Have you heard of the Nigerian email scam?
Dear friend: I’m asking for your help. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am unable to directly withdrawal my money due to problems with the Nigerian government. I can, however, send it to an account in the United States. If you will give me your account number I will deposit it in to your account and you will send it to me. In exchange, I will give you a portion of it. You can keep $20,000. Just reply with your bank account information and I will transfer it right away.
Here is a real example of a letter that came to my e-mail:
“Good Day,My name is Mr. Jerry Ntai, I am the Head of Operation in Mevas Bank, Hong Kong. I need your assistance in effecting a transaction worth $21.5m I intend to give 30% of the total funds as compensation for your assistance.”
Now that we have two examples of the Nigerian e-mail scam, let’s take a look at what it is. Most of these e-mails originate in Nigeria. The perpetrators of this scam purchase e-mail lists and send out large amounts of e-mail hoping to find somebody who will respond. After a few exchanges, the victim often provides their bank account information. From there, the thief empties the person’s bank account.
Certainly, there aren’t people who fall for such a story. According to statistics, more than 100,000 million dollars has been lost by Americans falling for this scam. It is listed as the #1 most successful e-mail scam, and with thousands of variations of this letter in existence, it continues to con people each and every day.
Why do people fall for this? Because it appeals to the get rich quick attitude that runs rampant in our country. Can you imagine if it were true? All I have to do is give Mr. Jerry Ntai above my bank account information and I’m going to have more than 7 million dollars simply for allowing my bank account to be used.
The Nigerian email scam has been around for many years but until people understand that nothing comes free, these thieves will continue to find victims in the greedy people of the world looking for quick riches.
Let this be another lesson to all of us. The way to not fall victim to this is quite simple. Use your head! How could anybody think they could become a millionaire in such a manner and even if it were real, wouldn’t these people think that it may be illegal somehow?
If you did lose money, you should call your local secret service branch office to report the crime but it will be very difficult to recover your funds.
Don’t let your greed make you a victim. When you get a Nigerian email scam correspondence, delete it right away.