For years, we have all been receiving emails from Nigeria offering money for nothing (although not chicks for free as Dire Straits used to sing). The emails had various premises including dead relatives, deposed dictators and bank schemes, but they all shared one thing in common – once the victim was lured into the scheme, the victim ended up actually paying more and more money to get the vast riches that never came. Well now for the first time, the Federal Trade Commission which deals with these scams has signed a memorandum of understanding with two Nigerian agencies to increase cooperation in their joint efforts to stop this type of fraud. This is the first memorandum of understanding that the FTC has ever done with a foreign criminal enforcement authority, in this case, the Nigerian Consumer Protection Council and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Hopefully, this new joint effort will help reduce Nigerian scams, however, it is important to remember that when it comes to scams, the best place to look for a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
Certainly if you ever receive an email from Nigeria promising something for nothing, you should be incredibly skeptical. Whenever you receive such an offer regardless of where it is from you should ask yourself, why are you getting something for nothing. Remember if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. You should also ask why you are being singled out for this great opportunity. The way most of these scams work is that once you are lured into the scheme you are told that you need to supply some small amount of money for bribes, fees, taxes or whatever. This amount keeps getting larger and larger although the promise of receiving a great amount of money blinds the victims into continuing to make payments. You can find out more specific information about various Nigerian scams here in the archives of Scamicide or in my book, “The Truth About Avoiding Scams” which can be ordered as a paperback or electronic book from Amazon by clicking on the links at the right hand side of the page on the icon for the book.