A Guide to Avoiding Nigerian Scams

Jul 10 13:18 2009 Steve J Nickson Print This Article

When you mention Nigerian scams, most people think of the 419 scam. However there are a variety of Nigerian scams, and the scammer is not always based in Nigeria or a West African country.

Most people link Nigerian scams to the advance fee fraud or
419 scam that tries to trick victims into parting with
their money by persuading them that they will receive a
substantial benefit in return for a modest payment in

However there are several other forms of Nigerian scams and
the scammer isn't always based in Nigeria. In the last few
years some expatriate Nigerians have set up operations in
Britain,Guest Posting Australia, United States, Hong Kong, Canada, Japan
as well as other African countries so the business has
international dimensions now.

If you reviewed the background of Nigeria, it has created a
scenario in which unsuspecting people could be persuaded
that funds located in Nigeria needed to be moved to Western
countries in order to prevent them from being confiscated.

As an example, during General Sani Abacha's regime,
billions of dollars were taken from the national treasury.
The family of General Abacha have recently handed back $750
million worth of currencies taken from state funds and
these have since been deposited in the Central Bank of
Nigeria [Times 1998].

One of the forms of Nigerian scam involves victims being
informed  of the existence of loads of bank notes which
have been coated with a mixture of Vaseline and iodine in
order to disguise their identity from the authorities.
Victims are shown the money and told a special compound can
be used to 'wash' the money. Only a few real blackened U.S.
$100 notes are shown and washed in front of the victim
using ordinary cleaning fluid.

The remaining material in the case is blank, blackened
paper. The victim is asked to provide between U.S.$50,000 -
U.S.$100,000 for a large amount of the cleaning fluid.
After the advance fee has been received, the chemicals are
not delivered and the victim is left with a suitcase full
of worthless paper.

The main Nigerian scams tend to fall under the 419 scam,
the Nigerian dating scam, the reshipping scam and the
Craigslist/auction scam.   In general, the Nigerian scams
are based on one of the following:Defraud the government of
'forgotten' or former regime accounts, transfer of funds
from over-invoiced contracts and government employees,
assistance escaping the country with loads of wealth, sale
of crude oil [or other commodities] at below market prices,
money laundering, forgotten accounts, lottery winnings,
gifts or bequests to charitable or religious organisations
that have an overpayment element or 'fees' to release the
money, transfer of funds of now defunct businesses,
purchase of real estate, chemicals to clean large amounts
of money, wills, inheritances and death bed claims of
wealth and fake job offers where rebate required for
overpayment of wages.   The sender of the Nigerian scams is
usually: a senior civil servant from a department such as
the Federal Tenders Board, the Nigerian Petroleum
Corporation, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry
of Finance or the Nigerian Export Promotion Council
Nigerian royalty or a political insider such as the son of
the President of Nigeria, or a Nigerian prince or princess,
an auditor or accountant with connections to Nigerian
officials, a relative or confidante of a deposed leader, a
Nigerian lawyer or businessman with a title such as Dr,
Barrister or Chief.

The money required in the Nigerian scams is usually to
cover:fees and deed stamps, transaction fees or bribes,
attorney fees, gifts, export or insurance fees to move the
money to a foreign bank account, stamp duty, fees for
signing, audits and VAT, Anti-terrorist certificate or drug
free certificate fees and registration fees, transfer taxes
or licensing fees.

Regardless of the story or the characters, the theme is
much the same. You are offered the opportunity to help
someone move money from one location to another, and in
return, you will be rewarded handsomely.

Remember: Request for money from someone you don't know +
distance = fraud. Do not provide your bank account details
to anyone you don't know and trust, and no matter how
trustworthy they may seem, DO NOT SEND THEM MONEY.

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About Article Author

Steve J Nickson
Steve J Nickson

Steve Nickson makes it easy to avoid being scammed. Find
out how scams work, how to recognize them, and the steps to
take to avoid becoming a victim by visiting http://www.watchforscams.com

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