Internet has opened up some very new ways for making money.
You can sell / buy just about anything, from books, clothes, art, and I am sure very often you might be receiving emails on 'Discount on Viagra' etc. However, something very well strategized was about emails ... often from the African continent. Emailer would often be young girls, who would have probably a similar like story about them, being the only daughter, surviving from the late King, or the Prime Minister, or the Consultant to the Prime Minister, or President etc. and, that, her father had some US$10 millions or more in some particular bank and, because of some military coup, every one in their family was killed and, luckily she managed to escape and is presently in some refugee camp.
The emailer sends details of some bank manager and the contact person's name, mobile number, together with bank address, email address and fax number etc. saying that, since she cannot withdraw the money herself, she has chosen you to withdraw the money on her behalf and, if you help her in doing so, you may share a percentage of around 10% and sometimes even around 20% from the total value. Often people do fall prey and give it a try, thinking, how does it matter, if one can make that large sum of money.
So what would someone possibly do? They email the bank manager, who replies you saying that you will need to fill in some details which are required by the bank in order to process the procedure. The bank manager may even sound to be in a hurry, thus to make sure that, you don't have much time to think ... and you send the details at your earliest. Often they want to know your bank details, home address, passport or id details (some even ask you to scan it and send it to them) etc.
I personally know some associates, who had sent these details and in fact, together with them, we were trying to gather an idea about this whole funda. We even called those numbers, which we believe we just mobile numbers, probably pre-paid numbers, which can be easily be available and be miss used for such acts, where a person wants to hide his/her identity (not in India though, since in India, even a pre-paid mobile subscriber needs to provide all their details in order to activate his number - and yet we call it to be democracy - anyways, we are not here to discuss about our great Indian democracy).
Once any person has provided with the details, as wanted by the bank, the next phase is, when the bank wants you to fulfill some more formalities, where you need to send some money as part of professing fee, which they say will be adjusted with the total amount. Now, thats the catch here. Suppose if you were to fall prey to them and do send that amount of money ... what happens next ... is that if about 10 people like you, send money to them, an average of about US$100 per person, per month, thats around US$1000 in total at the end of the month! A solid tax free income to that person.
There is another such chain, which has a similar strategy. Emails are sent to businessmen, especially exporters, and this one, is very well planned and well strategized. Business houses receive emails of a certain transaction which they might have done some years ago and their commissions worth in thousands of dollars is due to be paid. The emailer admits being the person who has to release the final payment and clearly mentions that, he needs a cut from the total amount. Often it starts with a 10% commission from the total value.
This time, I was in touch with an exporter from India, who had received an email, and as a matter of fact, the emailer seemed to have done his home work pretty well. Because he had mentioned some transactions which my contact person had made himself. However, we were in touch with the emailer, till he was down to saying that we sound send him by western union at least an amount of US$150, in order to enable him release your payment! Thats the catch there. Once again, even if 10 people fall prey and send the money, you can well imagine, how easy it is for those spammers to make money.
We are sorry for those who have lost their money, hoping to make money from such transactions. However, it is even worst, when individuals have give their passwords and even online banking details, thus to enable spammers to actually steal money from your bank account.
The best to do is, don't be greedy for that kind of money and, try not to fall prey to such emailers. Never give your passwords, or information on PayPal etc. to unknown emailers etc. for the rest, its all in your luck. Internet is one of the finest inventions, which can help us develop, and on the same edge, it has its disadvantages too.
Contributed by: Mohinder Pal Singh
Date: May 17, 2010