Nigerian Scams

'They need your help to access a large amount of Money'

You may receive an email asking for your help to access a large sum of money in a foreign bank account. The message says that you will get a percentage of the funds in exchange for your help.

In all probability, the message is an example of the type of scam known as a Nigerian or "419" scam. The "large sum of money" does not exist and the messages are designed to draw potential victims deeper into the scam. Those who initiate a dialogue with the scammers by replying to the scam messages will eventually be asked for advance fees supposedly required to allow the deal to proceed and may also become the victims of identity theft. The scammers use a variety of stories to explain why they need your help to access the funds.

For example:
  • They may claim that political climate or legal issues preclude them from accessing funds in a foreign bank account.
  • They may claim that your last name is the same as that of the deceased person who owned the account and suggest that you act as the Next of Kin of this person in order to gain access to the funds.
  • They may claim that a rich merchant, who has a terminal illness, needs your help to distribute his or her wealth to charity.

Click to see an example of a Nigerian '419' Email

Click to see another example of a Nigerian '419' Email
If you receive one of these scam emails, it is important that you:

  • DO NOT respond to it in any way, as the scammers are likely to act upon any response they receive
  • DELETE the email