Nigerian Scammers Now Working Craigslist?
Of all the scams out there on the Internets, the Nigerian (or 419) scam is far and away the most well-known. Individuals have fallen for it and lost their entire savings, banks have fallen for it and lost millions, and even a British politician was sucked in. We're happy to help inform people about this scam so that they can avoid it, but it seems some Americans are paying attention for the wrong reason: using the scam themselves to rip off others.
Olga Domingo is a 32-year-old Californian who, according to police, may have scammed $79,000 out of 60 people using the same old trick that's become synonymous with Nigeria, by sending fake checks to people for a given amount and then tricking them into returning a real check (or wire transfer) for a smaller amount. In this case, Domingo is suspected to have gone through Craigslist listings, offered to purchase items from sellers, sent them checks for too much money and gotten refunds back. Of course, the checks she allegedly sent out were bogus, the ones she allegedly received all too real.
All told, she's accused of writing nearly $6 million in bogus checks. According to police suspicions, she wasn't working independently, either, acting as a more literate face for a group of Nigerian scammers to whom she sent a portion of her profits. The police executed a search warrant in December, arrested her last week, and she's currently being held on $586,000 bail. Let's hope it leads to further uncovering of the folks behind these hustles, as this isn't the first time this scam has been perpetrated on Craigslist. In fact, it's one of the oldest scams on the classifieds site -- we experienced a similar offer last year when trying to sell a sofa.
Still, let this be a lesson. Even if the Nigerian scammers don't want to rip you off, you still shouldn't play along. [From: Fresnobee.com, via Geek.com]