21 Nov Avoid scams – Nigerian Prince Fraud
As you make more and more deals, I want you to put your hard-earned money to work for you. That means taking parts of your earnings to have a little fun and to pay down some debt and then using the rest to make investments towards your future.I don’t want you to waste your money on expensive assets or bad investments – and I DEFINITELY don’t want you giving your wallet over to scam artists.
I have already gone over some varied scams this week, but let me dedicate this final post to a large family I’ll call the “Nigerian Prince” scam.
Obviously, not all scams originate in Nigeria, but the sheer audacity of some of the folks who perpetrate these scams has been enough to associate their name with them. Basically, I am talking about something called an “advance-fee fraud”. An advance-fee fraud requires you to pay a small amount of money now in order to get a HUGE amount of money later. The scam typically starts when you receive an unsolicited email from a person who needs your help. They need to get a large amount of money out of their country and want to deposit it in your bank account, but they first need $20 to notarize the documents. You pay $20, and, lo and behold, they need ANOTHER $20 to bribe a certain official. And on and on the scam goes until you are out of money or catch on to their game.
This scam might also be done by having you deposit a false check and then wire the overpayment to a person, or the Spanish Prisoner, which requires paying bribes to liberate a valuable item from a warehouse before thieves realize that it is there. Some scammers even hack into a person’s Facebook account and claim that the person has been kidnapped/arrested and needs their Facebook friends to send money to set them free.
What I hate about these frauds is that they play on the good emotions of pity and wanting to help another person out. Scammers prey on the inexperienced and trusting, and I hate to say that the answer is being suspicious of everyone you meet, so I won’t say that. But I will say that a quick Google search can verify the message you have received and a phone call can let you know if a friend or family member really is in trouble.
Use your head, and put your money where it belongs – into cash producing assets. Don’t give it to liars and manipulators.