What can we learn from the international online scam that unfolded in Dublin recently?

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A woman who posed as a UN diplomat took nearly €9,000 from a Japanese woman in Dublin airport after promising her access to a container filled with $10 million in cash, according to a report by The Irish Times.

What started as a spam message, promising immense riches that appeared in the Japanese woman’s LinkedIn mailbox, later brought her to Dublin, where she handed over €9,000 to a Polish national Agata Pracz, living in Swords, Co. Dublin, who posed as a US general and a UN diplomat, for the chance to access a container holding over $10 million in cash, supposedly waiting for her in a Dublin warehouse.

Sounds like a classic phishing scam gone too far. Fortunately, the Japanese woman alerted the embassy of this and Irish law enforcement stepped in, arresting the scammer and recovering some of the victim’s money. In court the perpetrator told the judge she got involved in this by a Nigerian scammer she supposedly met at a bar, using her only as a courier, but he didn’t quite believe her.

In an additional twist, the newspaper reports, “Garda experts were unable to hack into the laptop, which was heavily encrypted and Pracz told gardaí she could not remember the password.” Convenient, isn’t it, since most of the evidence of the exchanges between the victim and the scammers were likely on that laptop.

So, what can we learn from all this?

  • Well, first and foremost, don’t fall for phishing scams that promise you money. Or anything else.
  • Second, don’t hand over your money to scammers over promises of anything.
  • Third, particularly, don’t fly to foreign countries to hand money over to scammers.
  • Fourth, if you spot anything suspicious in any online dealings, report it to the authorities.
  • And fifth, if you want to keep contents of your laptops and other devices hidden from unauthorised eyes, use encryption. 😉

by Urban Schrott, ESET Ireland


3 thoughts on “What can we learn from the international online scam that unfolded in Dublin recently?

  1. I’m surprised that these Nigerian scams never seem to be foiled. What doesn’t surprise me is the fact that victim in this case initially fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

    But really how can you really blame this victim when all we really read about and see in the newspapers and on TV is how badly the governments say they need access to our information——-yet when it comes to quality articles meant to educate the public about the dangers of these types of scams——such articles, links and news-stories are far and few between. It’s like the governments want us in the dark so they, in turn, can continue to carry out they’re dark plans to eviscerate our innate needs for privacy——-a concept that should never be likened as fundamentally wrong because privacy is inherently a human need and a rightful and normal desire of us all.

    Bruce Schneier said it best when he stated:

    “The most common retort against privacy advocates — by those in favor of ID checks, cameras, databases, data mining and other wholesale surveillance measures — is this line: “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?” Some clever answers: “If I’m not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me.” “Because the government gets to define what’s wrong, and they keep changing the definition.” “Because you might do something wrong with my information.” My problem with quips like these — as right as they are — is that they accept the premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong. It’s not. Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect…….Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance. We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We are not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private places for reflection or conversation. We keep private journals, sing in the privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a basic human need…”

    The statement above was excerpted from the following link where you can read Bruce’s entire article:

    https://www.schneier.com/essays/archives/2006/05/the_eternal_value_of.html

    =
    =

    What Bruce mentions here is absolutely correct. There’s really no need to debate our privacy because it belongs to us period!——-The day we give this up is the day we give up on ourselves!

    Be keenly aware that no matter how many times people will come out and rightfully explain these basic human rights and needs of ours, the oligarch’s and the government’s controlled by the oligarch’s are continuing to find new ways to twist these indisputable facts to suit their malicious desire to destroy our natural way of life as human beings. Don’t let them do that!

    The Evil Empire must not prevail. We must protect our rights at all costs——-lest we concede to the fear-mongering and manipulations perpetrated by these fascist creeps and corporate thugs——-for the latter will only lead down a very dark path…….

    Worth Noting:

    In Marxist Theory, ‘socialism’ is defined as the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

  2. If you pay real close attention to what’s going on right now, the stage is already being set by the oligarch’s with the current governmental push for gender-neutrality and the forced influence of these sick and twisted ideologies which only defy what it means to be a human being, not to mention dishonor the heavenly creator of all life——-the God of the universe——-the one whom has every right to set universal laws and righteous principles to live by.

    How dare we, as God’s human creation, question his rightful sovereignty. How easy we forget what history has taught us…

    Sodom and Gomorrah were real cities, of which have been thoroughly examined by archeologists for years. The evidence of their discoveries have proven beyond the shadow of any doubt, that those two ancient cities were destroyed by a big event, of which was further corroborated by the large deposits of sulfur and ash.

    Anyone who doubts the existence of the Sodom-Gomorrah ruins should pay a visit, look around and feel the ruins!

  3. All I can say is WOW! Urban, how lucky was the Japanese woman not to actually follow threw with it. Seem’s also like a sting operation. I can’t believe these people are still operating in Ireland to this magnitude. Lucky escape!

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