Scammers busted with over $2.1bn in fake cheques

Written by Phil Cogar

October 4, 2007 // 8:30 a.m.

Tags: #419 #arrested #busted #fake-checks #fake-cheques #nigeria #scammers

The flow of fake checks going into the US has been slowed down some thanks to an international bust this week. The bust resulted in the arrest of 77 people and the seizure of more than $2.1 billion in fake cheques.

Many of us are quite familiar with the infamous Nigerian 419 scam and how it plays out but not everyone is. In fact, it's becoming such a widespread problem in the US that there are now television commercials warning viewers about the scam. Hopefully, fewer people will be scammed thanks to this bust.

The bust resulted in the arrest of 60 people in the Netherlands, 16 in Nigeria and one in Canada. Three scammers from Nigeria and the Netherlands were extradited to New York and will stand trial shortly. The US Postal Service (the scams constitute mail fraud in the US which is a federal offence) is in the process of having five others extradited as well.

"We shut down Internet cafes, we arrested scammers, and significantly disrupted the flow of fake checks into the United States," said Greg Campbell, U.S. Postal Inspector Service.

Nigeria is attempting to rid the country of the prevalent scammers in order to help clean up the country's image. A total of 290 cases have been brought to court and 115 of them have had successful prosecutions.

Government officials aren't the only ones cracking down on Internet scammers. Some Internet users attempt to get even with the scammers while others try to shut them down completely.

With scams and phishing attempts on the rise, maybe some basic Internet security classes should become mandatory for new ISP subscribers. The fast pace of evolution in how the scams work today can even fool Internet veterans like those in the bit-tech community so even the most savvy of us could use a refresher course once in a while.

What are your thoughts? Should there be a greater effort to help educate people on ways to avoid scams and phishing attempts or should they just fend for themselves? Let us know over in the forums.
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