BBB Warns of Nigerian Texts Scam
Released: Wednesday June 13, 2012 (Calgary, Alberta) - BBB
Everyone dreams of being a millionaire someday. And, with the help of scam artists in Nigeria or other foreign countries you may receive a text saying that you are.
They claim all you have to do is wire funds or provide personal information. But, this is another case of if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
These scams have been around for decades and used to be called "Nigerian Letters" because they often originated from Nigeria and came in the mail or by fax, but now because of the explosion of technology, they're hitting cell phones and e-mail inboxes.
"Don't be fooled, these promises to make you rich are never true," said Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenays. "The purpose of this scam is to drain your bank account, not fill it up."
This is how it works; you get an e-mail or other contact from an alleged government official needing your help getting money out of his or her country. You're instructed to send money and in return you'll receive a large amount of money or gifts. They may even want you to travel overseas to complete the transaction. Unfortunately, some victims are robbed or even killed when they get to their destination.
Your BBB suggests a few tips to keep you safe:
* Never provide personal information, like bank account or Social Insurance Numbers to strangers.
* Avoid questionable communications, just delete and don't click on any links, throw them away or forward them to your local police.
* Always be cautious if a stranger sends you a check and wants you to deposit it. Never wire money back in any circumstance.
* Don't agree to travel to meet anyone.
* If you do send money, you'll never get it back. These types of scams are hard to track because they originate beyond Canadian borders.
* If you get suspicious offers, check them out by visiting http://www.calgary.bbb.org or calling 403- 531- 8784.