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Scam Alert: Tracking the scammers

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An internet site aimed at tracking crooks and con artists on the Web has attracted more than 48,000 users, according to the site

The site gets its name from the phrase “410 Fraud,” or advanced fee fraud. “419” is the relevant section of the Nigerian criminal code, which outlines advanced fee fraud. Nigeria is a known hot spot for internet scammers.

Organizers of the website say their goal is to empower people to track down crooks who prey upon unsuspecting internet users. The site and its users target people who send out emails claiming to offer prizes and cash awards in the thousands or millions, but which inevitably cost the victims hundreds or thousands of dollars.

The site contains a map of the world with scammer “hot spots” highlighted, as well as instructions for how Web surfers can get involved themselves.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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