Nigerian and Other Scams - What To Do If You Receive
a Scam Email
Back to the "How to
Recognize a AFF/Nigerian Scam" page
The Bottom Line: What to Know and Do In Response to an AFF (Advance Fee
If you receive an offer via email from someone claiming to need your help
getting money out of Nigeria (or any other country, for that matter):
- If you don't see it on the
CFR website, forward a copy of the email to CFR at
to the Federal Trade Commission at
below for FTC online complaint forms.
- don't respond to the emails
- don't EVER pay any money or fees
- don't reveal your full identity
- don't reveal any financial or personal information, such as your bank account number,
social security number, driver's license number, passport number or credit card details
- don't ever travel to meet them
U.S. Federal law enforcement authorities are
intercepting and destroying millions of foreign Nigerian money scam mailings sent or
delivered by the truckload into the U.S. And consumers, lured by prospects of
instant wealth, are responding to the solicitations that do get through-to the
tune of $120 million a year, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has these words of caution for consumers who are thinking about
responding to an emailed money scam:
- If you agree to launder money (that's what it is called when you take
money that isn't yours and put it in your bank account) - you're violating U.S. federal law, so don't expect any
help from the government. You might be able to meet John Gotti in
- If you reply to the email, expect to receive MANY more bogus offers as
well as be hounded by the perpetrators. If you meet them, expect to be
robbed, tortured and possibly, killed. At the very least, your name will be placed on "sucker lists" that fraudulent telemarketers buy
- Keep your credit card and bank account numbers to
yourself. Scam artists often ask for them during an unsolicited sales pitch.
What else to do
The bottom line, according to the FTC: Ignore all mail and
phone solicitations for money schemes.
To report telemarketing fraud of any kind,
state Attorney General.
Unsolicited email offers, like other commercial e-mail solicitations,
must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, effective January 1, 2004. This federal law
mandates, among other things, that subject lines be honest and consumers can
easily opt-out of receiving additional e-mails. (For
information on CAN-SPAM)
IMPORTANT: Which FTC Complaint Form to Use?
Click here to file a
complaint about a lottery scam
See sample scam
If you want to file a complaint about a violation of
National Do Not Call Registry or register your telephone number on the
If you want to file a report about Identity Theft, please
use the FTC's
Identity Theft Complaint Form.
If you have a specific complaint about unsolicited commercial e-mail
(spam), use the form below. You can forward spam directly to the Commission at
SPAM@UCE.GOV without using the complaint form.
If you want to file a complaint about an online
transaction that involves a foreign company, please
click here to use the econsumer.gov complaint form.
Below is a list of many known lottery scams. Many
originate in London, but they may use any address. Similarly, they
change their names frequently. Recognize a scam not merely by it's
name and location, but simply by the practice described above. And
If it sounds too good to be true: IT IS!!!!
And for additional useful government websites:
Names of Scam / Fake / Fraud Lottery
Click here for the huge list of the names of the currently identified lottery
How to Report a Scam
Finally, for a complete list of government
agencies to which you can report scams, see this page!