The Nigerian scam is one of the oldest and most popular scams used mostly by Nigerians with the intention of cheating people of their hard-earned money. This scam is also known as Nigerian 419. It is named after the section of Nigeria’s Criminal Code which banned the practice. This scam is not new, and started surfacing in the early 2000s. A lot of people fall prey to this scam and end up losing a large sum of money.
Under this scam, criminals contact innocent people via email, letter, text message or social media. These emails and messages sent to people congratulate them on winning a lottery or tell them that they are the recipients of a charity donation. Some even claim to provide employment opportunities.
If victims respond to those messages and emails sent by the fraudsters, they are convinced on the genuineness. Money is collected in the name of various charges. Fraudsters end up collecting lakhs of rupees from the victims.
Recently, a person named Sanjay Singh received a message from a person named Aisha. She claimed that she was from the United Kingdom. In the message, she said that she wants to transfer an amount of $5.5 million (Rs 39 crore) to the Sanjay Singh account to distribute it as charity among the poor people. The sender also said that in order to transfer money to Sanjay Singh's account; he has to pay Rs 6.62 Lakh as a processing fee.
Believing this to be true Mr. Sanjay Singh transferred Rs 6.62 Lakh to the fraudster’s bank account in 12 installments. As soon as Sanjay Singh got to know that he was cheated, he filed a police complaint. Finally, the cybercrime police of Visakhapatnam arrested four Nigerians involved in the fraud.
Not only this case, many people have also lost money to Nigerian scams. According to statistics from the cybercrime police of Vishakhapatnam, the city has reported 42 cases in 2019, up from 14 in 2018.
It was found that fraudsters use Facebook as a major medium. So, you have to be really careful if unknown people befriend you on social media claiming to be NRIs. Fraudsters create fake accounts on Facebook by stealing pictures online.
1. Never send money to people you don't know or trust.
2. You must never share your personal banking details with anyone over call or messages.
3. Do not get close to unknown people on social media and never send money in any situation.
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