Nigerian 419 scam on LinkedIn

Researchers from BitDefender have detected that social networks are the newest medium for Nigerian “4-1-9” scams…In the most recent outbreak of the Nigerian scam — an advance fee fraud that is estimated to gross hundreds of millions of dollars annually — the scam letter is sent as a LinkedIn or other social networking sites’ invite to join the user’s network. A profile page is established with the social networking site, to make the claims in the scam letter appear legitimate. Since the scams are only delivered to the social networking site’s user accounts, they completely bypass antispam filters…

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Social networking sites have their place and I’ve seen enough demonstrations of what a powerful tool they can be to have become convinced of their value and potential for being a source of revenue. However, I’ll repeat my earlier message that we need to get a good handle on the risks before we jump in for the corporate long haul. The issue of identity on social networking sites is, in my opinion, the one thing that will see them either succeed or fail. If you can’t ascertain that the person pertaining to be Ingrid from Stockholm is really Barry from Bath then you can’t do business.