Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 october cgi noncgi classified sites

A groan grasps the peanut near the offending anthology.|1

Classified Directory

Networked Sites

Tuesday, September 28, 2010





Sunday, August 22, 2010


Work at Home Tutorials

Traffic Generation

Some of our regular assignments require you to register with traffic generators that give free visits to a website when you register. Or you can use traffic generators to build commissions
This is a good easy way to get visitors to any website for free.
They give full page views to their members.
How they work.
When you register with a traffic generator or exchange you enter a target url.
This url is the website where you want the hits to go.(your splashpage)
This will be the url below the ad for a certain assignment
Once you register you are given a surf url
When you click on this url you will view websites of other members for
20-30 seconds and you are credited for this visit. Some sites will give you 1 credit or 1 visitor for every website you visit.
The sites you will be registering with will give you up to 1000 free visitors just for joining.
Joining Traffic Generators
Click on Adsites to the left then click on Traffic Generators
Going down the list register with each site
Most sites will require you to verify your account by sending you an email in which you need to click a link.
Once verified you can login and enter your details
The url you will use as the target url is your personal page url
Using the Report Form (Only needed for assignments not generating commissions)
The report form asks for the following information

Date: this is the date you registered with the traffic generator
URL: This is your referal url for this traffic generator
Hits Given: How many free hits did you get on signup
That's all there is to traffic generators.
We update our traffic generators list each month but you can find more

Copy and Paste Tutorials

Copy and Paste Tutorials

Even if you know next to nothing about using a computer this is the one simple task you should learn how to do.

This tutorial teaches the easy (but important), skill of "Cut Copy & Paste"

There are several ways to copy and paste but we will learn the way that I use most often. to business

First we will learn how to copy and paste.

1 - Place your mouse pointer in front of the first word of the text you want to copy , your pointer will turn into something that looks like an I. Hold down your left mouse button as you drag your mouse over the selection of text you wish to copy. The block of text will change color as you drag. You can select some or all of the text.

2 - After the text is selected or highlighted, position your cursor over the selected section.

3 - Right click.
4 - A menu will appear near your cursor. Select Copy from this menu.
5 - Move to the document or location where you wish to paste the text .
6 - Position your cursor in the place where you will insert the text or image.
7 - Right click.
8 - A menu will appear near your cursor. Select Paste from this menu. The copied text will appear.

Lets practise copy an pasting.
Open your notepad program and copy and paste this text following the above instructions

Ok now let's learn to cut and paste.

The only difference between copy and cut is that when you cut the text is removed and not just copied but can still be pasted.

1 - Place your mouse pointer in front of the first word of the text you want to copy , your pointer will turn into something that looks like an I. Hold down your left mouse button as you drag your mouse over the selection of text you wish to cut. The block of text will change color as you drag.

2 - After the text is selected or highlighted, position your cursor over the selected section.

3 - Right click.
4 - A menu will appear near your cursor. Select Cut from this menu and the text should be removed or cut from the box.
5 - Move to the document or location where you wish to paste the text .
6 - Position your cursor in the place where you will insert the text or image.
7 - Right click.
8 - A menu will appear near your cursor. Select Paste from this menu. The cut text will appear in this new location.

Practise Cut and Paste
Follow the above directions to cut the text you just copied to your notepad page and paste it to another notepad page.

Congratulations You Have Just Mastered Cut, Copy and Paste Functions!

Now let's put copy and paste to work

Go to your current assignment,data to post or ads to post list
Select the assignment you wish to do
Copy the ad from that assignment to your notepad
Ad your personal page link to the bottom of the ad
Save the note pad file to your computer

Now go to the ad sites list
Click on classifeds (any list)
Click on an adsite link
Copy and paste your ad to the form

That's it now you can place your next ad


E-learning comprises all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching, which are procedural in character and aim to effect the construction of knowledge with reference to individual experience, practice and knowledge of the learner. Information and communication systems, whether networked or not, serve as specific media to implement the learning process.
E-learning is essentially the computer and network enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. E-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. It can be self paced or instructor led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio.
Acronyms like CBT (Computer-Based Training), IBT (Internet-Based Training) or WBT (Web-Based Training) have been used as synonyms to e-learning. Today one can still find these terms being used, along with variations of e-learning such as elearning, Elearning, and eLearning.
eLearning can provide benefits for the organizations and individuals involved.
1. Improved performance: A 12-year meta-analysis of research by the U.S. Department of Education found that higher education students in online learning generally performed better than those in face-to-face courses.
2. Increased access: Instructors of the highest calibre can share their knowledge across borders, allowing students to attend courses across physical, political, and economic boundaries. Recognized experts have the opportunity of making information available internationally, to anyone interested at minimum costs. For example, the MIT OpenCourseWare program has made substantial portions of that university's curriculum and lectures available for free online.
3. Convenience and flexibility to learners: in many contexts, eLearning is self-paced and the learning sessions are available 24x7. Learners are not bound to a specific day/time to physically attend classes. They can also pause learning sessions at their convenience. High technology is not necessary for all online courses. Basic internet access, audio, and video capabilities are common requirements. Depending on the technology used, students can begin their courses while at work and finish those at an alternate internet equipped location.
4. Skill Development: To develop the skills and competencies needed in the 21st century, in particular to ensure that learners have the digital literacy skills required in their discipline, profession or career. Bates (2009) states that a major argument for eLearning is that it enables learners to develop essential skills for knowledge-based workers by embedding the use of information and communications technologies within the curriculum. He also argues that using eLearning in this way has major implications for course design and the assessment of learners.
Additional advantages of computer-based training over traditional classroom training include the ability to:
1. Pay less per credit hour
2. Reduce overall training time
3. Access public content such as webcasts or other course content
The worldwide e-learning industry is estimated to be worth over 38 billion euros according to conservative estimates. Developments in internet and multimedia technologies are the basic enabler of e-learning, with consulting, content, technologies, services and support being identified as the five key sectors of the e-learning industry.
Higher education
By 2006, 3.5 million students were participating in on-line learning at institutions of higher education in the United States. According to the Sloan Foundation reports, there has been an increase of around 12–14 per cent per year on average in enrollments for fully online learning over the five years 2004–2009 in the US post-secondary system, compared with an average of approximately 2 per cent increase per year in enrollments overall. Allen and Seamen (2009) claim that almost a quarter of all students in post-secondary education were taking fully online courses in 2008, and a report by Ambient Insight Research suggests that in 2009, 44 per cent of post-secondary students in the USA were taking some or all of their courses online, and projected that this figure would rise to 81 per cent by 2014. Thus it can be seen that e-learning is moving rapidly from the margins to being a predominant form of post-secondary education, at least in the USA.
Many higher education, for-profit institutions, now offer on-line classes. By contrast, only about half of private, non-profit schools offer them. The Sloan report, based on a poll of academic leaders, says that students generally appear to be at least as satisfied with their on-line classes as they are with traditional ones. Private institutions may become more involved with on-line presentations as the cost of instituting such a system decreases. Properly trained staff must also be hired to work with students on-line. These staff members need to understand the content area, and also be highly trained in the use of the computer and Internet. Online education is rapidly increasing, and online doctoral programs have even developed at leading research universities.
Early e-learning systems, based on Computer-Based Learning/Training often attempted to replicate autocratic teaching styles whereby the role of the e-learning system was assumed to be for transferring knowledge, as opposed to systems developed later based on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), which encouraged the shared development of knowledge.
As early as 1993, William D. Graziadeidescribed an online computer-delivered lecture, tutorial and assessment project using electronic Mail, two VAX Notes conferences and Gopher/Lynx together with several software programs that allowed students and instructor to create a Virtual Instructional Classroom Environment in Science (VICES) in Research, Education, Service & Teaching (REST). In 1997 Graziadei, W.D., et al., published an article entitled "Building Asynchronous and Synchronous Teaching-Learning Environments: Exploring a Course/Classroom Management System Solution".They described a process at the State University of New York (SUNY) of evaluating products and developing an overall strategy for technology-based course development and management in teaching-learning. The product(s) had to be easy to use and maintain, portable, replicable, scalable, and immediately affordable, and they had to have a high probability of success with long-term cost-effectiveness. Today many technologies can be, and are, used in e-learning, from blogs to collaborative software, ePortfolios, and virtual classrooms. Most eLearning situations use combinations of these techniques.
E-Learning 2.0
The term E-Learning 2.0 is a neologism for CSCL systems that came about during the emergence of Web 2.0 From an E-Learning 2.0 perspective, conventional e-learning systems were based on instructional packets, which were delivered to students using Internet technologies. The role of the student consisted of learning from the readings and preparing assignments. Assignments were evaluated by the teacher. In contrast, the new e-learning places increased emphasis on social learning and use of social software such as blogs, wikis, podcasts and virtual worlds such as Second Life. This phenomenon has also been referred to as Long Tail Learning See also (Seely Brown & Adler 2008)
E-Learning 2.0, by contrast to e-learning systems not based on CSCL, assumes that knowledge (as meaning and understanding) is socially constructed. Learning takes place through conversations about content and grounded interaction about problems and actions. Advocates of social learning claim that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to others.
However, it should be noted that many early online courses, such as those developed by Murray Turoff andStarr Roxanne Hiltz in the 1970s and 80s at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, courses at the University of Guelph in Canada, the British Open University, and the online distance courses at the University of British Columbia (where Web CT, now incorporated into Blackboard Inc. was first developed), have always made heavy use of online discussion between students. Also, from the start, practitioners such as Harasim (1995) have put heavy emphasis on the use of learning networks for knowledge construction, long before the term e-learning, let alone e-learning 2.0, was even considered.
There is also an increased use of virtual classrooms (online presentations delivered live) as an online learning platform and classroom for a diverse set of education providers such as Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and Sachem School District.
In addition to virtual classroom environments, social networks have become an important part of E-learning 2.0. Social networks have been used to foster online learning communities around subjects as diverse as test preparation and language education. Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) is a term used to describe using handheld computers or cell phones to assist in language learning.
Approaches to e-learning services
E-learning services have evolved since computers were first used in education. There is a trend to move towards blended learning services, where computer-based activities are integrated with practical or classroom-based situations.
Bates and Poole (2003) and the OECD (2005) suggest that different types or forms of e-learning can be considered as a continuum, from no e-learning, i.e. no use of computers and/or the Internet for teaching and learning, through classroom aids, such as making classroom lecture Powerpoint slides available to students through a course web site or learning management system, to laptop programs, where students are required to bring laptops to class and use them as part of a face-to-face class, to hybrid learning, where classroom time is reduced but not eliminated, with more time devoted to online learning, through to fully online learning, which is a form of distance education. This classification is somewhat similar to that of the Sloan Commission reports on the status of e-learning, which refer to web enhanced, web supplemented and web dependent to reflect increasing intensity of technology use. In the Bates and Poole continuum, 'blended learning' can cover classroom aids, laptops and hybrid learning, while 'distributed learning' can incorporate either hybrid or fully online learning.
It can be seen then that e-learning can describe a wide range of applications, and it is often by no means clear even in peer reviewed research publications which form of e-learning is being discussed. However, Bates and Poole argue that when instructors say they are using e-learning, this most often refers to the use of technology as classroom aids, although over time, there has been a gradual increase in fully online learning (see Market above).
Computer-based learning
Computer-based learning, sometimes abbreviated to CBL, refers to the use of computers as a key component of the educational environment. While this can refer to the use of computers in a classroom, the term more broadly refers to a structured environment in which computers are used for teaching purposes.
Computer-based training
Computer-Based Trainings (CBTs) are self-paced learning activities accessible via a computer or handheld device. CBTs typically present content in a linear fashion, much like reading an online book or manual. For this reason they are often used to teach static processes, such as using software or completing mathematical equations. The term Computer-Based Training is often used interchangeably with Web-based training (WBT) with the primary difference being the delivery method. Where CBTs are typically delivered via CD-ROM, WBTs are delivered via the Internet using a web browser. Assessing learning in a CBT usually comes in the form of multiple choice questions, or other assessments that can be easily scored by a computer such as drag-and-drop, radial button, simulation or other interactive means. Assessments are easily scored and recorded via online software, providing immediate end-user feedback and completion status. Users are often able to print completion records in the form of certificates.
CBTs provide learning stimulus beyond traditional learning methodology from textbook, manual, or classroom-based instruction. For example, CBTs offer user-friendly solutions for satisfying continuing education requirements. Instead of limiting students to attending courses or reading printing manuals, students are able to acquire knowledge and skills through methods that are much more conducive to individual learning preferences For example, CBTs offer visual learning benefits through animation or video, not typically offered by any other means.
CBTs can be a good alternative to printed learning materials since rich media, including videos or animations, can easily be embedded to enhance the learning. Another advantage to CBTs are that they can be easily distributed to a wide audience at a relatively low cost once the initial development is completed]
However, CBTs pose some learning challenges as well. Typically the creation of effective CBTs requires enormous resources. The software for developing CBTs (such as Flash or Adobe Director) is often more complex than a subject matter expert or teacher is able to use. In addition, the lack of human interaction can limit both the type of content that can be presented as well as the type of assessment that can be performed. Many learning organizations are beginning to use smaller CBT/WBT activities as part of a broader online learning program which may include online discussion or other interactive elements.
Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)
Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is one of the most promising innovations to improve teaching and learning with the help of modern information and communication technology. Most recent developments in CSCL have been called E-Learning 2.0, but the concept of collaborative or group learning whereby instructional methods are designed to encourage or require students to work together on learning tasks has existed much longer. It is widely agreed to distinguish collaborative learning from the traditional 'direct transfer' model in which the instructor is assumed to be the distributor of knowledge and skills, which is often given the neologism E-Learning 1.0, even though this direct transfer method most accurately reflects Computer-Based Learning systems (CBL).

In Datacloud: Toward a New Theory of Online Work, Johndan Johnson-Eilola describes a specific computer-supported collaboration space: The Smart Board. According to Johnson-Eilola, a “Smart Board system provides a 72-inch, rear projection, touchscreen, intelligent whiteboard surface for work” (79). In Datacloud, Johnson-Eilola asserts that “[w]e are attempting to understand how users move within information spaces, how users can exist within information spaces rather than merely gaze at them, and how information spaces must be shared with others rather than being private, lived within rather than simply visited” (82). He explains how the Smart Board system offers an information space that allows his students to engage in active collaboration. He makes three distinct claims regarding the functionality of the technology: 1) The Smart Board allows users to work with large amounts of information, 2) It offers an information space that invites active collaboration, 3) The work produced is often “dynamic and contingent” (82).

Johnson-Eilola further explains that with the Smart Board “…information work becom[es] a bodied experience” (81). Users have the opportunity to engage with—inhabit—the technology by direct manipulation. Moreover, this space allows for more than one user; essentially, it invites multiple users.
Technology-enhanced learning (TEL)
Technology enhanced learning (TEL) has the goal to provide socio-technical innovations (also improving efficiency and cost effectiveness) for e-learning practices, regarding individuals and organizations, independent of time, place and pace. The field of TEL therefore applies to the support of any learning activity through technology.
Technology issues
Along with the terms learning technology, instructional technology, and Educational Technology, the term is generally used to refer to the use of technology in learning in a much broader sense than the computer-based training or Computer Aided Instruction of the 1980s. It is also broader than the terms Online Learning or Online Education which generally refer to purely web-based learning. In cases where mobile technologies are used, the term M-learning has become more common. E-learning, however, also has implications beyond just the technology and refers to the actual learning that takes place using these systems.
E-learning is naturally suited to distance learning and flexible learning, but can also be used in conjunction with face-to-face teaching, in which case the term Blended learning is commonly used. E-Learning pioneer Bernard Luskin argues that the "E" must be understood to have broad meaning if e-Learning is to be effective. Luskin says that the "e" should be interpreted to mean exciting, energetic, enthusiastic, emotional, extended, excellent, and educational in addition to "electronic" that is a traditional national interpretation. This broader interpretation allows for 21st century applications and brings learning and media psychology into the equation.
In higher education especially, the increasing tendency is to create a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) (which is sometimes combined with a Management Information System (MIS) to create a Managed Learning Environment) in which all aspects of a course are handled through a consistent user interface standard throughout the institution. A growing number of physical universities, as well as newer online-only colleges, have begun to offer a select set of academic degree and certificate programs via the Internet at a wide range of levels and in a wide range of disciplines. While some programs require students to attend some campus classes or orientations, many are delivered completely online. In addition, several universities offer online student support services, such as online advising and registration, e-counseling, online textbook purchase, student governments and student newspapers.
e-Learning can also refer to educational web sites such as those offering learning scenarios, worksheets and interactive exercises for children. The term is also used extensively in the business sector where it generally refers to cost-effective online training.
The recent trend in the e-Learning sector is screencasting. There are many screencasting tools available but the latest buzz is all about the web based screencasting tools which allow the users to create screencasts directly from their browser and make the video available online so that the viewers can stream the video directly. The advantage of such tools is that it gives the presenter the ability to show his ideas and flow of thoughts rather than simply explain them, which may be more confusing when delivered via simple text instructions. With the combination of video and audio, the expert can mimic the one on one experience of the classroom and deliver clear, complete instructions. From the learner's point of view this provides the ability to pause and rewind and gives the learner the advantage of moving at their own pace, something a classroom cannot always offer.
Communication technologies used in e-learning
Communication technologies are generally categorized as asynchronous or synchronous. Asynchronous activities use technologies such as blogs, wikis, and discussion boards. The idea here is that participants may engage in the exchange of ideas or information without the dependency of other participants involvement at the same time. Electronic mail (Email) is also asynchronous in that mail can be sent or received without having both the participants’ involvement at the same time.
Synchronous activities involve the exchange of ideas and information with one or more participants during the same period of time. A face to face discussion is an example of synchronous communications. Synchronous activities occur with all participants joining in at once, as with an online chat session or a virtual classroom or meeting.
Virtual classrooms and meetings can often use a mix of communication technologies.
In many models, the writing community and the communication channels relate with the E-learning and the M-learning communities. Both the communities provide a general overview of the basic learning models and the activities required for the participants to join the learning sessions across the virtual classroom or even across standard classrooms enabled by technology. Many activities, essential for the learners in these environments, require frequent chat sessions in the form of virtual classrooms and/or blog meetings. Lately context-aware ubiquitous technology has been providing an innovative way for written and oral communications by using a mobile device with sensors and RFID readers and tags (Liu & Hwang 2009).
Learning management system (LMS) and Learning content management system (LCMS)
A learning management system (LMS) is software for delivering, tracking and managing training/education. LMSs range from systems for managing training/educational records to software for distributing courses over the Internet and offering features for online collaboration.
A learning content management system (LCMS) is software for authoring, editing and indexing e-learning content (courses, reusable content objects). An LCMS may be solely dedicated to producing and publishing content that is hosted on an LMS, or it can host the content itself (remote AICC content hosting model).
Computer-aided assessment
Computer-aided Assessment (also but less commonly referred to as E-assessment), ranging from automated multiple-choice tests to more sophisticated systems is becoming increasingly common. With some systems, feedback can be geared towards a student's specific mistakes or the computer can navigate the student through a series of questions adapting to what the student appears to have learned or not learned.
The best examples follow a Formative Assessment structure and are called "Online Formative Assessment". This involves making an initial formative assessment by sifting out the incorrect answers. The author/teacher will then explain what the pupil should have done with each question. It will then give the pupil at least one practice at each slight variation of sifted out questions. This is the formative learning stage. The next stage is to make a Summative Assessment by a new set of questions only covering the topics previously taught. Some will take this even further and repeat the cycle such as BOFA which is aimed at the Eleven plus exam set in the UK.
The term learning design has sometimes come to refer to the type of activity enabled by software such as the open-source system LAMS which supports sequences of activities that can be both adaptive and collaborative. The IMS Learning Design specification is intended as a standard format for learning designs, and IMS LD Level A is supported in LAMS V2.elearning has been replacing the traditional settings due to its cost effectiveness.
Electronic performance support systems (EPSS)
An Electronic performance support systems (EPSS) is a "computer-based system that improves worker productivity by providing on-the-job access to integrated information, advice, and learning experiences". 1991, Barry Raybould
Content issues
Content is a core component of e-learning and includes issues such as pedagogy and learning object re-use.
Pedagogical elements
Pedagogical elements are an attempt to define structures or units of educational material. For example, this could be a lesson, an assignment, a multiple choice question, a quiz, a discussion group or a case study. These units should be format independent, so although it may be in any of the following methods, pedagogical structures would not include a textbook, a web page, a video conference or Podcast.
When beginning to create e-Learning content, the pedagogical approaches need to be evaluated. Simple pedagogical approaches make it easy to create content, but lack flexibility, richness and downstream functionality. On the other hand, complex pedagogical approaches can be difficult to set up and slow to develop, though they have the potential to provide more engaging learning experiences for students. Somewhere between these extremes is an ideal pedagogy that allows a particular educator to effectively create educational materials while simultaneously providing the most engaging educational experiences for students.
Pedagogical approaches or perspectives
It is possible to use various pedagogical approaches for eLearning which include:
• instructional design – the traditional pedagogy of instruction which is curriculum focused, and is developed by a centralized educating group or a single teacher.
• social-constructivist – this pedagogy is particularly well afforded by the use of discussion forums, blogs, wiki and on-line collaborative activities. It is a collaborative approach that opens educational content creation to a wider group including the students themselves. The One Laptop Per Child Foundation attempted to use a constructivist approach in its project
• Laurillard's Conversational Model is also particularly relevant to eLearning, and Gilly Salmon's Five-Stage Model is a pedagogical approach to the use of discussion boards.
• Cognitive perspective focuses on the cognitive processes involved in learning as well as how the brain works.
• Emotional perspective focuses on the emotional aspects of learning, like motivation, engagement, fun, etc.
• Behavioural perspective focuses on the skills and behavioural outcomes of the learning process. Role-playing and application to on-the-job settings.
• Contextual perspective focuses on the environmental and social aspects which can stimulate learning. Interaction with other people, collaborative discovery and the importance of peer support as well as pressure.
Reusability, standards and learning objects
Much effort has been put into the technical reuse of electronically-based teaching materials and in particular creating or re-using Learning Objects. These are self contained units that are properly tagged with keywords, or other metadata, and often stored in an XML file format. Creating a course requires putting together a sequence of learning objects. There are both proprietary and open, non-commercial and commercial, peer-reviewed repositories of learning objects such as the Merlot repository.
A common standard format for e-learning content is SCORM whilst other specifications allow for the transporting of "learning objects" (Schools Framework) or categorizing metadata (LOM).
These standards themselves are early in the maturity process with the oldest being 8 years old. They are also relatively vertical specific: SIF is primarily pK-12, LOM is primarily Corp, Military and Higher Ed, and SCORM is primarily Military and Corp with some Higher Ed. PESC- the Post-Secondary Education Standards Council- is also making headway in developing standards and learning objects for the Higher Ed space, while SIF is beginning to seriously turn towards Instructional and Curriculum learning objects.
In the US pK12 space there are a host of content standards that are critical as well- the NCES data standards are a prime example. Each state government's content standards and achievement benchmarks are critical metadata for linking e-learning objects in that space.
An excellent example of e-learning that relates to knowledge management and reusability is Navy E-Learning, which is available to Active Duty, Retired, or Disable Military members. This on-line tool provides certificate courses to enrich the user in various subjects related to military training and civilian skill sets. The e-learning system not only provides learning objectives, but also evaluates the progress of the student and credit can be earned toward higher learning institutions. This reuse is an excellent example of knowledge retention and the cyclical process of knowledge transfer and use of data and records.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Forex scam

A forex (or foreign exchange) scam is any trading scheme used to defraud traders by convincing them that they can expect to gain a high profit by trading in the foreign exchange market. Currency trading "has become the fraud du jour" as of early 2008, according to Michael Dunn of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. But "the market has long been plagued by swindlers preying on the gullible," according to the New York Times. "The average individual foreign-exchange-trading victim loses about $15,000, according to CFTC records" according to The Wall Street Journal. The North American Securities Administrators Association says that "off-exchange forex trading by retail investors is at best extremely risky, and at worst, outright fraud."
"In a typical case, investors may be promised tens of thousands of dollars in profits in just a few weeks or months, with an initial investment of only $5,000. Often, the investor’s money is never actually placed in the market through a legitimate dealer, but simply diverted – stolen – for the personal benefit of the con artists."
In August, 2008 the CFTC set up a special task force to deal with growing foreign exchange fraud.”[ In January 2010, the CFTC proposed new rules limiting leverage to 10 to 1, based on " a number of improper practices" in the retail foreign exchange market, "among them solicitation fraud, a lack of transparency in the pricing and execution of transactions, unresponsiveness to customer complaints, and the targeting of unsophisticated, elderly, low net worth and other vulnerable individuals."
The forex market is a zero-sum game, meaning that whatever one trader gains, another loses, except that brokerage commissions and other transaction costs are subtracted from the results of all traders, technically making forex a "negative-sum" game.
These scams might include churning of customer accounts for the purpose of generating commissions, selling software that is supposed to guide the customer to large profits,[ improperly managed "managed accounts", false advertising, Ponzi schemes and outright fraud. It also refers to any retail forex broker who indicates that trading foreign exchange is a low risk, high profit investment.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which loosely regulates the foreign exchange market in the United States, has noted an increase in the amount of unscrupulous activity in the non-bank foreign exchange industry.
An official of the National Futures Association was quoted as saying, "Retail forex trading has increased dramatically over the past few years. Unfortunately, the amount of forex fraud has also increased dramatically." Between 2001 and 2006 the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has prosecuted more than 80 cases involving the defrauding of more than 23,000 customers who lost $350 million. From 2001 to 2007, about 26,000 people lost $460 million in forex frauds. CNN quoted Godfried De Vidts, President of the Financial Markets Association, a European body, as saying, "Banks have a duty to protect their customers and they should make sure customers understand what they are doing. Now if people go online, on non-bank portals, how is this control being done?"
Not beating the market
The foreign exchange market is a zero sum game in which there are many experienced well-capitalized professional traders (e.g. working for banks) who can devote their attention full time to trading. An inexperienced retail trader will have a significant information disadvantage compared to these traders.
Although it is possible for a few experts to successfully arbitrage the market for an unusually large return, this does not mean that a larger number could earn the same returns even given the same tools, techniques and data sources. This is because the arbitrages are essentially drawn from a pool of finite size; although information about how to capture arbitrages is a nonrival good, the arbitrages themselves are a rival good. (To draw an analogy, the total amount of buried treasure on an island is the same, regardless of how many treasure hunters have bought copies of the treasure map.)
Retail traders are - almost by definition - undercapitalized. Thus they are subject to the problem of gambler's ruin. In a "Fair Game" (one with no information advantages) between two players that continues until one trader goes bankrupt, the player with the lower amount of capital has a higher probability of going bankrupt first. Since the retail speculator is effectively playing against the market as a whole - which has nearly infinite capital - he will almost certainly go bankrupt.
The retail trader always pays the bid/ask spread which makes his odds of winning less than those of a fair game. Additional costs may include margin interest, or if a spot position is kept open for more than one day the trade may be "resettled" each day, each time costing the full bid/ask spread.
According to the Wall Street Journal (Currency Markets Draw Speculation, Fraud July 26, 2005) "Even people running the trading shops warn clients against trying to time the market. 'If 15% of day traders are profitable,' says Drew Niv, chief executive of FXCM, 'I'd be surprised.' "[
Paul Belogour, the Managing Director of a Boston based retail forex trader, was quoted by the Financial Times as saying, "Trading foreign exchange is an excellent way for investors to find out how tough the markets really are. But I say to customers: if this is money you have worked hard for – that you cannot afford to lose – never, never invest in foreign exchange."
The use of high leverage
By offering high leverage, the market maker encourages traders to trade extremely large positions. This increases the trading volume cleared by the market maker and increases his profits, but increases the risk that the trader will receive a margin call. While professional currency dealers (banks, hedge funds) seldom use more than 10:1 leverage, retail clients are generally offered leverage between 50:1 and 200:1.
A self-regulating body for the foreign exchange market, the National Futures Association, warns traders in a forex training presentation of the risk in trading currency. “As stated at the beginning of this program, off-exchange foreign currency trading carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all customers. The only funds that should ever be used to speculate in foreign currency trading, or any type of highly speculative investment, are funds that represent risk capital; in other words, funds you can afford to lose without affecting your financial situation.“


Skimming is the theft of credit card information used in an otherwise legitimate transaction. It is typically an "inside job" by a dishonest employee of a legitimate merchant. The thief can procure a victim’s credit card number using basic methods such as photocopying receipts or more advanced methods such as using a small electronic device (skimmer) to swipe and store hundreds of victims’ credit card numbers. Common scenarios for skimming are restaurants or bars where the skimmer has possession of the victim's credit card out of their immediate view. The thief may also use a small keypad to unobtrusively transcribe the 3 or 4 digit Card Security Code which is not present on the magnetic strip.
Instances of skimming have been reported where the perpetrator has put a device over the card slot of a ATM (automated teller machine), which reads the magnetic strip as the user unknowingly passes their card through it. These devices are often used in conjunction with a pinhole camera to read the user's PIN at the same time. This method is being used very frequently in Europe, e.g. in the Netherlands. Another technique used is a keypad overlay that matches up with the buttons of the legitimate keypad below it and presses them when operated, but records or transmits the keylog of the PIN number entered by wireless. The device or group of devices illicitly installed on an ATM are also colloquially known as a "skimmer". Recently-made ATMs now often run a picture of what the slot and keypad are supposed to look like as a background, so that consumers can identify foreign devices attached.
Skimming is difficult for the typical cardholder to detect, but given a large enough sample, it is fairly easy for the card issuer to detect. The issuer collects a list of all the cardholders who have complained about fraudulent transactions, and then uses data mining to discover relationships among them and the merchants they use. For example, if many of the cardholders use a particular merchant, that merchant can be directly investigated. Sophisticated algorithms can also search for patterns of fraud. Merchants must ensure the physical security of their terminals, and penalties for merchants can be severe if they are compromised, ranging from large fines by the issuer to complete exclusion from the system, which can be a death blow to businesses such as restaurants where credit card transactions are the norm.

Account takeover

Account takeover happens when a criminal tries to take over another person's account, first by gathering information about the intended victim, then contacting their card issuer masquerading as the genuine cardholder, and asking for mail to be redirected to a new address. The criminal then reports the card lost and asks for a replacement to be sent.
Some merchants added a new practice to protect their consumers and their own reputation, where they ask the buyer to send a photocopy of the physical card and statement to ensure the legitimate usage of a card.

Application fraud

Application fraud happens when a criminal uses stolen or fake documents to open an account in someone else's name. Criminals may try to steal documents such as utility bills and bank statements to build up useful personal information. Or they may create counterfeit documents.

Credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Credit card fraud is also an adjunct to identity theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission, while identity theft had been holding steady for the last few years, it saw a 21 percent increase in 2008. However, credit card fraud, that crime which most people associate with ID theft, decreased as a percentage of all ID theft complaints for the sixth year in a row.
The cost of card fraud in 2006 were 7 cents per 100 dollars worth of transactions (7 basis points). Due to the high volume of transactions this translates to billions of dollars. In 2006, fraud in the United Kingdom alone was estimated at £535 million, or US$750–830 million at prevailing 2006 exchange rates.

Non-contracting parties

A secondary source of click fraud is non-contracting parties, who are not part of any pay-per-click agreement. This type of fraud is even harder to police, because perpetrators generally cannot be sued for breach of contract or charged criminally with fraud. Examples of non-contracting parties are:
• Competitors of advertisers: These parties may wish to harm a competitor who advertises in the same market by clicking on their ads. The perpetrators do not profit directly but force the advertiser to pay for irrelevant clicks, thus weakening or eliminating a source of competition.
• Competitors of publishers: These persons may wish to frame a publisher. It is made to look as if the publisher is clicking on its own ads. The advertising network may then terminate the relationship. Many publishers rely exclusively on revenue from advertising and could be put out of business by such an attack.
• Other malicious intent: As with vandalism, there is an array of motives for wishing to cause harm to either an advertiser or a publisher, even by people who have nothing to gain financially. Motives include political and personal vendettas. These cases are often the hardest to deal with, since it is difficult to track down the culprit, and if found, there is little legal action that can be taken against them.
• Friends of the publisher: Sometimes upon learning a publisher profits from ads being clicked, a supporter of the publisher (like a fan, family member, or personal friend) will click on the ads to help. This can be considered patronage. However, this can backfire when the publisher (not the friend) is accused of click fraud.
Advertising networks may try to stop fraud by all parties but often do not know which clicks are legitimate. Unlike fraud committed by the publisher, it is difficult to know who should pay when past click fraud is found. Publishers resent having to pay refunds for something that is not their fault. However, advertisers are adamant that they should not have to pay for phony clicks.
Click fraud can be as simple as one person starting a small Web site, becoming a publisher of ads, and clicking on those ads to generate revenue. Often the number of clicks and their value is so small that the fraud goes undetected. Publishers may claim that small amounts of such clicking is an accident, which is often the case.
Much larger-scale fraud also occurs. Those engaged in large-scale fraud will often run scripts which simulate a human clicking on ads in Web pages. However, huge numbers of clicks appearing to come from just one, or a small number of computers, or a single geographic area, look highly suspicious to the advertising network and advertisers. Clicks coming from a computer known to be that of a publisher also look suspicious to those watching for click fraud. A person attempting large-scale fraud, alone in their home, stands a good chance of being caught.
One type of fraud that circumvents detection based on IP patterns uses existing user traffic, turning this into clicks or impressions Such an attack can be camouflaged from users by using 0-size iframes to display advertisements that are programmatically retrieved using JavaScript. It could also be camouflaged from advertisers and portals by ensuring that so-called "reverse spiders" are presented with a legitimate page, while human visitors are presented with a page that commits click fraud. The use of 0-size iframes and other techniques involving human visitors may also be combined with the use of incentivized traffic, where members of "Paid to Read" sites are paid small amounts of money (often a fraction of a cent) to visit a website and/or click on keywords and search results, sometimes hundreds or thousands of times every day Some owners of PTR sites are members of PPC engines and may send many email ads to users who do search, while sending little ads to those who do not. They do this mainly because the charge per click on search results is often the only source of revenue to the site. This is known as forced searching, a practice that is frowned upon in the Get Paid To industry.
Organized crime can handle this by having many computers with their own Internet connections in different geographic locations. Often, scripts fail to mimic true human behavior, so organized crime networks use Trojan code to turn the average person's machines into zombie computers and use sporadic redirects or DNS cache poisoning to turn the oblivious user's actions into actions generating revenue for the scammer. It can be difficult for advertisers, advertising networks, and authorities to pursue cases against networks of people spread around multiple countries.
Impression fraud is when falsely generated ad impressions affect an advertiser's account. In the case of click-through rate based auction models, the advertiser may be penalized for having an unacceptably low click-through for a given keyword. This involves making numerous searches for a keyword without clicking of the ad. Such ads are disabled automatically, enabling a competitor's lower-bid ad for the same keyword to continue, while several high bidders (on the first page of the search results) have been eliminated.

Pay per click advertising

Pay per click advertising or, PPC advertising, is an arrangement in which webmasters (operators of Web sites), acting as publishers, display clickable links from advertisers in exchange for a charge per click. As this industry evolved, a number of advertising networks developed, which acted as middlemen between these two groups (publishers and advertisers). Each time a (believed to be) valid Web user clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays the advertising network, who in turn pays the publisher a share of this money. This revenue-sharing system is seen as an incentive for click fraud.
The largest of the advertising networks, Google's AdWords/AdSense and Yahoo! Search Marketing, act in a dual role, since they are also publishers themselves (on their search engines). According to critics, this complex relationship may create a conflict of interest. For instance, Google loses money to undetected click fraud when it pays out to the publisher, but it makes more money when it collects fees from the advertiser. Because of the spread between what Google collects and what Google pays out, click fraud directly and invisibly profits Google. Some have even speculated that Google's barring users of the Google Analytics system from tracing IP addresses of visitors is directly related to click fraud on the Google AdWords network and a desire to keep the true extent of click fraud from being disclosed.

Malware Scams

A "business" contacts you saying that your computer is running slow or is infected with malware. They will then direct you to a website and download some software, this software can take many forms including allowing the scammer to gain access to your computer in order to find personal information and bank details.

Attorney Collection Scams

Attorneys that do collections often practice based on contingency. The attorney is contacted by a scammer posing as a representative of a large international firm headquartered in another country. The scammer states that the company has no legal representation in the attorney's state, and needs to collect a debt from a company in that state. Scammer requests attorney email standard retainer agreement. This is commonly done, so attorney emails agreement, scammer signs and returns, and informs attorney that because legal representation has been obtained, the debtor has agreed to pay the debt by the end of the month. Red flag #1 is when the scammer requests attorney not contact the debtor company because the client wishes to maintain a working relationship with the debtor, saving litigation as a last resort. The attorney is instructed to contact the debtor only if the promised payment isn't made on the promised date. On the promised date, the huge check is delivered to the attorney, who deposits in the law firm trust account, keeps the attorney's contingency fee, and sends the rest to the scammer. Red flag #2 is that the scammer will request the money be wired to a foreign country, or insists on quick remittance. Sophisticated scammers will file articles of organization with both states, build web sites, and purchase prepaid cell phones with local phone numbers with scammers posing as both client and debtor. All of that can be done cheaply and easily on the internet.

Rental scams

A foreign student, doctor, etc. contacts a landlord seeking accommodation. Once the terms are negotiated, a forged check is forwarded for a greater amount than negotiated. Then some emergency comes up where some part of the amount is requested to be urgently wired back. The reverse may also happen, where a scammer posts an accommodation, and requests monies be wired as deposit. The victim arrives to discover they have no accommodation.

Fake job offer

A new scam targets people who have posted their resumes on job sites. The scammer sends a letter with a falsified company logo. The job offer usually indicates exceptional salary and benefits and requests that the victim needs a "work permit" for working in the country and includes the address of a (fake) "government official" to contact. The fake "government official" then proceeds to fleece the victim by extracting fees from the unsuspecting user for the work permit and other fees. A variant of the job scam recruits freelancers seeking legitimate gigs (such as in editing or translation), then offers "pre-payment" for their work.

Pet scams

Another such scam is based on the adoption of a puppy or an exotic pet such as parrots or reptiles. A scammer first posts an advertisement or sets up a web page offering puppies for adoption or for sale at a ridiculously low price, most often using stolen pictures from other websites and respectable breeders. When a victim responds to the ad and questions the lowered price or the reason for giving up such an expensive pet, the scammer first explains that they have recently moved to Nigeria or Cameroon from the US for work (usually volunteer work as missionaries) or for studies, and claims either to have no time to properly care for the pet, that the weather has had such a terrible toll on the pet, or that they have too many pets to care for.
The scammer and victim exchange a few e-mails to build trust. Once it is established that the victim offers the right home for the pet, the scammer offers to ship the pet, and requests the victim only pay for shipping, or comes off the original price substantially to seem legitimate. The victim, who now has an emotional attachment to the pet, feels obligated and even happy to do so, as shipping is a small price to pay compared to the pet's full price at a shop or breeder. The scammer requests Western Union or MoneyGram to keep the deal going in a timely fashion as the pet is ready to go to a new home and the victim is now excited. However, after wiring money, the victim doesn't receive the pet (as it does not exist), and if the victim does hear from the scammer again it is only for more money (to get puppy out of airport holding, or to pay unexpected vet bills that have come up) until the victim stops responding

Babysitting and Au-Pair scams

Another variation of the advance payment type of scam involves recruiting unsuspecting individuals for non-existent babysitting, nanny, or au-pair employment. In one variation a prospective employee may be given an "advance" on wages; in another the victim may be asked to verify pricing and ultimately purchase items for the scammer's non-existent child. Victims are often asked to submit résumés and references and jump through other hoops, cementing in the victim's mind that the employer must be legitimate and the high wages offered are real. Focusing the victim's thinking on proving their worthiness for employment consideration serves to distract the victim from considering whether the offer itself is worthy of replying to.

Fraud recovery scams

This variant targets former victims of scams. The scammer contacts the victim saying that their organization can track and apprehend the scammer and recover the money lost by the victim, for a price. Alternatively, the scammer may say that a fund has been set up by the Nigerian government to compensate victims of 419 fraud, and all that is required is proof of loss (which usually includes personal information) and a processing and handling fee to release the amount of the claim. The scammer is counting on the victim's dire need to recover their lost money, as well as the fact that they have fallen victim before and are therefore susceptible to such scams. Often, these scams are perpetrated by the same scammer who conned the victim in the first place, as an attempt to ensure the scammer gets every penny possible from the victim. Alternately, the original scammer "sells" a list of the people he has scammed but who have ceased contact to another scammer who runs the recovery scam. Sometimes the scammer impersonates the foremost "fraud related crime-fighters" in Nigeria, the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), which not only adds credibility to the scam, but tarnishes the reputation of the EFCC once this second scam is discovered.

Charity scams

The scammer poses as a charitable organization soliciting donations to help the victims of a natural disaster, terrorist attack (such as the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack), regional conflict, or epidemic. Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami were popular targets of scammers perpetrating charity scams; other more timeless scam charities purport to be raising money for cancer, AIDS or Ebola virus research, children's orphanages (the scammer pretends to work for the orphanage or a non-profit associated with it), or impersonates charities such as the Red Cross or United Way. The scammer asks for donations, often linking to online news articles to strengthen their story of a funds drive. The scammer's victims are charitable people who believe they are helping a worthy cause and expect nothing in return. Once sent, the money is gone and the scammer often disappears, though many attempt to keep the scam going by asking for a series of payments. The victim may sometimes find themselves in legal trouble after deducting their supposed donations from their income taxes. United States tax law states that charitable donations are only deductible if made to a qualified non-profit organization. The scammer may tell the victim their donation is deductible and provide all necessary proof of donation, but the information provided by the scammer is fictional, and if audited, the victim faces stiff penalties as a result of the fraud. Though these scams have some of the highest success rates especially following a major disaster, and are employed by scammers all over the world, the average loss per victim is less than other fraud schemes. This is because, unlike scams involving a large expected payoff, the victim is far less likely to borrow money to donate or donate more than they can spare.
In a related variant, the scammer poses as a terminally ill mother, poor university student, or other down-on-their-luck person and simply begs the victim for money for college tuition, to sponsor their children, or a similar ruse. The money, they say, will be repaid plus interest by some third party at a later date (often these third parties are some fictitious agency of the Nigerian government, or the scammer themselves once a payment from someone else is made available to them). Once the victim starts paying money to the scammer, the scammer tells the victim that additional money is needed for unforeseen expenses, similar to most other variants; in the case of the ill mother, the children will fall ill as well and require money for a doctor's care and medicine (many scammers go as far as to say that as the sponsor of the children, the victim is legally liable for such costs), where the student might claim that a dormitory fire destroyed everything they own.

Bomb scams

Related to the hitman scam, the scammer contacts a business, mall, office building, or other commercial location with a bomb threat. The scammer says they will detonate the bomb unless the management of the business does as the scammer tells them. Often, the scammer says they have the store under surveillance; however, analysis of the calls by police have established that the vast majority of threat calls are made from other states or even from outside the country. Some evidence exists that points to the scammers hacking into the store's surveillance network, but this has not been confirmed in any case and has been refuted in others. The scammer usually demands that the store management or people in the headquarters office of the store (if the store is a chain) send money via wire transfer to the scammer to spare the store and the people in it. Other demands of these scammers have been more personal and humiliating, such as demanding that everyone in the store take off their clothes.
Because the underlying threat in the scam is a bomb threat, local law enforcement very quickly responds to the site under threat; however, because the scammer is usually nowhere near this location, the scammer is in little if any danger of being apprehended while the scam is playing out. Law enforcement, in the meantime, cannot assume the threat is anything but genuine, and therefore can do little to intervene without risking the detonation of the bomb. The fact that the threat was in reality a scam has usually not been discovered until long after the situation is over—and the extortionist has collected the money demanded.


An e-mail is sent to the victim's inbox, supposedly from a hitman who has been hired by a "close friend" of the recipient to kill him or her but will call off the hit in exchange for a large sum of money. This is usually backed up with a warning not to contact the local police or FBI, or the "hitman" will be forced to go through with the plan. This is less an advance-fee fraud and more outright extortion, but a reward can sometimes be offered in the form of the "hitman" offering to kill the man who ordered the original hit on the victim.

Lottery scam

The lottery scam involves fake notices of lottery wins. The winner is usually asked to send sensitive information to a free e-mail account. The scammer then notifies the victim that releasing the funds requires some small fee (insurance, registration, or shipping). Once the victim sends the fee, the scammer invents another fee.
Much like the various forms of overpayment fraud detailed above, a new variant of the lottery scam involves fake or stolen checks being sent to the 'winner' of the lottery (these checks representing a part payment of the winnings). The winner is more likely to assume the win is legitimate, and thus more likely to send the fee (which he does not realize is an advance fee). The check and associated funds are flagged by the bank when the fraud is discovered, and debited from the victim's account.
In 2004 a variant of the lottery scam appeared in the United States. Fraud artists using the scheme call victims on telephones; a scammer tells a victim that a government has given them a grant and that they must pay an advance fee, usually around $250, to receive the grant.

Romance angle

A recent variant is the Romance Scam, which is a money-for-romance angle. The con artist approaches the victim on an online dating service, an Instant messenger (like Yahoo IM), or a social networking site. The scammer claims an interest in the victim, and posts pictures posted of an attractive person (not themselves). The scammer uses this communication to gain confidence, then asks for money. The con artist may claim to be interested in meeting the victim, but needs cash to book a plane, hotel room, or other expenses. In other cases, they claim they're trapped in a foreign country and need assistance to return, to escape imprisonment by corrupt local officials, to pay for medical expenses due to an illness contracted abroad, and so on. The scammer may also use the confidence gained by the romance angle to introduce some variant of the original Nigerian Letter scheme, such as saying they need to get money or valuables out of the country and offer to share the wealth, making the request for help in leaving the country even more attractive to the victim. In a newer version of the scam, the con artist claims to have 'information' about the fidelity of a person's significant other, which they will share for a fee. This information is garnered through social networking sites by using search parameters such as 'In a relationship' or 'Married'. Anonymous e-mails are first sent to attempt to verify receipt, then a new web based e-mail account is sent along with directions on how to retrieve the information.

Check cashing

Some schemes are based solely on conning the victim into cashing a counterfeit check. The scammer contacts the victim to interest them in a "work-at-home" opportunity, or asks them to cash a check or money order that for some reason cannot be redeemed locally. A recently-used cover story is that the perpetrator of the scam wishes the victim to work as a "mystery shopper", evaluating the service provided by MoneyGram or Western Union locations within major retailers such as Wal-Mart. The scammer sends the victim a check or money order, the victim cashes it, sends the cash to the scammer via wire transfer, and the scammer disappears. Later the forgery is discovered and the bank transaction is reversed, leaving the victim liable for the balance. Schemes based solely on check cashing usually offer only a small part of the check's total amount, with the assurance that many more checks will follow; if the victim buys in to the scam and cashes all the checks, the scammer can win big in a very short period of time. Other scams such as overpayment usually result in smaller revenues for the scammer, but have a higher success rate as the scammer's request seems more believable.
Some check-cashing scammers use multiple victims at multiple stages of the scam. A victim in the US or other "safe" country such as the UK or Canada (often the country in which the cashing victim resides) is sometimes approached with an offer to fill out checks sent to them by the scammer and mail them to other victims who cash the check and wire the money to the scammer. The check mailer is usually promised a cut of the money from the scammer; this usually never occurs, and in fact the check mailer is often conned into paying for the production and shipping costs of the checks. The check information has either been stolen or fictionalized and the checks forged. The victim mailing the check is usually far easier to track (and prosecute) than the scammer, so when the checks turn up as fraudulent, the one mailing them usually ends up not only facing federal bank fraud and conspiracy charges, but liability for the full amount of the fraudulent checks. Because the check mailer is taking the fall, the scammer is even less likely to be caught, which makes it a popular variation of the scam for scammers in nations with tougher anti-fraud laws.
A variation of the check-cashing scheme involves owners of vacation rentals. The scammer expresses interest in renting the unit for a much higher than normal rate, usually for an upcoming honeymoon, business trip, etc. The scammer also offers to pay all fees "up front," as soon as the unsuspecting unit owner agrees to the windfall rental. Eventually a very official looking money order/cashier's check arrives. About this time the scammer requests that a portion of the rental fee be returned for some compelling called off, death in the family, business failure, etc. Due to the supposed crises, it is requested that most of the rental fee be returned via wire transfer. The unit owner is encouraged to retain "a fair amount" to compensate him for his time. The wire transfer is sent, only to find out later that the official looking check was indeed fake and the entire amount is charged back to the unit owner by his bank.

Purchasing goods and services

A modern activity is advertising automobiles on websites. They list a (non-existent) high value car with a low price as bait to attract buyers eager to buy quickly. The scammer says "I am not in the country, but if you pay me first, a friend will drive the car around to you". The payment required may be the full price, or a deposit, but it would not be an insignificant fee. The victim never sees the car, as it does not exist. The scammers use e-mail only, as they know that the sound of their voice and their attitude will give them away as being high risk.
Another scheme involves advertising fake academic conferences and enticing academics to apply to present papers. It is a common practice that the conference subsidizes or pays for the air travel of academics who present papers at the conference, but does not pay for accommodation. One way the scammer baits the hopeful attendee is they offer free air travel to the victim, but only as long as they pre-pay for hotel accommodation. The scammer can give a variety of reasons that the accommodation must be pre-paid — primarily that they don't trust the victim will attend the conference unless he pays upfront.
Any goods or services may be used in the scam, but the idea is that the scammer baits the victim with a good deal, but the victim must pay upfront and electronically.


There are many variations on the most common stories, and also many variations on the way the scam works. The following are notable deviations from the standard Nigerian Letter scam, but still retain the core elements; the victim is deceived by some disproportionately large gain into sending an advance payment, which once made is irrecoverable.

Compensation scamming

The scammer sends a message thanking the victim for helping him start a transaction. They explain that since they have been able to leave regime-torn Nigeria (with your help) they have been residing and working in the UK and finishing the "transaction" without your help. The scammer informs the victim of their recent inheritance or partnership with a Brazilian businessman or and they would like to compensate you for your "release of some money." In order to claim the money the victim must contact the scammer's secretary immediately or else miss out of their share of a multi-million dollar sum.

Followup scamming

Scammers recognise that their victim who has just been scammed is more likely to fall for scamming attempts than a random person. Often after a scam, the victim is contacted again by the scammer, representing himself as a law enforcement officer. The victim is informed that a group of criminals has been arrested and that they have recovered his money. To get the money back, the victim must pay a fee for processing or insurance purposes. Even after the victim has realised that he has been scammed, this follow up scam can be successful as the scammer represents himself as a totally different party yet knows details about the transactions. The realization that he has lost a large sum of money and the chance he might get it back often leads to the victim transferring even more money to the same scammer.

Invitation to visit the country

Sometimes, victims are invited to a country to meet real or fake government officials. Some victims who do travel are instead held for ransom. In some rumored cases, they are smuggled into the country without a visa and threatened into giving more money as the penalties for being in a foreign country without a visa may be severe. Sometimes victims are ransomed or, as in the case of the 29 year old Greek George Makronalli who was lured to South Africa, killed.

Fake websites

Though 419 scams are often perpetrated by e-mail alone, some scammers enhance believability of their offer by using a sham website. They create these sites to impersonate real commercial sites, such as eBay, PayPal, or a banking site like Bank of America or The Natwest Bank for phishing. Others represent fictional companies or institutions to give the scam credibility.
Though phishing is a secondary interest of most scam operations, as the object of the scammer is to deceive the victim into sending the money through legitimate means, the use of websites for advance-fee fraud is common. For instance, a scammer may create a website for a fictional bank, then give the victim details to login to the site, where the victim sees the money the scammer has promised sitting in the account. The victim believes the scammer and sends the requested advance payments. Fake (or hijacked) websites are the centerpiece of false online storefront scams.
Another twist on scamming is where links are provided to real news sites covering events the scammer says are relevant to the transaction they propose. For instance, a scammer may use news of the death of a prominent government official as a backstory for a scam involving getting millions of dollars of the slain official's money out of the country. These are real websites covering legitimate news, but the scammer is usually not connected in any way with the events reported, and is simply using the story to gain the victim's sympathy.

Telecommunications relay services

Many scams use telephone calls to convince the victim that the person on the other end of the deal is a real, truthful person. The scammer, possibly impersonating a US citizen or other person of a nationality, or gender, other than their own, would arouse suspicion by telephoning the victim. In these cases, scammers use TRS, a US federally-funded relay service where an operator or a text/speech translation program acts as an intermediary between someone using an ordinary telephone and a deaf caller using TDD or other TeleType device. The scammer may claim they are deaf, and that they must use a relay service. The victim, possibly drawn in by sympathy for a disabled caller, might be more susceptible to the fraud.
FCC regulations and confidentiality laws require that operators relay calls verbatim, and that they adhere to a strict code of confidentiality and ethics. Thus, no relay operator may judge the legality and/or legitimacy of a relay call, and must relay it without interference. This means the relay operator may not warn victims, even when they suspect the call is a scam. MCI said that about one percent of their IP Relay calls in 2004 were scams.[
Tracking phone-based relay services is relatively easy, so scammers tend to prefer Internet Protocol-based relay services such as IP Relay. In a common strategy, they bind their overseas IP address to a router or server located on US soil, allowing them to use US-based relay service providers without interference.
TRS is sometimes used to relay credit card information to make a fraudulent purchase with a stolen credit card. In many cases however, it is simply a means for the con artist to further lure the victim into the scam.

SMS messages

Abusing SMS bulk senders such as WASPS, scammers subscribe to these services using fraudulent registration details and paying either via cash or stolen credit card details. They then send out masses of unsolicited SMS'es to victims stating they have won a competition or like event and they have to contact somebody to claim their prize. Typically the details of the party to be contacted will be an equally untraceable email address or a virtual telephone number. These messages may be sent over a weekend when abuse staff at the service providers are not working, enabling the scammer to be able to abuse the services for a whole weekend.

Fax transmissions

Facsimile machines are commonly used tools of business, whenever a client requires a hard copy of a document. They can also be simulated using web services, and made untraceable by the use of prepaid phones connected to mobile fax machines or by use of a public fax machine such as one owned by a document processing business like FedEx Office/Kinko's. Thus, scammers posing as business entities often use fax transmissions as an anonymous form of communication. This is more expensive, as the prepaid phone and fax equipment cost more than e-mail, but to a skeptical victim it can be more believable.

E-mail hijacking/friend scams

Some fraudsters hijack existing e-mail accounts and use them for advance-fee fraud purposes. The fraudsters e-mail associates, friends, and/or family members of the legitimate account owner in an attempt to defraud them. This ruse generally requires the use of phishing or keylogger computer viruses to gain login information for the e-mail address.

Web-based e-mail

Because many free e-mail services do not require valid identifying information, and also allow communication with many victims in a short span of time, they are the preferred method of communication for scammers. Some services go so far as to mask the sender's source IP address, making the scammer completely untraceable even to country of origin. Scammers can create as many accounts as they wish and often have several at a time. In addition, if e-mail providers are alerted to the scammer's activities and suspend the account, it is a trivial matter for the scammer to simply create a new account to resume scamming.

Anonymous communication

Since the scammer's operations must be untraceable to avoid identification, and because the scammer is often impersonating someone else, any communication between the scammer and his victim must be done through channels that hide the scammer's true identity. The following options in particular are widely used

Wire transfer

A central element of advance-fee fraud is that the transaction from the victim to the scammer must be untraceable and irreversible. Otherwise, the victim, once they become aware of the scam, can successfully retrieve their money and/or alert officials who can track the accounts used by the scammer.
Wire transfers via Western Union are ideal for this purpose. The wire transfer, if sent internationally, cannot be cancelled or reversed, and the person receiving the money cannot be tracked. In fact, that person often does not have to provide identification; they only have to know the identifiers of the transaction such as the control number (MTCN) and does not need the "secret question". Thus, the overwhelming majority of scams involve making payment via wire transfer. Other similar uncancellable forms of payment include postal money orders and cashier's checks, but as wire transfer is the fastest method, it is the most common.

Fake checks

Fraudulent checks and money orders are key elements in many advance-fee scams, such as auction/classified listing overpayment, lottery scams, inheritance scams, etc, and can be used in almost any scam when a "payment" to the victim is required to gain, regain or further solidify the victims' trust and confidence in the validity of the scheme.
The use of checks in a scam hinges on a US law (and common practice in other countries) concerning checks: when an account holder presents a check for deposit or to cash, the bank must (or in other countries, usually) make the funds available to the account holder within 1-5 business days, regardless of how long it actually takes for the check to clear and funds to be transferred from the issuing bank. The checks clearing process normally takes 7–10 days and can in fact take up to a month when dealing with foreign banks. The time between the funds appearing as available to the account holder and the check clearing is known as the "float", during which time the bank could technically be said to have floated a loan to the account holder to be covered with the funds from the bank clearing the check.
The check given to the victim is typically counterfeit but drawn on a real account with real funds in it. With a piece of software like QuickBooks and/or pre-printed blank check stock, using the correct banking information, the scammer can easily print a check that is absolutely genuine-looking, passes all counterfeit tests, and may even clear the paying account if the account information is accurate and the funds are available. However, whether it clears or not, it eventually becomes apparent either to the bank or the account holder that the check is a forgery. This can be as little as three days after the funds are available if the bank supposedly covering the check discovers the check information is invalid, or it could take months for a business or individual to notice the fraudulent draft on their account. It has been suggested that in some cases the check is genuine — however the fraudster has a friend (or bribes an official) at the paying bank to claim it is a fake weeks or even months later when the physical check arrives back at the paying bank.
Regardless of the amount of time involved, once the cashing bank is alerted that the check is fraudulent, the transaction is reversed and the money removed from the victim's account. In many cases, this puts victims in debt to their banks as the victim has usually sent a large portion of the check by some non-reversible 'wire transfer' means (typically Western Union) to the scammer and, since more uncollected funds have been sent than funds otherwise present in the victim's account, an overdraft results.


Online TEFL course - free trial