Understanding the Nigerian Email Spams and How to Protect Youself

 

emailThe so-called Nigerian email spams comprise of convincing sob stories, unfailingly polite language and promises of a big payoff. These emails are a like a pile of late night dreams, but people still respond to them. Behind these messages are people who claim to be top officials and business moguls or surviving spouses of former government honchos mostly on Nigeria and related West African countries, whose money is tied up temporarily.

The Bait

The high-profile scammers offer to transfer lots of money into your bank account if you promise to pay the fees or the “taxes” they need to get their money. If you respond to their initial offer, they send you documents that look “official.” The scammers may even encourage you to travel to the country in question, or a neighboring country to complete the transaction. Some of the fraudsters have produced trunks of dyed or stamped money as they try to verify their claim

The Catch

Money Down DrainThe emails are from fraudsters who are trying to steal your money or bank details. If you fall to the scam, inevitably, the scammers come up with emergencies, requiring more of your money and delaying the said “transfer” of the funds to your account. In the end, you will receive no money and the thief who stole it is gone.

The goal of the scammers

The ultimate objective of the so-called Nigerian scammers is to delude and brainwash the victim into thinking that they have been singled out to take part in a very lucrative, although highly questionable arrangement. The intended victim gets an assurance of the genuineness of the agreement by the fake/false documents with official Nigerian government letterheads, seals, bank drafts, payment schedules and false letters of credit.

The spam email senders might even establish the credibility of their contact by arranging a ghost meeting between the victim and the “government officials” in real or fake government buildings. Once the victim becomes confident of the ultimate success of the impending deal, they will send out the money to facilitate the alleged fees “holding the transaction.” The victim is then pressured or even threatened to send extra move to salvage the situation.

Common Nigerian spam tricks

– Somebody who wants to transfer millions of dollars into your account

– Somebody who wishes to pay you to cash cheques and send them the money.

– Somebody who indents to meet a friend or a penpal on a friendship dating site and they then ask for your money

– A near dying person is contacting you wanting your help to give his money for charity.

– You sell an item, and they ask you to accept a payment larger than the valuation of the item.

How to protect yourself

These scam emails can tug at your heartstrings and have a strong appeal to your sense of altruism. Successful scammers know exactly how to get your money. If you get these emails delete them and never reply to them.

– Do not disclose any of your identity or financial details

– You can report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission via – https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

– You can also report to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center – http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

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