“Too good to be true” is old hat now.

Recently I was invited to a “Preventing MMF” seminar.  Sounds fancy, but it was simply some presentations regarding research on internet fraud.  It was a good chance to make some new contacts and touch base with some old ones.  A lot of what was said confirmed what we’ve been saying for years, and isn’t worth mentioning here as it’d be preaching to the choir.  However, a few things are worth discussing further.  One of them was the opinion “If it seems too good to be true….” doesn’t work anymore.  Let’s look further into it to explain why.

This was specifically related to job scams, and the initial messages.  You see, unlike your common or garden 419 scam email, these don’t immediately offer large sums of money.  Some barely mention money at all, and some are vague to the point of not actually saying anything at all.  That’s the problem – there’s nothing in the early stages that say “this is definitely a scam”.  By the time the scam is in full effect, the person is already sucked in.  Let me ask this question.  What can we do to deal with this?  Do we need to change the phrase to “If it seems too good, or too vague to be true…”?  Your guess is as good as mine right now.  All I do know is that we need to do something to counteract it.