• Senior Scams: The Nigerian Letter/Email Scam

    Posted on March 11, 2013 by in Featured

    In our previous post we discussed telemarketing scams and how to avoid being victimized by one.  This week, we’ll be talking about two scams – The Nigerian Letter/email scam and The Money Transfer scam.  The Nigerian letter/email scam occurs when an email or a letter, originating from Nigeria, offers an unbelievable opportunity to earn/share money by transferring money to an official in Nigeria.  The con artist poses as a businessman or some type of official and claims he will transfer money into your bank account if you will pay the taxes needed to receive the money.  The scam artist may mail or email you official looking documents or in some cases encourage you to travel to the country to complete the deal. Unfortunately, the scan can deepen even after the initial con.  In some cases once funds have been sent, the perpetrators try to solicit more money by claiming some type of emergency that requires yet more funds.

    So, what can you do to protect yourself against this type of con?

    • Don’t trust investments that sound too good to be true
    • Never release your personal information to an unknown person or an unfamiliar company.  This includes your:  date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, credit card number and expiration date
    • If you receive a letter from Nigeria, or any other country, asking for personal information or banking information, don’t respond. Send it to the U.S. Postal inspection service, your local FBI office, or the U.S Secret Service
    • Be wary of investment opportunities in other countries
    • If you have responded to one of these letters/emails, file a complaint with your state’s attorney general and/or Federal Trade Commission


    The Money Transfer Scam is  a type of money scheme.  It can often go hand in hand with the Nigerian Letter Email Scam.  Transferring money is convenient and easy.  Many supermarkets and drugs stores offer this service and make it easy to send money to loved ones  However, sending money to someone you don’t know is inherently risky.  The speed and convenience that make transferring funds to a love one easy are also the reasons that make transferring money to someone you don’t know dangerous.  If someone is conning you, he or she gets the money very quickly, making it almost impossible to stop the transfer.

    If you think you’ve been caught in a money transfer fraud