Nigerian Prince Jailed? It Still Won't Stop The Scam
By: Jim Stickley and Tina Davis
February 5, 2018
Remember the Nigerian Prince who really needs your help because there is turmoil in his country? You may have received a pleading email from him. If you don’t remember, that’s OK. We’ll do a recap in a little bit. If you do, then you might be interested to know…and this is a spoiler alert…that Nigerian prince does not actually live in Nigeria. In fact, he might even live in your own back yard.
A little refresher on the Nigerian Prince and his scam may be in order. It really is no joke. Many people have fallen for it and it’s still going strong in its original form as well as revised ones relevant to the times. These are sometimes called 419 scams after the Nigerian Criminal Code for this type of scam. It’s also in the category of advance fee lottery scams. In this case, someone representing him or herself as an official or “prince” of Nigeria contacts targets and offers them a share of large sums of money if they will just place some initial opening funds (an advance fee) into their overseas bank accounts or share your bank account information with them. They may go into great detail about a sob story of turmoil in their country and needing to quickly get the money out before the bad guys take it. With your help, they can get all the money out and you can get a share of it.
Ok, so you remember it now? Well, recently the Nigerian Prince was found not in Nigeria or even on the African continent, but in Louisiana! Yes, right here in the good ol’ US of A.
Let’s get to the point. You should never wire money for someone in advance for a promise of funds in the future. This applies not only to the “Nigerian Prince” scam, but also to those phone calls you may receive where the caller offers you a free trip somewhere or a larger sum of money for a small “administrative fee” up front. While some may be legitimate, many of these are scams. If you want to participate, make sure to do a lot of research before handing over money. It’s not recommended that you ever give your payment card information to anyone who contacts you unsolicited, whether it’s by email, text, or telephone. Never give login credentials to any accounts to anyone, whether they call you or not. Those are for your information only.
The Louisiana man who was the middleman in an elaborate scam that indeed sent money to Nigerian bank accounts, allegedly conned people out of thousands of dollars. He was arrested after eighteen months of investigation. He faces 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering.
But don’t get too excited about this scam going away. This one was successful so it’s likely this type of scam will continue. Unfortunately, those people he stole that money from will likely never see those funds again. If you fall for one, you likely won’t see yours again either. If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, file a complaint with local authorities and with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).