Those online scams aren’t only carried out by crooks in Nigeria and North Korea.
The Christchurch court was told about one familiar looking scam done by a Canterbury woman, a 50-year-old truck driver.
She had put out a notice about winning $90,000, in US currency, in what she said was a Facebook promotion.
A woman fell for it and paid $1000 which went into the scammer’s bank account.
The scammer then wanted $1300 more “to release the winnings”.
The victim’s gullibility didn’t extend that far, and the police were advised.
The scammer pleaded guilty to the fraud charge and Judge Alistair Garland ordered her to do 200 hours of community work and to pay the $1000 back at a rate of $50 a week.
He said it was “a warning to the community of the dangers inherent in becoming involved in Internet-based schemes that offer significant rewards”.