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Many, many people have actually fallen for such scams, and others like it. These fraudulent emails are sometimes referred to as “419 scams.”  They have become quite prevalent, and can be rather elaborate. By now, most people have heard of these, but people are still falling for them. The authors of these emails use psychology ( see also: “social engineering“) to trick people. Even otherwise reasonable people when presented with a great offer, a rare chance, or confronted by ‘authority’ (if you don’t respond within 48 hours we will be forced to…) may make a costly mistake. Microsoft recently started a marketing campaign with some funny-yet-scary commercials featuring customers of a fake bank divulging all their personal secrets for $500. Last year McAfee also had videos that addressed phishing.

McAfee's Video Series

McAfee’s online video series entitled, “Stop H*Commerce” is available at . It is the tragic story of a woman victimized by a 419 scam. Not only does it highlight the world of cybercrime, but it also gives a startling look into the pain suffered by victims and their families. Each episode has additional content that I strongly suggest you watch. This content is accessed by clicking the more info link in the bottom right hand corner, or by clicking thumbnails in the sidebar.

click the more info link

Additional content

Stop H*Commerce can be a real eye opener. If you consider yourself already well versed in the dangers of phishing, its still worthwhile. Furthermore, you can suggest it to grandma, or any other less tech savvy people. Please note that I am in no way affiliated with McAfee, and I am not promoting their products. I hope that you enjoy this excellent series. But more than that, I hope that you learn to be safe out there.