Quite often when I hear about how people are duped by online scammers from overseas I can hardly believe that they let it happen. I mean, surely everyone in the entire world with an internet connection has received at least a dozen dodgy e-mails from Nigeria by now! How could anyone possibly not be wise to their tactics?
Still, people believe what they want to believe, I suppose...
And the scammers do seem to be changing their tactics. Rather than promising untold wealth, some are now using fear of the law and guilt about sex to dupe people into emptying their pockets.
The technique involves targeting people who have sold electronic goods overseas, then telling them that porn was found on these items. A fine must be paid for the seller to clear his name and stop legal action being taken.
It's a truly rotten thing to do, but undeniably clever. And I can see how many well-meaning and intelligent people who would not be fooled by the usual Nigerian e-mail tactic could be tricked by this technique. No wonder Australians have lost $70 million this way so far.