One of the longest-running scams across the internet is the Nigerian prince scam or the “419” scam. These online Nigerian princes generally contact victims via email, claiming to be a member of a royal family or a government official. They request assistance transferring millions of dollars out of Nigeria, promising to pay the victim for their aid. The messages come from an anonymous person without any online reputation, labeled as “urgent” and “confidential.”
In the digital age, where everyone from college students to Fortune 500 CEOs need a positive internet reputation, you might assume that the Nigerian prince scam would be distant history. In truth, this scam has grown more complicated to attract today’s victims.
What is a Nigerian Prince Scam?
According to the Better Business Bureau, the United States alone experiences millions of dollars in annual losses to online Nigerian prince scams. These scams range from convincing victims to share personal information to victims being lured to Nigeria and imprisoned.
Requested information often includes the victim’s address, social security number, checking/savings account numbers, and birth date. One or more of the following points are often present in a message from these scammers:
Beneficiary of Will
These emails often claim that the victim is named the beneficiary of a will. The victim is then asked to share personal information to prove they are the beneficiary and expedite the arrival of the inheritance.
Nigerian prince scammers often sent fraudulent cashier checks or money orders to the victim. The scammer’s story will vary, but they generally ask the victim to wire transfer a set amount of the money to another bank account. International checks can take weeks to be identified as fraudulent, which generally leads the victim to transfer the funds – usually, several thousand dollars – before the bank discovers the check is invalid.
Most of the online Nigerian prince scammers will insist on anonymous communication, rendering the victim incapable of looking up the supposed person’s online reputation. Email, SMS, fax, and telecommunications are common methods of communication used to convince the victim that a scammer is a real person.
How Does a Nigerian Prince Scam Affect You Online?
Nigerian prince scams can affect you through online sources that you’d never expect. From dating platforms to job search websites, these scammers will resort to any form of communication to convince victims to reveal their personal information. If you fall victim to one of these scammers, your personal information could be shared across the web, leaving you wide open to identity theft, future attacks, and even professional reputation loss.
Reputation repair can help you fix your internet reputation to protect your name and identity. This involves removing unwanted information sources, pushing down links that cannot be removed and maintaining an active presence across the web to present the image you want people to see when they search for you. This can require dozens of hours of work every month, not counting the time you’ll need to spend educating yourself on online reputation repair methods.
Our team of expert online reputation repair specialists can handle all of this for you, with guaranteed results. Contact us today for a free consultation to protect your identity ASAP.
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