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Christopher Dahm: Scams Originating in Nigeria Could Cost You Money

September 8, 2011

You open your email inbox and you see a message saying: “Congratulations! You’ve won $1 million in the Nigerian lottery! Just fill out this form to claim your prize, and the money will be deposited directly into your account.” The email comes on a weekend, so you can’t contact your bank if there’s a problem. While you might hear a little voice in the back of your head sounding a warning alarm, you fill out the form anyway. It couldn’t hurt, right? Wrong, says Christopher Dahm. Scams only work when you ignore that small voice of reason.

These Nigerian scams are incredibly common, and they’ve been around for years. They take many forms. Sometimes you’ve won the lottery. Sometimes you have an inheritance. Sometimes you just need to help someone else get an inheritance, and then you’ll get a fee for helping. Even though these are notorious scams, Christopher Dahm says, they’re still being sent to email inboxes across the world because someone out there is still filling out the information. It costs almost nothing to send a large email message to millions of people. If only one person takes the bait and fills out the information, the scammer has made money and will probably try again.

According to Christopher Dahm, scams like this will stop for good when people remember the old adage: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. How likely is it that you’ve won the lottery when you’ve never been to Nigeria? How likely is it that one person in Nigeria can only rely on you, when the two of you have never even met before? By staying suspicious, you could avoid a lot of heartache down the road as you won’t take the bait and give out information you really should be keeping private.

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From → Lottery

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