"... My aim of contacting you is to seek your assistance in transferring the sum of thirty five million united states dollars only out of Nigeria and into your trusted bank account abroad...."
We have probably all seen the Nigerian scam letter. Also called "419 scams," they combine the threat of identity theft with the old "advance fee scheme."
A letter or email from Nigeria (or sometimes another African country) offers the recipient the "opportunity" to share in a percentage of millions of dollars that the author is trying to transfer illegally out of Nigeria. The recipient is encouraged to send information to the scammer—blank letterhead stationery, bank name, account numbers, and other identifying information using a fax number provided in the letter.
Be advised that this is a scam and not a legitimate offer.
Unfortunately, these scams usually originate outside of the United States, and American law enforcement has great difficulty in pursuing the criminals. In addition, many of these email solicitations contain computer viruses, making them even more of a menace—so be very cautious. Be sure to maintain current anti-virus software.
There are several variations of the Nigerian Scam that criminals may use to exploit their victims. Here are some examples:
The Secret Service asks if you have been victimized by the Nigerian scam to forward appropriate written documentation to the United States Secret Service.
To contact the U.S. Secret Service:
If you receive a letter from anyone asking you to send personal or banking information, do not reply in any manner.
Pyramid schemes (sometimes called "Ponzi schemes") are illegal in Florida, and in many other states. Pyramid schemes are scams in which large numbers of people at the bottom of the pyramid pay money to a few people at the top. Each new participant pays for the chance to advance to the top and profit from payments of others who might join later.
Please note that pyramid scheme emails are frequently disguised as chain letters advertising new and legitimate business opportunities. We urge you to carefully consider any potential investment advertised on the Internet. For more information concerning pyramid schemes, please visit the Florida Division of Consumer Services.
...as with most things in life – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!...
You have probably seen the junk e-mail that makes outlandish claims: to earn you thousands of dollars each month, to make you look years younger, or to guarantee your popularity with the opposite sex. Treat these claims with the same skepticism you use when evaluating any product.
E-mail is very inexpensive to write and send. The scam artist can send thousands of e-mails for pennies, and if only two or three people take the bait, he has earned his money back. Don't be one of those people.
Look at it from this angle: if any of these products could really do what they claim to do, why haven't you heard of them before—on television, in the news, or from a friend? If these "miracle" products could do what they claim, the makers wouldn't need the spam!
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