Internet fraud, scams, ripoffs, identity theft

Nigeria and other African/European/Asian country email fraud continues in 2020. Fake, rip off, scam, misleading or genuine 'legit' business opportunities how do you tell them apart? With thorough research and due diligence!

Sadly, those who aren't aware of the many types of scam (and scum) floating around in cyberspace are not likely to find pages like this; some have become victims first. Hopefully, you're not one of them!

Update for

The oldest and worst scam that still catches people, especially those relatively new to the internet and email, is the now infamous Nigerian 411 and 419 fraud letter, email with attachment still arriving every day in 2018.

The ingenuity is sometimes amazing. There are so many variations of the same basic scam which has been around for at least 30 years: the promise of a lot of money several million dollars that is 'secured' somewhere and needs YOU to release it and then keep most of it for yourself. You only need to divulge your personal and banking details, plus pay a relatively small amount in expenses up front.

That is the scam, because there are no millions to begin with. The whole thing is fraud driven by greed. Its official name is advance fee fraud. The small amount often gets larger, but anything paid out in advance is lost.

Dead giveaways that an email is a scam:

There have been recent innovations to the format including some that acknowledge these scams and fraud exist and that people have been taken advantage of, but now there's compensation available to them (or YOU, even though the letter is not addressed to you by name) and it's several million dollars! That's an awfully big fund that the Nigerian or other African government suddenly has access to isn't it?

A reasonably intelligent person should be able to recognise this type of scam letter and delete it immediately; unfortunately some still respond. Read the following and then reply if you wish (or are so gullible) to the good Nigerian 'judge' at his Yahoo Hong Kong address:

ICPC NIGERIA (Anti-Fraud Unit)
MOTTO: We Fight Against Fraud, Funds Delay and Impersonation.
Head Office: Plot 802, Constitution Avenue
Zone A9 Central Area
P. M.B 535, Garki Abuja.

*****24HRS SERVICE *****

Dear Sir/Madam,


We hereby inform you that out of our records for the year investigation it is drawn to us that you have been victimized by the men of underworld(Pretenders/impostors). However,the management has been dutifully empowered by the Investigation bureau office of the President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nigeria to curb all illicit transaction and workload of this perpetrators.

In line with the Anti-corruption crusade of the Presidency, President Goodluck Jonathan (GCFR)you are by this Email notification to stop any contact regarding this illegal transaction with this Hoodlums.Out of our findings, the image of this country has been dented Internationally during the past administration of the Federal Government of Nigeria.Presently,we have employed a strategy to remit sanity,and vow to terminate the activity of this fraudsters,by consolidating our security Network all over the country in view to monitor all outgoing and incoming communication to enable us fish out and avert all illegal and suspicious transaction both domestically and internationally respectively. Moreover,it occur that some of our Financial Institutions(Bank) serve as a condit pipe by which this fraudsters use to perpetrate the undo crime.We have signal all these financial institutions to implement scrutinized investigation before carrying any transaction.Any bank found culpable of breaching the law,must have their operational license revoke.

In accordance with the criminal and other related offense act 25 of 1999 constitution, we have been officially compel by Senator. A. Aminu(JP), Chairman, Senate committee on Foreign Affair to mapped out billions of Dollars from the Annual Budget to compensate all defrauded victims as part of the ongoing National Reform Scheme of the presidency and means to radiate immunity for criticism.

In view of this,we have been informed that you are still dealing with those hoodlums in all your attempts to secure the release of your fund.We wish to advise you that such an illegal act has to stop if you wish to receive your payment since we have decided to bring a solution to your problem. Do be informed that we reserve the right at our discretion to sue you for damage on recognition of further contact with this people.

By the strength of this development the sum of US$5.Million United States Dollars (USD$5,000,000.00) has been SIGNED to each beneficiaries to be paid . This Memorandum is to notify you that you will be settled with the sum of US$5.Million United States Dollars (USD$5,000,000.00)/ your Inheritance /contract or lotto payment.

Kindly send the above information :

1. Your full name:
2. Your residential address:
3. Mobile and fax number (for regular official contact).

These above-mentioned informations will officially enable us to carry out our verification processes and after that your compensation sum/Inheritance Funds will be approved in your name and Electronically wired into your designated Bank account or by ATM Card delivery to your doorstep., depending on which mode of payment you prefer.

You are to contact this office upon receipt of this notification immediately to proceed for payment.

To fight corruption to a standstill and restore Nigeria to the enviable standard of respectability and dignity of the nations.

Please do respond back to us with this email. (

Best Regard,

Hon. Justice Ayoola
Chairman ICPC Nigeria.
(Independent Corrupt Practice Commission,ICPC)

Powered by Information Communication Technology Dept., (C) 2012 ICPC Nigeria, registered trademark.S

* Also dangerous is an email that appears to be intended for someone else, but 'by a stroke of luck' has ended up in your mailbox. It relates to a payment for previous services, a lottery win or other money-related transaction. THESE ARE ALWAYS FAKE. NEVER RESPOND TO THEM. If you do you are willingly being led into a trap because you WANT to believe that the email is genuine. That means you are a greedy, clever opportunist, willing to take advantage of a case of 'mistaken identity', putting you on the same ethical or moral level as the scammer!

** Ridiculously transparent, this 2015 version deserves special mention:

How are you today?

I am Mrs. Michelle Obama and I am written to inform you about your Bank Cheque Draft brought by the United Embassy from the government of Benin Republic in the white house Washington DC which contains the sum of $20.000.000 millions us dollars credited from the bank of America, the delivery of your funds has been mandated to be deliver to your address on Friday being 17th of April 2015 to you as soon as you get back to me with your home address and your cell phone number.

Bear in mind that I have taking my time to be in charge of your funds as instructed by my husband to ensure that you received your funds successfully from the white house to reduce the economy and Im the only one that has your funds in regard to my husband Mr. Barack Hussein Obama II and you will have to pay the sum of $130.00 only before your Bank Cheque Draft will deliver to you on Friday, the reason why the fee is required is to have your funds clearance  paper from the origin of the funds to avoid any harassment from the authority and you are also expecting to be announce as winner of the said amount by Friday as soon as your fund is delivered to you.

So you are urgent advised to get back to me with your home address and also the payment information today for immediate effect of your delivery. Note that the $130 is the only fee and final payment you have my assurance.


Mrs. Michelle Obama

The White House
(Official Residence of the President of the US)
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20500 USA

Internet Marketing Scams

A lot of scamming is blamed on internet marketing itself (more below). In its defence, though, a lot of what goes on is labelled 'scam' or 'fraud' when this isn't always totally true. Often a business or activity is quite legal and legitimate but the heavy marketing tactics are excessive. Caveat emptor ('buyer beware' in Latin). Those who believe promises of instant wealth or income with little or no effort or cost are naive, and those whose greed transcends their good sense often deserve to lose money.

"The best things in life are free." If only that were true today! Free information is often useful, but it's rarely the best. Few businesses give all their 'shocking details and secrets' away when they can sell them (or something else) to make even more money. You may well get valuable advice, but it may be part of a pre-sell or softening up strategy. It's important to do your homework first. Do independent research on the product or service on offer, visiting forums and member sites. Join them if necessary to get proper feedback.

Affiliate Marketing is promoting and selling on commission the products or services of others. An affiliate program manages the logistics of supply and payment automatically. There are scam affiliate programs, too, where affiliates don't receive their commissions, so one needs to be wary. Many of the products that are sold in this way are books and tools relating to Internet Marketing itself. Claims of instant success, huge checks or 'overnight wealth' are misleading, and there are certainly scams among them. Effort, knowledge, understanding, experience, perseverance and honesty are all necessary for success in any business, and Internet marketing is certainly no exception. Look for products that receive positive feedback from users, but also beware of scam review sites that are just trying to sell them.

Anyone who starts a new business (internet or offline) should realise that there is a learning curve, and that there will be many stops and delays along the road to success. The idea is to get the best information and that which is suitable for you. There are many different ways of selling products over the internet, but there is a basic set of rules that has to be followed. Most books and courses mention these, with varying emphasis on major points. There are few if any real 'secrets' left in the internet business. Learning the basics well is the key.

Identity Theft over the Internet, Password Protection, Backup

This unfortunately is scam and fraud at its worst and is an ever-increasing problem. There are many ways of obtaining personal information under false pretences. Banks, loan, credit and finance companies, PayPal and eBay and other organisations that already have your details on file do not request personal updates by sending out emails. They ask you to log in to your account. If you receive this sort of email message, be very wary, and much more importantly DO NOT RESPOND. Visit the website the same way you usually do. Never follow instructions to click on a link; you may think you are being taken to the correct site, but it will be a fake.

NEVER FILL IN A 'FORM' asking for address and (especially) bank details. New scam attempts include employment or job offers as agent or cashier for legitimate companies not involved in a scam being falsely represented.

WEBSITE/DOMAIN NAME OWNERS: Renew your domain(s) only through the domain registration agency you originally signed up with and where you will be asked to log into your user account. Be extremely careful about responding to an email request to renew one of your registered domain names if it comes from a previously unknown third party such as ISP Renewal Reminder which is a scam. They ask for a payment of $79.95 and your credit card details. IGNORE AND MARK AS SPAM.

ADD PRIVACY TO YOUR DOMAINS. When you register a domain name, unless you opt for 'Privacy' (usually a few dollars extra per year), your contact details are made public and available to anyone who does a 'whois' domain name query. Scammers too can see the owner's name and email and also the domain expiry date. To add Privacy, log in to your account and find the domain management options. Then only the host name or proxy details are published not your personal information. It's money well spent. Also check that your domains are Locked (only you can sell or transfer the name). This is free.

PROTECT YOUR WEBSITE LOGINS AND PASSWORDS Logins and passwords to sites are a huge potential security risk. If you are a member of many sites or have affiliate accounts, you probably use the same password for them all. It's a known fact that most users cannot remember multiple passwords and therefore use the same one for everything. This is highly risky as once your login and password has been found by a clever hacker, it could even be used to gain access to your bank or credit card accounts.

AVOID DATA LOSS; BACK UP REGULARLY TO AN EXTERNAL PORTABLE DEVICE. Whether your computer has been lost or stolen, or has suffered hardware or software failure, you run the risk of losing valuable programs, data and sometimes irreplaceable files. Don't wait until it happens. Visit to find out more regarding replica watches. Get extra money by joining our team delivering packages for our clients in Mexico City There are numerous ways to back up information to other media.



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 Last updated:
July 2020