Oh Look. Another 419 Scam

You’ve seen them before. The advance fee fraud or the 419 scams. The one where a prince, a distressed widow, or an unscrupulous but half literate bank manager contacts you with a proposal. Invariably, there is a large frozen bank account the writer wants access to and needs your help to circumvent banking laws and procedures. All you have to do is send them your banking details and/or a sum of money. In return, you will be awarded a large percentage of the bank account.

The con artists in today’s blog article decided to go up one rung on the sophistication ladder. They made a web site.

You see, a Canadian tourist in Owerri City in Nigeria desperately needs your help. She has lost her money and passport and has no way of getting home.

The embassy is of no help so you, O Random Recipient, are her only hope.

Then comes the twist. To prove that she has enough money to repay you when she returns, she sends you her internet banking details. Her user name is sandra and her password is sandradavid. I will now take this opportunity to nag you all about using strong passwords.

Naturally I was curious and decided to visit the web site:

Somehow I don't think this bank carries deposit insurance.

And log in using the credentials provided in the email:

So our intrepid traveller is a professional tourist(?!) of considerable means. And having lost her money and passport has no other recourse than to send her banking user name and password to random people hoping to enlist their help.

By the way, if you’re interested in working for or investing in the United Bank for Nations, don’t bother. The careers and investor relations links don’t go anywhere.