Assettrader Exposes Nigerian Scam

Using the web as a trading platform doesn’t mean you’re bound to fall prey of scammers and criminals. Online marketplace AssetTrader operates a strict vetting process to verify leads and expose scammers.

In the early 80s, when Nigeria was going through tough economic times, some unemployed university students began to trick foreign businessmen into entering sketchy financial deals in the Nigerian oil sector. Later on, scams started to proliferate, targeting the wider population as well. The advance-fee fraud, commonly named “Nigerian scam” because of its very origins, has become a very common danger for anyone doing business on the internet. Basically, the scammer sends an email to the victim, asking to anticipate a certain amount of money as an investment towards a much larger margin of profit. There are hundreds of versions of Nigerian scam and, although most people do not fall for them, the very few who do make the whole process worthwile for the con artists. These criminals present themselves as bank managers, government officials, or people in trouble: they try and use psychological pressure to trick the victim into believing their story. Those who fall for it are later asked to complete a financial transaction, usually in the form of a wire transfer i.e. Western Union, Moneygram - a method of payment that is irreversible, untraceable and anonymous. Since the contact details and the photographs of the scammers are non-existent or fabricated, it is extremely hard to trace them once the money has been already sent to them or stolen from the victim’s account.

A few precautions and a hint of common sense are all it takes to benefit from the huge potential of internet technology without falling pray of dishonest individuals. Buying and selling online can be an easy, convenient, profitable experience – as long as you approach it with a mindful attitude. Of course, the most important thing to do is to choose reputable portals that have some sort of safety protocol. For example, AssetTrader - an online marketplace that deals primarily with the trade of agricultural and industrial machines - operates a strict vetting process. Kelvin Pollard, team leader and senior customer account manager for AssetTrader, recounts how he came across a Nigerian scam and exposed it: “Someone sent me an online enquiry concerning the purchase of industrial machinery through our website. He claimed to be a captain of the Nigerian Navy interested in buying € 50,000 worth of marine engines and generators. He asked for a quotation and he suggested that, to make sure we could win the tender, we payed him a forfait price of € 2,000 in order to ‘facilitate’ the transaction (that is to say, through bribery). Of course, we know how to recognize and expose these criminals on the spot.”

Pollard explains the AssetTrader method for safe trading: “We check every online enquiry form for potentially fraudulent transactions. Since we already understand their operative methods, it is not difficult for us to prevent fraud of every type – visa scam, bank account scam, and so on. First of all, we filter and block every query asking the user to complete a wire transaction. Besides, we verify each single contact manually to make sure that addresses and phone numbers are always active. In its database, AssetTrader keeps an extensive log of suspicious email addresses, which are automatically filtered out and deleted. As a rule of thumb, most of these addresses come from anonymous domains such as hotmail and yahoo, which offer untraceable e-mailing. Many scammers are based in Nigeria, but they come from other countries as well. Here at AssetTrader, we are constantly on our guard: we want our customers to feel secure when trading online. However, we always advise them to keep a watchful eye on every deal or transaction.”

AssetTrader’s safe trading tips are available at

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