Shevek (shevek) wrote,

On reporting a 419 scam

On receiving a 419 scam with a UK mobile number as the primary contact point, I decided to report it in the hope that the person holding the phone can be monitored and/or apprehended.

Stop 1: My mobile provider. Surely they must have a fraud department, and surely the fraud departments contact each other. Unfortunately, the two first-liners I speak to have no idea what I am talking about, even when I say "fraud" clearly and repeatedly. The fraud department are only open from Monday to Friday. I tell them that I know this, and so do the fraudsters, which is why we are all busy doing business on a Sunday. They eventually file the report in the circular file. I am slightly worried that they will misreport the issue and cut off my phone on Monday.

Stop 2: ICSTIS and Ofcom. Not open at the weekend.

Stop 3: Crimestoppers. As expected, report filed for further consideration. They want the "name" of the criminal. I tell them it's an email, names are optional, and give them a selection from the email. The report is "passed on". On the whole, crimestoppers seem to be the most professional organisation of the day.

Stop 4: SCD6 Economic and Specialist Crime OCU appears to be the UK agency dealing with this kind of thing. They have withdrawn their number from publication, and it isn't answered at the week end anyway. Again, I suspect the mysterious "Adam Gibson" was aware of this when he sent the scam. This agency seems to be the only central reporting point for advance fee fraud. The various police forces appear (from their web sites) not to be interested.

I thoroughly expect that Mr "Gibson" will be doing business this week.

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