Stay Away from Money Laundering Scams

Recently there was a sms from an unknown cancer patient who wanted to transfer her funds to help poor people in our country. Who would not love to accept the fund and help the needy? But do you think it is wise decision to accept money from a stranger and help the needy? To know more about the possibilities you need to read this.

Apart from sms, there can be similar emails also which convey somewhat similar message. Are you the person, who got an email from an unknown person about money transferring?

An individual receives an email from a spammer who makes use of eye grabbing subject such as “Your assistance is required”. The spammer states in the email that the recipient

would be offered a large amount of money with one of the reasons given below:

  • Sender introduces himself as a John Doe, a wealthy merchant and is seriously ill. John seeks assistance in distributing his wealth to charity, as he has no relatives.
  • Sender portrays himself as a bank manager, whose customer was late Bob. Since Bob and his wife are no more, the bank manager initially decided to handover the savings account money left by Bob to his relatives, who were reluctant. As a result the bank manager suggested the recipient to be the next kin of the deceased and claim the money.
  • The Spammer claims to be from a genuine lottery organization, who informs the recipient that he has won a large sum of money in a lottery through a computer ballot system.

In order to receive the money, one needs to furnish his confidential details such as name, phone number, bank account number along with a certain amount of fees, which is to be paid. Fees are nothing but processing costs, taxes and other legalities that would be completed by the spammer. Spammer also mentions to recipient that Western Union or MoneyGram as the payment mode for fees.

Do you think after following Spammer’s instructions, the recipient will get the money, which he was assured before? The answer is ‘No’ and he has become a victim of Nigerian 419 Scam.

What is Nigerian 419 Scam?

It is a money transfer scam, which started from Nigeria. The scam is no longer limited to Nigeria, as it has been reported from various parts of the world .The number ‘419’ in the name was derived from the Nigeria Criminal Code, which outlaws the practice.

The attackers use Western Union or MoneyGram because it is fast. International money transfers cannot be cancelled or reversed. And most importantly, the scammer can easily forge his identity and collect the money.

Do you think, the spammer will continue to extort the money from the victim, even   after he pays him the required fees? The answer is ‘Yes’, as the Scammer will continue to ask more money with justifiable reasons to the recipient such as telling him about the amount will be required for import tax, bribing the custom officials .By the time the victim realizes the scam, his account has been drained out.

There are many scams which are quite similar to Nigerian 419 Scam such as Employment Scam, Social Networking Scam to name a few.

Employment Scam

This is intended to target people, who have registered in job searching sites along with their resume. The scammer offers the job seeker a job offer with a lucrative salary along with an Offer Letter, written in a company’s letterhead. The letterhead may belong to an illegitimate company or a legitimate company. The job seeker is asked to deposit a certain amount in the account number provided to him in his email address. After the victim deposits the money, the scammer is nowhere to be seen.

Social Networking Scam

The Scammers also use popular social Networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook for money transferring.


How can a user identify such scams?

  • Getting an opportunity to help an unidentified person from a different country, that which involves transfer of money.
  • Asking you to furnish your confidential information such as Name, bank account number.
  • The spammer has a quite long story to tell.
  • Checking the spammer’s email address, URL if provided.
  • The amount mentioned to the recipient by the spammer is quite enormous.
  • The English used by the spammer is awkward.

To avoid being a victim of such scams, users should follow the below steps:

  • Delete suspicious emails, without having any second thoughts.
  • Never provide confidential information such as name, phone number, bank account number over the phone or through email to an unknown person.
  • In the case of the employment scam, user should report the scam details to the legitimate company.
  • In case of social networking scam, user should never accept strangers’ proposals without a proper background check.
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2 Responses to Stay Away from Money Laundering Scams

  1. agcredel says:

    Since Bob and his wife are no more, the bank manager initially decided to handover the savings account money left by Bob to his relatives, who were reluctant. Where did you get this information?

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    • Govind Rao says:

      This is just a hypothetical situation to explain the scam.Thanks

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