The Lone Scammer – Almost No Such Thing
Online Scamming Has Changed A Lot Over The Decades That It Has Existed
Originally published December 2017, Updated February 2021
Online scamming started with the old Compuserve and America Online, and then other services of that type before the web really got started. It came into play in chat rooms and messaging on these services.
As The Web Came Into Its Own, And Dating Websites Came About Starting In 1995 – Scammers Switched Their Tactics
Of course, at that time, the number of scammers was less than 200 in Africa, and about the same number in Russia/Ukraine.
As the years went by, the number and professionalism of scammers increased, but they were still predominantly individuals that worked in “Collectives” that gave them access to computers and the Internet (mostly through Internet Cafes). These were the precursors to the Gangs A gang is normally a group or society of associated criminals with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over a territory or business practice in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Online gangs are not limited by territory and may operate side by side with other gangs while engaging in crime online. Some members of criminal gangs are initiated (by going through a process of initiation), or have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence, or rituals. Gangs are usually rougher and more visible than scammer cartels, and more often arrested..
Fast forward to about 2010 – scamming is now dominated by Gangs and their associates. They used Internet Cafes and Safe Houses that they owned with Internet Access. The Gangs are making serious money, and have developed management hierarchies.
The Gangs take a percentage of the earnings of individual scammers, and scammers are grouping together to better cover victims 24/7 – this is the transformation period from Lone Scammers into Teams under the Gang A gang is normally a group or society of associated criminals with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over a territory or business practice in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Online gangs are not limited by territory and may operate side by side with other gangs while engaging in crime online. Some members of criminal gangs are initiated (by going through a process of initiation), or have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence, or rituals. Gangs are usually rougher and more visible than scammer cartels, and more often arrested. umbrellas.
By late 2013 we see a new structure emerging. This is the period of corporate organizations with hundreds and thousands of scammers working for them. Instead of the scammer paying a Gang for “Services”, the corporation now collects all money and the scammers are paid a commission (just like salespeople).
Of course, the older structures still remain – it is a country-by-country thing. Nigeria evolves into the corporate model, while Ghana remains behind in more of the Gang model. Ivory Coast and elsewhere still are dominated by individuals and small independent teams.
The spread of scams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. starts to go viral at that time and is spreading fast.
Fast forward to 2017. Over one million people became victims of romance scammers in 2016. Billions of dollars are flowing into the West African countries, and they have become very corporate-like, with office buildings, major telecommunication connections, training, and vast resources. They even OWN some of the Western Union franchises. Their connection with the local police is even tighter.
The corporate scammers Corporate Scammers - These work for real corporations, most of which either appear to be something else, or who are in fact in other lines of business such as telemarketing or outsourcing. They tend to operate real outsourcing businesses and maintain scamming operations as a part of their business, using the legitimate side to funnel some of their proceeds. Unfortunately, these businesses make too much money and have to transport it to places such as Asia for banking. This has resulted in the expansion of Nigerian scamming throughout Asia., small, medium, and large have huge amounts of cash, so they set up couriers to carry cash from Nigeria to dozens of countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Southern Philippines, and throughout Africa where the regulations permit. They even set up a major base in Thailand and Viet Nam.
Lone Scammers do still exist, as well as hard-core criminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. gangs, but with over 100,000 scammers in operation in Africa, these are now the minority and largely located in: Ivory Coast, Benin, Senegal, The Guineas, The Congos, Togo, Burkina Faso, Angola, and others. Having been driven out by the larger groups.
How did the Africans adapt to the corporate model so easily and quickly? It was thanks to your cell phone company, and your electric company, and everyone else that set up telemarketing call centers throughout the world. In the 2000s the Contact Center business was thriving, and new centers were being set up, connected, and personnel trained all around the world, including Africa. But by 2013 that industry was collapsing, and the call center businesses were looking for ways to survive. Many turned to scams – such as India going for the IRS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue & tax service of the United States federal government responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code (the main body of federal statutory tax law.) It is part of the Department of the Treasury and led by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers; pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings; and overseeing various benefits programs.
Visit www.IRS.gov to learn more./Tax scams, Jamaica with Lotto scams, and Africa with Romance Scams and BEC scams.
So the next time you think you were interacting with, or in a relationship with an individual scammer just remember – in over 90% of the cases YOU WERE NOT! You were being worked by a TEAM.