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Nigerian Letter Scams

Nigerian letter scams are strangely worded letters or emails sent from overseas. In the letters, a scammer asks for your help to get millions of dollars out of his or her country. All you have to do is provide your bank account number so the funds can be transferred and you’ll get a cut of the money. If you share your bank account information, the scammers will take your money instead of giving you any.
 
These scams are also called 419 scams or overseas funds transfer scams. They started in Nigeria but now come from other countries, too. They often include current events like wars or natural disasters to make the letter sound real.
 
 
Signs of a Nigerian Scam:
 
  • The writer makes the case sound urgent.

 

  • You’re told that the transaction is confidential and urged to tell no one.

 

  • An associate who works in the U.S., England, or another place may claim to be a go-between for a foreigner with access to great sums of money.

 

  • The scammers request money to cover fee after fee, promising that each fee will be the last one.

  • The person claims they are being persecuted for their religious beliefs and they want to get money from the evil government and give it to religious charities in the U.S.

  • The letter states that a distant relative from a foreign country died, leaving you a fortune that will be confiscated by the government if an heir is not located.
 
 
Don’t Respond to Nigerian Letters, Faxes or Emails
 
If you get one of these letters, faxes or emails, don’t respond. When you respond to these emails, you also confirm that your email address works and you may get other scam emails.
 
 
We Can Help
 
If you think you’ve been the victim of a Nigerian letter scam, contact the U.S. Secret Service or contact us toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.