The Nigerian email scams continue to be very profitable for the scammers due to the greed and stupidity of people who are prepared to part with money in response to an unsolicited email or letter offering them millions of dollars on the other side of the world!
The process of defrauding people who are tempted by the offer to make some 'quick easy money' has been estimated by the United States Secret Service to be worth US 5 billion worldwide over the last decade!
That figure is a conservative estimate as it is believed very few of the victims report the crime. The main reason is that the victim believes they may have aided some criminal activity because the original offer is of 'questionable legality'. They are also reluctant to admit to their gullibility and greed if it became public or media were involved.
This allows the scammers to carry out the scam repeatedly due to challenges for police in securing evidence and witnesses.
The Nigerian email scams have developed many variations,
sometimes developed around the news.
In 2001, instead of a Nigerian barrister, the missing money belonged to an
Iraqi national, persecuted under Saddam Hussein. The year before, it was
family of victims of the Concorde plane crash. Earlier this year it was a
tsunami victim; then, a U.S. solider killed in Iraq during the war on
terror. Anything to get an edge, or to catch victims with their guard down!
The most popular of the Nigerian email scams is the 419 scam:
The 419 scams all share a common theme:
The Nigerian dating scams are the next most common Nigerian email scam and are often not easy to detect as the scammers are often highly educated, have exceptional patience and they do their homework so see our page using the link above on this type of scam to prevent a broken heart and possibly a lighter wallet!
The scammers spend their day trolling the dating sites and chat rooms for contact emails, and then send off thousands of fraudulent letters and emails awaiting the victim's replies.
They are offering the chance of finding true love and happiness, and there are plenty of takers!
However sooner or later, the vulnerable hearts receive requests that will ultimately lead to financial losses and heartbreak.
Online classified services are now full of job offers for what are listed as "re-shipping" firms. Requirements of the job are simple: accepting goods or money and transferring them out of state. Employees get to keep a whopping 10 or 15 percent of everything they ship. But of course, it's a scam. Thousands of people have fallen victim to re-shipping scams, according to the United States Postal Inspection Service.
Your business is contacted by a company from Nigeria which is extremely interested in purchasing your products. Your name came from a trade magazine.
They promise the prospect of large orders and request samples of your products prior to approval of the big order. Before you can begin shipping these large orders they have you send to them bogus registration or import licensing fees.
They send you back numerous documents with official looking stamps, seals and logo, as well as letters of credit, payment schedules and authentic bank drafts for smaller orders. This supporting documentation adds credibility to their claims of legitimacy.
They stress the urgency of their need and ask that you pre-prepare a large shipment for delivery and send it immediately upon receipt of their bank draft.
They cleverly start with small orders using proper drafts to lull you, then you are hit with a big loss when your order is shipped and long gone, before you realize they have given you a worthless forgery for payment.
Landlords are contacted by potential tenants who offer to pay an up-front deposit by check. Once the check has been sent, the renter asks for a return of some or all of the money, claiming a promised visa from the U.S. government didn't arrive in time.
Due to the Nigerian email scams, many Americans now
realize that wiring money overseas is a bad idea. So several years ago,
Nigerians started recruiting U.S. residents as go-betweens, so they would be
able to ask victims to send money or packages to U.S. addresses.
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Nigerian Reshipping Scam
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