Have you ever tried selling a gadget on Craigslist? If yes, you must have been contacted by someone showing interest in the product you are selling, ready to pay more than the selling price and asking you to ship the product to Nigeria. And if you have been contacted, they would have also asked you to give details of your PayPal account to transfer you the money. But unfortunately, once you provide your details, you neither get any money in your account nor any information about your gadget. You become a victim of a scam.

According to a recent study, five major criminal gangs of Nigeria have been identified who are cheating sellers on Craigslist. These criminals are so smart that they have made their tricks look absolutely genuine and legitimate. Also, they use advanced check-writing equipment and accomplices from the U.S. in order to prevent any sign of suspicion amongst the sellers.

To catch the frauds, Damon McCoy and colleague Jackie Jones from the computer science department at George Mason University posted an advertisement to sell laptops at a premium of 10 percent. The fake buyers contacted through e-mail. To track them, McCoy and Jones replied to their e-mails with the advertised product’s images. When scammers clicked on the image link, their IP address and their location were revealed. And majority of the scam e-mails were from five common groups.