CHENNAI: HAVE you heard of ‘Nigerian 419 scam’?
This is nothing but a new modus operandi to cheat gullible public using advancement in IT technology, an offence which is rampant nowadays.
Criminals who indulge in such activities, are generally regarded as Nigerian scammers and 419 refers to Article 419 of Nigeria Criminal Code, meaning fraud.
The scammers used to send mass letters, messages and e-mails to defraud greedy recipients, who easily fall victim to their tricks. This offence is also named as an advance-fee fraud, in which the victim is convinced to advance money to a stranger with a false promise that a much larger sum will be returned to him or her.
Of course, no money will be disbursed to the victim and those, who are victimised, would likely be further targeted for additional payments, claiming that a second or third advance is absolutely required to part with the promised money.
The modern version of the scam usually occurs via e-mail correspondence and the criminals will also make up a plausible story to explain as to why a fee is needed in advance. The e-mail may claim that a few hundred dollars are needed as ‘application fee’ to get back the large sum already won and another common claim is that the wire transfer of such a large sum involves fee that must be paid in advance.
Persons normally lose their property and money on account of their greed and by the time they realise their mistake, they would have lost their entire property. They would themselves be ashamed of their foolishness in parting with money to unknown persons and would not inform about their inescapable/cornered position to anybody, especially to their relatives and friends.
According to a report, losses from individual scams range from $200 to $12 million. People must be vigilant in not falling prey to such criminals and they should not send money or give credit card, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone.
These are the observations and warnings issued by Justice S Vaidyanathan, while refusing advance bail to two such fraudsters, last week.
In this connection, the judge referred to the saying of Mother Teresa that “I fear just one thing: Money! Greed was what motivated Judas to sell Jesus”. In this world, no one can expect loyalty from people, who would do anything for money and instead of loving people and using money, people often love money and use people. It should always be remembered that there are no get-rich-quick schemes, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
When the matter came up, the Additional Public Prosecutor submitted that the case had been transferred to the Cyber Crime wing in Chennai and the anticipatory bail applications may be closed for lack of jurisdiction.
Accordingly, after holding that no further orders are required to be passed in these petitions for want of jurisdiction, the judge closed the petitions.
While the first petitioner is working as senior manager in Thoothukudi branch, the second petitioner, also holding the same position, is working at the Kumbakonam branch of TN Mercantile Bank.
The charge against them was that they, by using the Current and OD account numbers of a person, had indulged in fraudulent transactions, as they knew person’s user name and password in respect of his Internet Banking transaction.
When police attached to crime branch in Thanjavur, suspecting their connivance in scam, called for enquiry, they approached the court seeking advance bail fearing arrest.