Online Scams

Why do people fall into scams?

Most people don’t want to offend people by saying no to their request or lead them to believe that they are suffering from financial constraints, so they easily agree to do things that they should not do. As a result, they get tricked into part with money without even realizing that it was not their fault.

Reasons why people fall into scams

A person might be busy making ends meet and cannot go out of the house often. Because of this, he or she may be prone to believe all sorts of online scam companies. People may also be misled by unsolicited email that appear to come from someone they know and trust. Some con artists can also claim to be graduates, local business owners, web developers, pastors, motivational speakers and others who may be familiar to people.

Types of scams

Nigerians lose huge sums to these scams.


Nigerians have been duped into making payments to organisations that were just fronting for the scammers. This is especially evident with the payment of rent and the requirement that people pay rent via PayPal. Even though the payment details were correct and the account is verified, scammers will still go on to con unsuspecting victims out of their hard earned money.

Online dating scams

Nigerians are seduced into signing up with the promise of potential love. In most cases, these fraudsters will lead the prospective lovebirds to believe that they are in love with the unsuspecting victim and demand payment from the victims to fulfill their desires and create a ‘perfect’ relationship.

Scammers vs. victims

The scammers are quick to respond with comments such as “Can you help me”, “I need this urgently”, or “My account was being charged without my knowledge”. The victims then respond with “I need this urgently”, “My account was being charged without my knowledge” and the scammer says that their account will be shut down if they do not transfer the money within 30 minutes. When the scammers receive a response, they ask for more time, depending on the response, and eventually ask for more money.

How to avoid online scams:

Avoid providing any sensitive information, such as bank account or credit card numbers, unless absolutely necessary.

Ensure that you make the transaction to the same location in which you initiated the transaction.


Prevention of online fraud and scams can be achieved by following the following measures:

Determine the type of sites to avoid.

Avoid giving personal information online.

Search for terms that are connotated with certain themes or places.

Do your own research on any site.

Check the history of the website.

Never make payments or provide sensitive information over the phone.

File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) if a user believes they have been a victim of a scam or an incident of fraud.

In case of fraud, kindly contact law enforcement or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Be wary of unsolicited emails

Never click on links or open attachments in an unsolicited email, especially if it includes an unexpected fee for something you did not request. For example, if you receive an email from someone who wants you to click on a link and enter your credit card information, it is most likely a scam. Additionally, many people receive email notifications regarding money owed to them via wire transfer, most of which is a scam.

Talk to family members and friends

It’s extremely important to discuss any questionable activity with friends, family and co-workers to see if it is a warning sign and if they have received similar emails.

Beware of individuals representing themselves as representatives from reputable businesses, such as banks, credit card companies, etc.

Protect your computer

Be careful what you download to your computer. Hackers use malicious software to penetrate your system, steal data or to steal your identity. So before you click on any links, it is best to make sure they are secure and that they are safe to open.

Don’t talk to strangers

If someone tries to contact you by phone and says they work for your bank or any business or they require personal information, be skeptical. Better safe than sorry. Just hang up.