Vacation Rental Nigerian Scams

According to the Better Business Bureau the “Nigeria Letter scam” has been around since the early 1990s, getting its start scamming businesses out of millions of dollars. The original targets of the Nigeria scams were churches, small businesses and non-profit organizations, but now the letters – and more recently emails – are being received by normal day-to-day consumers as well.

So what exactly is a Nigerian Scam?

The Better Business Bureau says there are certain things to look for when determining if you are being scammed.

• The letters and emails are usually marked “urgent” or “confidential”
• The sender claims to be a company official or government ministry
• The sender has an official-sounding name such as Chief, Doctor, Prince or Lawyer
• The letter is written on government stationary

While each letter or email contains a slightly different appeal or grab, the “official” who wrote the letter ultimately asks for your help in transferring millions of dollars out of Nigeria. The sender asks the receiver to deposit the money in a U.S. bank account, in exchange, the sender says, the receiver with get to keep a portion of the transferred money.

In order for any of these “money” transfers to happen, the receiver must give the sender their bank account number, the name, address, phone and fax numbers of their bank.

With that information the scammer can take all the money out of the receiver’s bank account and essentially rob them blind.

Nigerian Scams can be especially harmful to Vacation Rental companies that advertise and take reservations over the internet. Beware of any potential renters who want to send you more money than you’re asking for, and then requesting you send back the difference, via check or money order.

For more information on how to spot a Nigerian scam, and what you can do to help rid the world of them, visit:

Nigeria – The 419 Coalition Website

Links to Websites Fighting the Nigerian Scam/419

For a hilarious look at what one man is doing to battle the Nigerians and their letter scams, check out Ebola Monkey Man – he takes conning the con to a whole new level.

The Better Business Bureau, along with the U.S. Secret Service Task force handling Nigerian scams, urges consumers to be observant and diligent in helping to fight this new epidemic. The best thing to do, if you receive a letter or email you believe is suspect, is to not respond.

If you receive a scam letter in the mail, write “No Financial Loss – For Your Database” on it and fax it to the U.S. Secret Service Task Force at (202) 406-6930. All Nigerian Scam emails should be forwarded to the Task Force at 419.fcd@usss.treas.gov.

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Comments

I am getting a lot of nigerian type scams on my yahoo acct lately – usually one a day. What can I do to report these F#$$kers other label it as spam? At least I am not gullible to buy into their load of crap but I bet there are a lot out there that do.

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