Some additional notes about Nigerian Scams

I made a quick post yesterday about the Your Day radio broadcast / podcast and ran out of time to write a few words about the Nigerian scams we get so many emails about.

The Nigerian Scam is listed as a type of advance fee fraud. In the scam, someone, usually from a foreign country, is asking you for help in getting money out of a bank in their country. The letters are quaint and sometimes charming. Their goal is to get you to give them a bit of money in promise of getting back a lot of money from them. A recent story on The World reported that these scams usually net $3500 per victim and sometimes they net tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I mentioned that I thought these scams may have originally been called the Pigeon Drop. It turns out that it is more closley related to the Spanish Prisoner confidence scam that dates back to the 1600s.

I still get these emails a couple of times a week.

I usually check out questionable emails at

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About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.