America. Otherwise, they're just making a statement about their own level of affluence.

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