Nigerian Scam

How it works:

You receive an official looking letter from someone claiming to be a Nigerian who, because of Nigerian government rules, needs help transferring money out of that country. Perhaps you are asked to deposit the funds into your bank account for a “reward” of 20 to 30 percent of the funds, which usually are in the millions of dollars. To do your part, you are simply asked to supply your bank account number and some money supposedly to cover “expenses”. But the crooks behind these scams simply keep your money and use the account information to steal more money. Another variation involves a request that you act as a front in a real estate purchase so the true identity of the Nigerian can be kept secret. You are offered a hefty fee for your services but you’ll have to provide “good faith” money and help pay certain expenses. Then the only funds exchanged go from the unsuspecting victim to the con artist.

Warning signs:

Nobody is going to give you a percentage of millions of dollars simply for the privilege of using your bank account or your name to transfer money to the U S. Some people have lost their lives trying to collect their money lost in this scheme.

Best defense:

If you receive a letter or fax containing promises of instant wealth, do not respond. Promptly take it to your nearest U.S. Postal Inspection Office.

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