Next of Kin Scam
(Inheritance Scam, Will Scam) - A common type of scam, wherein the victim is asked to stand in as (or pretend to be) a relative of a rich dead person who has left millions in unclaimed funds. At some point the scammer will request that the victim help pay for bogus expenses. Such as lawyer fees, shipping costs, export taxes, etc...
(John Uwalaka, John Marshall, Verden Richard)
Check Cashing Scam (Work-at-Home Scam) - The victim is conned into cashing or depositing fake checks or money orders. Often the scammer will offer the victim a "work-at-home" opportunity that involves cashing checks for the scammer's fictional company in exchange for a commission. "Cash the $5,000 check. Then send 90% ($4,500) to us. You can then keep 10% ($500) for yourself." The victim will deposit the check into their bank account. Many times the bank
accepts the check not knowing that it is a fake. The victim then sends the $4,500 to the scammers via money transfer. Days or even weeks later the bank discovers the fake check and the victim is legally responsible for paying the money back.
(John Donald, Micheal Willson, Nelson Jabs)
Romance Scam (love scam, sweetheart scam, dating scam) - Victims are usually approached by the scammers on a online dating service, in a chat room or an instant messenger service (like Yahoo IM). The scammers then pretend romantic intentions, gain the affection of victims, and ultimately use that goodwill to exploit them in various ways. Sometimes the scammer will request money for a airplane ticket so they can come visit the victim. Other times there is an emergency of some kind that the scammer requires a money transfer for.
(Sweet Candy, Zombie Rescue Squad)
Gold Scam - Scammer pretends to sell gold at an unusually low price. Victims are often asked to meet with the scammer in his country where they are robbed or kidnapped.
(Mohammad Mommoh, Frank Owusu)
Lottery Scam - The victim is sent an unexpected email notification that he has won a large sum of money in a lottery. After the victim contacts the claims agent to collect his winnings, the victim will be asked to pay "processing fees" or "transfer charges" before the winnings can be sent to him.
Rich Person in Need Scam - The scammer pretends to be a wealthy person who, for any of various reasons, has become separated from his wealth and needs the victim's help to get it back. For example "My rich diamond merchant father was murdered and I was driven from my home by rebel soldiers. I am now a refugee in Nigeria and I need someone, 25 years of age or older, to stand as my guardian and recover my family fortune for me."
(Mr 101, Marian Kalabi, Sankoh Brown, David Kuffi, Kevin Danne, Rosemary Mamokowa, Anna Kouakou)
Rich Investor Scam (Investment Scam, Rich Person Looking To Invest Scam) - The scammer poses as a wealthy person looking for investment opportunities in the victim's country. "I have 10 Million USD. If you help me invest it - I'll pay you 40%."
(Ebuka Lolo, Bille Garang)
Rich Philanthropist Scam - The scammer is a rich person who wants to help poor people and needs the victim's help to transport the money.
(Kwame Adogboba, Anderson Tubman)
Consolation Gift Scam - This scam targets people who the scammers believe ALMOST fell for a previous scam. "Thank you for attempting to help me recover my fortune last month. Since then I found someone else who was able to pay the $2,000 demurrage fee and I paid them the $4,000,000 reward. I wanted, however, to thank you for your attempt - so I have set aside $100,000 as your reward. Just contact my lawyer at... etc..."
Loan Scam - The scammer poses as a banker who is willing to loan the victim a large sum of money. Sometimes a relatively small up front fee of some kind is required. Other times the banker sends a fake check that is much higher then the agreed upon loan amount and the banker requests that the surplus be sent back to him or paid to other clients.
Charity Scam - The scammer poses as a charitable organization seeking donations. Some times the scammer pretends to be terminally ill (or some other down-on-their-luck person) who needs emergency funds.
Recovery Scam - This variant targets former victims of scams. The scammer contacts the victim saying that their organization can track and apprehend the scammer and recover the money lost by the victim, for a price. Alternatively, the scammer may say that a fund has been set up by the Nigerian government to compensate victims of 419 fraud, and all that is required is a processing and handling fee. Such scammers will very often pose as Nigerian EFCC agents.
ATM Card Scam - Usually used in conjunction with other scams where the victim is promised a large sum of money. The scammer offers the victim an ATM card that he claims can withdraw millions of dollars at any location that accepts ATM cards. However, the victim must pay a comparatively small fee to receive the card. If the card ever is received, it will not work and a replacement card will be offered - for another small fee.
Embezzlement Scam - The scammer claims that he needs the victim's help to embezzle millions from his government, bank, company, etc...
Equity Line of Credit Account Scam - The scammer specifically attempts to acquire detailed information about the victim's equity line of credit account. Once the scammer has enough information, he can create bogus documentation and then apply for a home equity loan in the victim's name.
Reload Scam - The Scammer approaches a victim who has already been scammed and offers him another type of 419 deal to enable the victim to recoup his losses. Some times the scammer merely salvages the original scam with claims that he can bring the previous deal to fruition if the victim pays additional fees.
Employment Scam (job scam) - Scammers pose as recruiters or employers offering attractive employment opportunities which require the job seeker to pay them money in advance, usually under the guise of work visas, travel expenses, etc...
Wash-wash Scam (Black Currency Scam, Black Bills Scam, Black Money Scam) - A scheme that involves a trunk of blackened or defaced "currency". Victim must pay for a special chemical or machine that will restore it.
Escrow Scams - A scheme Involving a fake escrow account. The scammer convinces the victim to place his money (or other assets) into a fake escrow (holding account) that is controlled by someone pretending to be a neutral third party. The idea is that the money stays in escrow until the terms or conditions of the bogus transaction have been met. Scammers set up fake escrow sites as part of their scam. These scammers infest sites such as eBay, Craiglist, and automotive auction websites.
Overpayment Scam (Auction Scam) - Scammer will pay for a listed item on eBay, Craigslist or other classified ad site with a fake check or money order that is far larger than the agreed-upon price of the item. The scammer tells the seller to deduct any packing or shipping costs incurred, then refund him the remainder using a wire transfer service. Often times the victim sends the remainder only to discover later that the check or money order was a fake.
Cancellation Scam - Similar to the Overpayment Scam. The scammer will pay for a listed item on eBay, Craigslist or other classified ad site with a fake check. After the victim receives and deposits the fraudulent check, the scammer cancels the transaction and demands their money back immediately. The victim then refunds the entire balance of the check by wire transfer. Only later is the deposited check discovered to be a fake.
Seller Scam - The scammer advertises an expensive item by email or lists it on eBay, Craigslist or other classified ad site and requests payment with money transfer in advance.
Hitman Scam (Extortion Scam) - An email is sent to the victim, supposedly from a hitman who has been hired by an "undisclosed party" to kill him. The hitman will call off the hit in exchange for a large sum of money.
Voodoo Scam - An email is sent to the victim, supposedly from a witch Doctor, who will place a voodoo curse on the victim if he does not pay him money.
Property Scam (Real Estate Scam) - When scammers sell holiday and retirement villas, often in Eastern Europe, at very reasonable prices. The sellers usually require an advance payment of some sort.
Football / Soccer Lad Scam - Scammers pose as promising athletes. Some scammers are after a letter of invitation only while others will ask for money to buy visas and plane tickets.
War Booty Scam - The scammer poses as a soldier who has stumbled across a large amount of gold, money, diamonds or similar spoils of war and will pay the victim a percentage if he helps the scammer smuggle the booty out of the country. Naturally, the victim is required to send a few thousand dollars, via western union, to pay for shipping costs.
Phishing Scam - The victim is sent a bogus email that appears to be from a bank or a popular website like Ebay or PayPal. The victim is told that his account needs to be updated or that a security breach requires his immediate attention. There is usually a link to click that sends the victim to a fake log-in page that looks very similar to the real log-in page of the real website. The victim attempts to login on the fake page and unwittingly gives his ID and password information to the scammers.
Email Password Scam - A type of phishing scam where the scammer attempts to collect your email's username and password by claiming to be a member of the email's hosting company (hotmail, gmail, etc...). Frequently the email is titled something urgent such as "Verify your email account to avoid it being closed!" If the scammer acquires this information they use it to hijack your account and use it to send a fake plea for help to everyone in your address book. (See below)
Friend's Hijacked Email Scam - A friend's email account is hijacked by a scammer (See Above). The scammer then poses as your friend and asks you to send money to him in a foreign country. "I was traveling in Nigeria and was robbed! Please send me $2,000 via Western Union so I can get a plane ticket home!" Of course, if you get such an email, it costs you nothing to just call your friend and verify the authenticity of the story.