Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, and it is also well-known as one of the top origins of cyber crime across the world, using internet email scams like phishing and social media scams to commit crimes not only Nigeria, but internationally as well.
Today, we’ll look into the top 7 online crimes in Nigeria as well as examine how these issues are here at home. Here in Las Vegas, online crimes may be prosecuted differently than it would be in Nigeria, but the consequences are nonetheless very serious especially considering that certain types of online crimes are federal offenses.
Phishing is by far the most common type of cyber crime, both in the States as well as in Nigeria. Often phishing consists of the scammer imitating a banking representative asking the user to confirm their banking information, then stealing said information.
Nigerian Prince Email Scams
The Nigerian Prince Email scam is well-known to most users who check their spam folders. The scammer will compose an email informing the user that they’ve been awarded a large sum of money via a will (often credited to a Nigerian prince) of a previously-unknown family member. Then the scammer will ask for access to banking information, which from there leads to hacking.
419 or Nigerian Letter Scams
Another type of common email and instant message scams are 419 or Nigerian Letter scams. These typically look like they come from a government official of Nigeria and offer an “opportunity” to share in a million-dollar dealing, if the user will just send their banking information.
Charity scams are perpetrated around the world, with someone posing as a person in need and raising money for an entirely fake cause. They then take the money and run, leaving their supporters in the dust.
Online Stalking/Harassment Scams
One of the most terrifying types of online scams are online stalking and harassment scams, whereby a hacker will blackmail or intentionally harass a user, often under a pseudonym that doesn’t reveal their true identity.
Cybertheft and bank fraud are types online crime performed in Nigeria that can also have their origin in several other countries as well. Once a hacker has gained access to credit card or other secure banking information, they will use this to take out small sums of money at a time, so as to avoid detection, which will equal a large amount over time.
One newer cybercrime that can have its origin in Nigeria is social media hijacking, whereby a hacker will gain access to someone’s social media login information and blackmail them into giving up a sum of money in exchange for their accounts back.
Online Scams in Nevada
The FBI has recently been very involved in catching and preventing online crimes that occur internationally, as 80 cyber criminals were arrested and indicted last year. In Nevada, cyber crimes are treated very seriously, and perpetrating any of the internet scams listed above can have long-ranging consequences.
If you have been accused of an online fraud or other internet crimes, contact a criminal defense attorney you can trust in order to avoid a felony charge or serious consequences on your future career prospects.