I’m familiar with Nigerian scams, but I hadn’t heard of the docu-drama 419: The Nigerian Scam, which tells a fictional account of the 419 email ruse. Expanding on the knowledge gained while making the movie, the film’s creators developed the app Scam Detector for iPhone and iPod Touch.
If you're expecting Scam Detector to spot a shady situation for you, then you’ll probably feel taken by the 99 cent price tag. Scam Detector won’t be a substitute for your intuition, but what it does provide is a large encyclopedic database of the ins and outs of more than 350 scams — many of which I’d never heard of, like the fake hotel receptionist who calls your room asking for credit-card verification or the invitation to participate in a fake bus accident.
The app is divided into five sections: auto scams, face-to-face scams, Internet scams, telephone scams and travel scams. Within each, you’ll find an alphabetical list of known scams. Tap into a scam to see how it works, and how you can avoid it. The app allows you to post the scam directly to Facebook or Twitter if you think it’s something others need to be aware of ASAP. There aren’t any bells and whistles in Scam Detector — it is purely a text app — but it does have an excellent search engine. Want to know if that work-from-home ad is legit? The search will pull up anything related.
The vast info provided makes Scam Detector a good buy at 99 cents. In case you still don't want to spend, there’s a free lite version of the app with a portion of the information available.