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Money transfer requests ('Nigerian' scams)

With the rise of internet banking it is easy to transfer money across the world in minutes. Unfortunately, this has also meant an increase in the number and types of scams that try to trick you into sending your hard-earned cash to overseas scammers.

The scammers may promise huge rewards or what looks like an easy way to make money. Other scammers trick people who are trying to buy or sell products over the internet.

Some common scams that involve transferring money are described below. Regardless of what the scammer tells you, you should be very cautious about sending money to someone you don't know. Remember that once you send money to someone, it can be very difficult to get it back—especially if they are based overseas.


An inheritance scam is when a scammer contacts you out of the blue to tell you that you’ve been left, or are entitled to claim, a large inheritance from a distant relative or wealthy benefactor who has died overseas.

You are promised huge rewards if you help someone transfer money out of their country by paying fees or giving them your bank account details.

You are asked to send money upfront for a product or ‘reward’. You will end up with something much less than you expected, or nothing at all.

If you agree to transfer money for someone you don’t know, you let scammers use your bank account to ‘launder’ their dirty money. This puts you and your money in the firing line.

You are sent a cheque for something you have sold, but it is for more than the amount agreed. The scammer hopes you will refund the extra money before you notice that their cheque has bounced.

Similar scams:

Phishing emails are fake emails usually pretending to be from banks or other financial institutions. They make up some reason for you to give your account details and then use these details to steal your money.

These scams play on your generosity and involve a scammer posing as a genuine charity in order to fraudulently collect money.

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