Sir, he says, did you know you have millions of dollars unclaimed in a Western Union ? I can help you get it out.
S and letters
All he needs is a small cash advance or a bank to complete the wire transfer. Then, these unexpected riches are yours. Most people know this for what it is: a scam. Also known as the fraudthe Nigerian prince is a variation on the centuries-old Spanish prisoner swindle, an advance-fee scam that emerged after the French Revolution, where people sent handwritten letters soliciting help for a non-existent nobleman falsely imprisoned.
But fraudsters are using the foundational psychology of the fraud in more innovative and dangerous ways, too. The flimflam is perhaps the best-known example of social engineering, a range of strategies that fraudsters use to manipulate their targets into sharing personal or confidential information and enable further attack.
A hacker could create a false public health warning and circulate the spoofed to employees at a targeted company. Instead of asking for money, like the Nigerian prince, fraudsters now seek personal information. And where the Nigerian prince was often satisfied with a few wire transfers, accessing your passwords and personal identifiers is just the first step in a much larger plan. If the subordinate follows orders, they will have unwittingly transferred the funds to the fraudsters.
A similar strategy called vendor compromise, or VEC, is also on the rise, with Agari predicting it will be the one attack type in In the past, such cons were a s game. The more people a charlatan targeted, the more likely they were to find a victim. Some people may be at more risk than others—millennials actually report higher rates of fraud than older Americans, according to the Federal Trade West africa nigeria scams anyone could fall prey to the power play of a CEO scam or the allure or a romance racket.
Why break in when you can trick someone into opening the door? No matter the target, successful social engineering can have serious repercussions.
No one is safe from the fallout. Multi-factor authentication, which requires one or more levels of identification beyond a password, is a good first step in fighting fraud, says Lukasz Olejnikan independent cybersecurity researcher and advisor.
West african/nigerian letters
Still, many companies are also turning to artificial intelligence to enhance their fraud detection processes in an effort to keep humans out of the process completely. Organizations with automated phishing responses detect 44 times more malicious messages than employees, according to Agari. The Nigerian prince may not be as successful as he once was, but he remains the perfect metaphor for an ever-evolving threat.
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up to receive Popular Science's s and get the highlights. The Nigerian prince scam is still fooling people. A classic grift has evolved over time.
The scam has evolved over time. Social engineering The flimflam is perhaps the best-known example of social engineering, a range of strategies that fraudsters use to manipulate their targets into sharing personal or confidential information and enable further attack. Let's go get lost anywhere in the USA. Like science, tech, and DIY projects?