You've probably noticed the explosion over the last few years of clever domain names ending in '.ly'. This is the top level domain for Libya. A new domain has just come on the market, and we imagine clever people all over the world are about to get their startups off the ground with .ng sites. Anything that can work as a suffix is likely to attract some money, and in this case, the money goes right to Nigeria for their .ng top level domain.
The Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NIRA) has approved 27 registrars to begin selling the domains, but most have not updated their sites to do so as of yet. Many existing companies could be looking to snap up these domains to a void squatting or impersonation. An example offered up is that Facebook might buy Facebooki.ng.
So get ready for every single word's present progressive tense to become a domain name. There are a lot of -ing words out there to build sites around. This may also give Nigerian email scammers a new element to work into their cons. But anyway, enjoy your New Year and don't do too much drinki.ng tonight.
Okpako Mike Diamreyan, a 31-year-old citizen of Nigeria, was sentenced to 151 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall for his role in an Internet "advanced fee" scam.
"The dependent and his accomplices preyed on vulnerable victims in Connecticut, the United States, and around the world, leaving many individuals and their families in financial ruin," stated U.S. Attorney Fein. "The lengthy prison term imposed today should send a strong message to others who intent to commit similar crimes -- we will pursue these cases wherever they lead us and bring you to justice. I want to single out the DCIS and their agents who worked this case tirelessly and thoroughly and helped achieve justice for victims."
According to U.S. officials, Diamreyen ran his operation from August 2004 through August 2009 by sending out emails claiming he had a consignment stored in Ghana. He told his victims the loot was worth anywhere from $11.5 million to $23.4 million and offered them a 20 percent cut if they'd help him transfer the money to the U.S.
The scheme worked at least 67 times, netting Diamreyan more than $1.3 million. Diamreyen was also ordered to pay a little over $1 million in restitution.
Nigeria has long been a hotbed for scams - either that, or we've all made a terrible mistake by not wiring over thousands of dollars to unknown recipients for a multi-million dollar payout down the line. Believe it or not, people still fall for it, so we're pleased as punch that Nigeria's anti-corruption police force has stepped up to the plate with some major busts.
"Over 800 fraudulent email addresses have been identified and shut down,"Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss Farida Waziri said in a statement. "There have been 18 arrests of high profile syndicates operating cyber-crime organizations."
This doesn't mean you'll never see another Nigerian scam mail in your spam box, but hey, at least it's a start. And going forward, the EFCC feels pretty confident it can make a dent. Rather than rely on raiding cyber cafes and waiting for complaints to trickle in from the public, the EFCC said it is using smart technology in conjunction with Microsoft to actively track down fraudulent emails.
The EFCC hopes this is the just beginning. Working at full capacity, the crime unit believes it can forewarn about a quarter of a million potential victims within the next six months.
The internet has become a breeding ground for scams of all shapes and sizes, but perhaps none more popular (and thus more easily recognizable) than the email rouse of a long lost relative, government official, or bank employee holed up in Nigeria and needing your help in securing a large sum of money. There's really no need to go on because you've undoubtedly received variations of this scam in your inbox countless times and, well, it never works. Or does it?
Not only does the old Nigerian bit still lure victims, the scam claimedits biggest known payday to date thanks to Janella Spears who forked over a mind boggling $400,000. Despite the big payout, Spears still contends she isn't easily duped. After all, she works as a registered nurse, teaches CPR, is a reverend who has married many couples, and also learned sign language to communicate with her hearing impaired husband. So what possible spin could this common scam have come with that got a seemingly intelligent woman to take the bait?
Hit the jump to find out what it was that convinced Spears the scam might be legit.