Money Scams: How to Spot and Avoid Them

With the advent of technology, fraudulent activities are now at an all-time high, and it is important for the average person to know how to avoid them.

Scammers do not only rob you of your money, but they might also have access to personal information that can be used to harm you and your loved ones, or even implicate you. As such, it is important to learn tips that can help you to avoid them.

Indeed, scams are sometimes difficult to recognize, but there are some things you can look out for. This article addresses the common types of scams, and signs you can use to tell that an opportunity may be a scam.


  1. ADVANCED FEE / PREPAYMENT SCAM: Here, you might be asked to pay upfront fees for services which will not be provided. A common method used by these scammers is the demand for disclosure of important bank information (for Nigerians, your Bank Verification Number [BVN] or your National Identity Number [NIN]) and debit/credit card details.

  2. CHARITY SCAM: Here, the scammer contacts by email, text messages, social media messages, or phone call asking for a donation to be sent by transfer for an important charitable cause such as to help victims of a current natural disaster, for orphanages or motherless babies’ home, etc.

  3. EMERGENCY SCAM: The scammer leads the victim to believe that their loved one is in urgent need of their assistance and demands them to send money through a bank transfer or any other alternative means.

  4. EMPLOYMENT SCAM: You might be contacted and informed that you have gained employment or have crossed an important stage in the recruitment process. In this case, you may be contacted whether or not you have applied for the job. The scammer may request money for fake job-related expenses, or as a fee required for going through to the next stage in recruitment.

  5. INVESTMENT SCAM: scammers have invented many fake money-making opportunities that people are bound to fall for. You may be contacted to make payment of some amount and receive a high return on investment in a short while, or if you have completed some tasks.


  • Scammers contact you OUT OF THE BLUE with unusual CONTACT DETAILS.

  • Scammers ask you to make payment UPFRONT or in ADVANCE

  • Scammers ask you to reveal your PERSONAL OR FINANCIAL INFORMATION

  • Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately

  • Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way

  • Scammers tell you the transaction is CONFIDENTIAL and urge you to inform no one

  • Scammers may request PAYMENT AFTER PAYMENT, promising you that each is the last.

  • Scammers offer UNREALISTIC or TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE benefits

If you are in Nigeria, and you are ever scammed, immediately report the case to the nearest police station, visit the Nigerian Police Force’s Website to lodge your report -, or send an email at In addition, you should also report the case to your respective banks. You can find the online contact details (phone number and email) of each Nigerian Bank here - You can also contact the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) here - or

Thank you for reading this piece! We hope it helps you.

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