Spokane Police Warn of Nigeria Letter Scam Email Fraud - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Police Warn of Nigeria Letter Scam Email Fraud

SPOKANE, Wash.- It's a fraud that's been around for at least ten years, but for some reason the Spokane Police Department says it's starting to resurface—especially in Spokane. Spokane Police say they're starting to see more and more instances of the internet email fraud known as the "Nigerian Letter Scam".

Believe it or not, this scam is one of Nigeria's biggest money-makers, bringing in five billion dollars over the last ten years. Police say they've received numerous complaints from citizens regarding the scheme and say that's a good thing and a bad thing.

It's good because police say they want to know when scams are happening. But it's bad because the Nigerian Letter Scam can be difficult to spot.

The department says that anyone who receives an email asking for money or information should always check into the sender. Even though you may know the sender the scammer could have hacked into your friend or family member's email account.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Always contact the sender personally
  • Never send personal information over email to anyone
  • Always be cautious when any stranger offers you large sums of money for your help

Here's an example of one of those letters, sent into the Spokane Police Department:

Hi, How are you doing? I hope you are doing fine, I'm sorry that I didn't inform you about my traveling to Nigeria for a seminar.  I need a favor from you as soon as you receive this email because I misplaced my wallet on my way back to the hotel where my money and credit card and other valuables are.  I would like you to assist me with a loan urgently.  I will need the sum of $3000 to sort out my hotel bills and get myself back home.  I will appreciate whatever you can afford to help me with, I will pay you back as soon as I return.  I'm counting on you on this, kindly let me know if you can be of help so I can send you  my information where to send the money to me through Western Union.  I have spoken to the Embassy here but they are not responding to the issue.  Effectively, I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me, I will refund the money back to you as soon as I return.  Let me know if you can be of any help.  I don't have a phone where I can be reached.  I look forward to hearing from you later today

If you feel you've received one of these emails, contact the Spokane Police Department.  

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