Internet fraud is organised along areas of specialisation to make a success of the deviant behaviour.
Also, Western Union should give warnings to users as they make the transaction. Oh look, there are dozens of similar scam stories, with people specifically mentioning “Coutenou”, which is a city I was given in the payment details.The real Facebook user may have been hacked Having your Facebook account hacked is a nightmare.A stranger now has access to all your personal information and could harass your friends and followers.All of the red flags were released drip-by-drip so that they didn’t look altogether dodgy at a glance. When she sent the email with the payment details I realised she wanted me to send the payment to Benin. And when looking at this from the perspective of a regular sale of goods locally, these things didn’t seem that odd.When your brain thinks you are transferring money to someone local, you almost forget about that tiny change of country (she said she was travelling), and that the country you are sending to might not hold clerks to the same standards of trust as they do nearby. I am still the owner of my 350€ and I’ve gained a scary tale to tell.So, if I wire this money to a person I don’t know with only a password between them receiving the money or not, what is to stop them bribing or whining their way to getting the clerk to hand it over? If Western Union didn’t have a password system in place, it wouldn’t trick otherwise savvy people from thinking this was a legitimate escrow system that they could trust. And why did the details look like a cut-and-paste job? The final red flag was when the supposed brother-in-law started asking for the transaction number of the payment before he arrived. But when I thought about it, once he had that transaction code, the only thing stopping them from having my money was a clerk I don’t know in a country I don’t know, who may or may not bother asking for a password. I’m sure a friendly clerk could look the transaction up for them.