Since you started using an e-mail account, it is very probable that you have already received spam or unsolicited e-mails. Some can be polite letters about an oil industry businessman who needs your help to make illegal bank transfers. Others, to tell you about your chance of taking a great business opportunity. Perhaps you may think these letters are blessings you receive out of fate. However, behind spam e-mails there is an unlawful purpose and many, many stories of fraud. Thus, if you are not well informed about this phenomenon, you could be a victim of this kind of trap. One of the most popular online schemes online is known as “Nigerian Scam.”
We want you to know about the Nigerian Scam in Premier Consumer, so we made this article to tell you how it works. Also, we are going to provide you with some useful recommendations you should take into account to avoid from being swindled by cunning fraudsters behind the net. Being and feeling safe on the internet is what makes us trust the system and seize their advantages.
“Being and feeling safe on the internet is what makes us trust the system and seize their advantages.”
So, what is “Nigerian Scam” and how does it work?
The Nigerian Scam, also known as the “419” fraud, is a relatively old tactic that started with postal mail and faxes. Nowadays, scammers also do it by using the Internet. Occasionally, they are outlaws from countries such as Sierra Leone, Ghana or Iraq, although they are mostly from Nigeria, giving it the Nigerian Scam name.
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The scam consists on sending e-mails with fake stories by “supposedly” relatives of important people from the government of Nigeria, officers, businessmen, heirs, etc. In their e-mails, they try to persuade victims to transfer big amounts of money to pay fees or taxes, so scammers can access to a supposed fortune or world of opportunities. In return, they will give you the best reward you could have hoped for. Then, scammers will claim that your money was worthless, so more resources will be asked to complete the whole process. Once you fall into their trap, they will start doing their thing and take as much money from you as they can.
Stories may vary a bit, but the hidden trap has the same purpose; to fool you and steal your money easily. In fact, scammers are able to fake documents to convince you they are reliable. If it works, they will ask you for the first funds to begin the game. As you can imagine, you will never receive any retribution from these businesses or see your money again.
There are even stories about scammed people who went to Nigeria to find these guys and ended up tricked again and losing even more money than before. This time in person.
Unfortunately, although we have too many sources of information, scammers have successfully deceived a lot of people in the world. For this reason, it is very important that you are informed about what Nigerian Scam is, so you also know how to protect yourself from it.
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What can you do to protect yourself from Nigerian Scam?
The following are some useful recommendations for you to be protected from Nigerian scammers.
1. Do not click on spam or pop-up windows. If you sometime receive messages requesting help to make any illegal international bank transfer, the first step you have to take is not replying to this kind of e-mails. Consider that suspicious e-mails may have been used to send you harmful programs, viruses, spyware and malware, but most probably to try to scam you. So it is better to delete them immediately. If you reply, scammers will know you bit the hook and to their best to reel you in.
2. Common sense. It is also very important to use common sense and be skeptical of individuals who claim to be representatives of the Nigerian government. If so, such a character would never ask a regular foreign citizen to cooperate with this kind of task. Additionally, scammers usually try to be polite, but they do not have a good English grammar, so you can keep an eye for that.
3. Report scammers with your e-mail provider and local authorities. The easiest way to keep them out from you is reporting spam with your e-mail provider. Additionally, you should contact your local authorities. Local authorities work with both national and international agencies that combat these illegal acts and are willing to help you. So, provide officers with as much information as possible regarding the scammer. In this way, you will also help to stop scammers from stealing other people.
4. Do not share personal data on the Internet. When accessing your e-mail, do not share any personal information such as bank account and telephone numbers, personal identification, dates of birth, addresses or passwords. Bear in mind that this information is very personal, so it is no recommendable that you share it with unknown people by e-mail. Scammers try to steal your money, but they also appreciate your personal data to commit this and any other crimes.
5. Beware of social networks. Nowadays, it is very common to have a personal account in one of the various social networks there are in the Internet. Nevertheless, do not add somebody that you think is not part of your family or group of friends. Scammers are also using social networks to persuade people to commit their swindlers. They use fake names, photographs and data to impersonate someone and deceive other people.
6. Think of the consequences of cooperating with scammers. It could be naïve to believe that evading taxes is a legal act in any country. In fact, the government of Nigeria does not sympathize with foreigners that are victim of scammers. When you are victim of a scam you cooperate with thieves to take away national funds illegally. This act violates Nigeria’s criminal code section 419. Moreover, some people have even been lured to Nigeria or other African countries to follow up with the scam and end up robbed again, kidnapped or even killed.
As you can see, Nigerian scam can be very dangerous. Although you live far from Africa, scammers can contact you online and steal your money easily by using persuasive methods. Nevertheless, we hope these simple suggestions will keep you away from being a victim of the Nigerian scam.