Nigerian Fraud Scheme



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Please be aware of the following and other fraud schemes:

Users of KSL Classifieds have recently experienced an upsurge in fraudulent offers for the items they have listed. The most common is known as the Nigerian scheme.

Individuals in Nigeria or other countries will often respond to ads placed on various classified web sites on the Internet about the sale of autos and other small or large ticket items. (The individuals will often claim they are from Scotland or another country outside the U.S.). These offers usually take the form of email, but please be aware that they have also been know to use TTY (relay phone for the deaf) and other means.

Typically they agree to purchase a vehicle and will then forward counterfeit cashiers checks or money orders to the victim in amounts exceeding the agreed upon purchase price. The unwitting victim contacts the buyer concerning the overpayment.

The victim is usually instructed to wire funds via Western Union to Nigeria or another West African country. Funds are usually wired before the counterfeit cashiers check is returned to the bank where it was deposited. This results in vehicles being shipped without payment and the victim is out additional money spent on the wire. In every instance the bank will pass the loss back to the individual who deposited the counterfeit check.

Users should understand that KSL Classifieds is meant to be a LOCAL service. All offers should be considered carefully, especially any offers received from outside KSL's broadcast area (Utah, Idaho, Wyoming).

These fraud schemes should not deter users from using the Internet as a place to sell and buy goods. Users should feel completely safe in placing classified ads, but should use wisdom in offers received from interested parties. If you are suspicious please let them know that you are not interested (or just ignore their offer). And please remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

We are actively blocking access to the site from some areas outside the U.S. We are also looking at adding features to the classifieds making it more difficult for scammers to get user email addresses, and easier for us to track who is looking at them. Please be assured, we are doing our best to alleviate this problem. It is not necessary to forward or relay these messages to KSL. If you feel compelled to report these incidents you can reach the websites of the Secret Service and FBI through the links below.

Secret Service Warning

FBI Warning

Note: Please feel free to use the phrase "Utah area residents only" in your ads. But please avoid "No Nigerians" and similar statements as they can be easily misunderstood as racial remarks by people unfamiliar with the situation.

Related Links

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast