5 Major Scams In Nigeria

Scam Alert
Written by Flora Ayoka


The fraudulent activity known as “419” is carried out by people with criminal intentions who seek to scam people out of their hard-earned money. Today, names like yahoo and one chance and other more informal terms have replaced the term 419. These are all the same sorts of scams. The primary goal of the majority of these scams is to steal someone’s hard-earned money, but some of them can escalate to the point where they attempt to kill the victim or steal their organs.

Nigeria’s crime rates have increased as a result of the country’s rising rates of underemployment and unemployment. In addition to the pressure from society, many people are eager to make money. In today’s culture, money has become a new power that everyone wants which has resulted in other dubious means of acquiring such wealth such as engaging in scams. Due to youths’ growing desire to get quick money, these crimes have become common. While the majority only engage in cybercrime, others commit job fraud This article will outline the various tactics used by con artists.

Also Read: Corrupt Practices in Nigeria

What is a Scam?

Scams are sneaky tactics used to dupe someone out of something, usually money. They are unlawful and dishonest by nature. The victim is affected not just physically but also psychologically by this. In addition to losing valuable possessions, victims experience feelings of guilt, depression, and powerlessness. 

Various Forms of Scam in Nigeria

  1. One of the widespread frauds is cybercrime: Although it is known as cybercrime, in Nigeria it is known as yahoo boys. Because of how it operates, the term “yahoo” developed a social label for this type of cybercrime. They use “Yahoo Mail” to send spam scams to victims. These methods have now shifted to utilizing social media, mainly Facebook and Instagram. Also strangely, some people use Google advertisements to lure their victims to investment websites offering highly risky quick money schemes. Some other examples include phone calls from banks possing to be Account Manager and requiring delicate information from their victims such as OTP (One Time Password), numbers on the ATM card, Pins and passwords, and Bank Verification Number (BVN). One would contend that only those looking for shady, quick ways to make money will fall victim. Everyone should be on the lookout for these warning indicators.
  2. Job Scams/Alert: The world is slowly turning into a hostile and dangerous place. People become victims of this scam when there are more and more graduates without work. These positions are typically listed on job sites and infrequently through recommendations. These con artists trick their victims into going to a location for the fictitious interview only to rob them of their money or kill them as part of rituals. Before going to an interview, people should look up a company’s online presence. The world has gone global and every serious company has an online presence. Always google the business or company. Another way is to look up their presence on LinkedIn, a platform where companies and their workers are. The main things to look out for are the company’s location, its employees, the company’s website, and customer reviews. This will provide you with the authenticity of the company before heading out for an interview.
  3. Ponzi Schemes: Also known as a pyramid investment or money-doubling platform. So many people have fallen victim to this scheme. One of the attractions of this scam is how they promise high returns on investment usually some of them guarantee a 100% Return on Investment (ROI). From Mavrodi Mundial Movement (MMM) to other Investment platforms and Networking businesses.  The economic hardship in the country is to be blamed for the thriving nature of Ponzi schemes. People are in a haste to make quick money and invest in good business. Investors are mostly the victims of this kind of scam. So many pyramid investments have been launched since the failure of MMM and Nigerians are still falling prey to this.
  4. Property and Real Estate Scam: There have been situations in which land has been sold to multiple people. These scams happen almost every day in Nigeria. People who fall, victim, are usually those who are new to acquiring properties as they do not know the required documents to sign. Asides from selling off lands, they also sell off houses and cars by claiming ownership of the property in other to lure victims off their money. Some of the warning signs include a serious warning not to inform anyone, pressure to deposit a down payment without seeing the property, meeting with the seller’s coworker, and having the real estate agent out of the country. However, there are which one can avoid this kind of scam. Always verify the real estate company and agent, avoid making transactions in cash, do not rush into making a purchase, know the required document and verify its authenticity, and finally, always ask to inspect the property before purchasing.
  5. Last but not least is One Chance: a massive ongoing scam that has switched from kidnapping its victims and demanding a ransom to duping them into sharing stolen money in dollars. In a car on the way to their destination, victims have described hearing one of the passengers confess to robbing his boss of some money. In most cases, the driver is furious and prepared to take that passenger to the nearest police station, but will soon change his mind on the grounds that the money is split amongst them. A chemical is allegedly needed to unlock a code on dollars or convert paper into currency, and it must be purchased with money. Their victims are coerced into taking an oath and withdrawing money to buy the chemical. This, however, might occur in a variety of ways, as other scam victims had complained about attending a job or business deal. The plot remains the same regardless of how they appear. A chemical is required for the use of stolen money, and there is stolen money involved. People should rapidly express their disinterest in such situations when the topic of stolen money is brought up. Suggest leaving the vehicle immediately because it could be deadly.

Also Read: Cyber Security- Meaning, Courses, Jobs and Salary


If there are more legitimate jobs available and security personnel is performing their duties effectively, will crime decrease? It’s confounding that these crimes are becoming more prevalent in some of Nigeria’s largest cities. In order to avoid falling for these scams, one must exercise extreme caution. 


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About the author

Flora Ayoka

Hi, I'm Flora, I am a trained social worker who loves baking but my first love will always be writing. Follow me on my social handles.