How To Protect Yourself From ’Nigerian Prince’ Scams

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Police Catch ‘Nigerian Prince’ Middle Man

As much as 10 Billion dollars are lost annually to the Nigerian Prince scam!

Here's how it works: You receive an email from a person claiming to be a Nigerian prince telling you that you’re the beneficiary in someone’s will, now all you need to do is provide your financial information to prove your identity, and you will receive your sizable inheritance.

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Or there’s this version: A spouse of a Nigerian official tells you their funds are tied up somewhere, and with your bank account information they can pay fees and taxes to get their money — which they will be more than happy to share with you in exchange.

Police say 67-year-old Michael Neu, who lives outside New Orleans, served as a middle man in hundreds of fraudulent financial transactions and wired money to co-conspirators in Nigeria. Neu has been charged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering after an 18-month investigation.

This arrest serves as a warning to people targeted by such scams.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Nigerian email scams, also known as 419 scams because they violate Section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code, bait people with “convincing sob stories, unfailingly polite language, and promises of a big payoff,”According to the FBI, some victims have even been lured to Nigeria, where they were extorted and held against their will.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, which monitors Internet scams, has received about 3.7 million complaints since 2000. It has received an average of 280,000 complaints per year
and according to a recent study, people in their 30 and those above 60 made up about 40 percent of the victims.

So how can you protect yourselves from 419 scams?

  • Never give out your personal payment card information through email or even over the phone
  • Never cash checks for other individuals
  • Never wire money to someone you don’t know

If anybody asks you for money online; 99.9% of the time its a SCAM!

Story courtesy of The Washington Post

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