Tips and Tricks

How to avoid falling victim to ‘Nigerian princes’ in distress

By now, with technology completely dominating our lives, we’ve all probably received at least one email from a fake Nigerian prince in desperate need of help and willing to reward us richly.

Nigerian email fraudsters don’t stop with uncharming princes, though. They also hack genuine email accounts to impersonate the user and send mass mailing to the contact list asking for financial help. Romance fraud, meanwhile, is one of the most successful schemes to date, due to the high number of victims that easily fall for it.

Nigeria is one of the top African countries involved in email scams and nurtures many cybersecurity criminals. The number is increasing due to unemployment and the challenge faced by law enforcement in bringing down organized crime units across the country.

Nigerian cybercriminals are masters of social engineering scams so they will go out of their way to persuade users to give away private information like bank name and account number. Many users fall for this type of scam, which has also been used to impersonate the IRS, universities reaching out to students for grants, banks, insurance companies, and the list goes on.

There is no such thing as a Nigerian prince asking you for help or a government official desperate to flee the country. This type of email should go straight into your spam folder.

If you ever receive suspicious emails from a sender in Nigeria, never reply and either report the email as spam and delete it or, if you want to be a good citizen, reach out to law enforcement agencies in your area. Remain vigilant and suspicious of any email asking you for bank information or other personal data that could be used for fraud and identity theft.

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.

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