Real vs Fake Fundraising Real vs 419

419 versus 911

Disgusted and deeply disturbed indeed. These past few weeks I have become increasingly aware of 419 scammers on social and other networks whilst doing my rounds on the internet. It would seem scam artists have now invaded sacred spaces such as legitimate networks such as linked Google+ etc.

The scam is now becoming a bit more sophisticated since these people that practice it have now learnt a bit more about the internet and seemed to have studied a bit while in prison or in con school.

They all work on the same principle i.e. to try and hook a customer with a small carrot while dangling a much larger carrot in the back.

If something looks to good to be true it probably is.

I have compiled a couple of pointers to look out for. The typical scam on linked starts out by someone wanting to be connected to your profile and sending you an invite.

They claim to have 500 or more contact on the front page. However if you actually click and take time to you will find they only have six or seven real contacts. Often one of these real contacts will be a direct contact to you. That’s how they cotton onto you in the first place.

At first they send a very ordinary message welcoming your contact inquiring where you are from who your mother brother uncle or aunt etc is. The second messages much along the same lines and then third message them come out with the con.

Typically they are related to a General or admiral or a minister in government  so and so and are now fleeing for their lives with a huge sum of cash they need to deposit somewhere in the world i.e. preferably into your bank account. For this favor they offer you ten percent of the takings.

Mostly we are talking a few million US$ even up to a few hundred million. So the scam part is in order for them to have these funds released to you they require a deposit up front to secure release from the bank. Often a letter from the bank of Nigeria or wherever accompanies the writing as confirmation. So the psychology is simple you see don’t see the woods for the trees because you are focusing on your share of the big sum i.e. the millions to be transferred into your account for a small fee of a few hundred $  or whatever they can take you for. As soon as you deposit this money they simply vanish into thin air perhaps even leaving you with a fake promissory note as a souvenir of your gullibility.

The scam is named 419 as this is the penal code in Nigeria for the scam. The following should be taken note of. If the person says they are so and so go and do your homework 9 out of ten times you will find they only created a profile a few days ago. They have script writers of note working for them so the whole scam is laid out very well in the email.

Never ever give your personal bank details or personal contact details. They always write from a Hotmail or these days a gmail account. Never share your real location with anyone online. These days they often high jack a persons profile or photographs.

They always have very sophisticated sounding names and tend to write in high English.

If they claim to represent a charity check the non profit status. It took me as a legitimate fundraiser for a legitimate company many months to obtain this.

On the second or third mail from them the situation is usually dire with them writing to you in a state of crises with the bad guys hot on their heals often claiming they only have a few days to get out of the relevant situation as they face being executed if caught etc. So by then they are playing on your emotions in a big way. The above scam is played out in so many different scripts but more or less follows the above pattern.

This is now becoming a problem for legitimate entities such as myself as so many people are being burnt by these people they therefore creating so much mistrust and because they are becoming more sophisticated it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between fake and real.

Kindly visit my website to see what a real charity site looks like or what a real fundraising effort looks like on Indigogo .Take notes we have the proper required NPO and registration numbers on the website.

The fundraiser has many interactive video clips. The location is exact. All we need is real support.