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368,379 people killed, 306,096 injured and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages

What's the harm in Nigerian emails?

Those Nigerian emails are actually "false check" scams that just begin with an unsolicited email. They typically involve a story of funds trapped in a foreign bank or lottery winnings.  Read more about Nigerian emails

Here are 1,512 people who were harmed by someone not thinking critically.

Michael Axel

Age: 68
New York City, New York

Lost $400,000

In the midst of allegedly embezzling money from his own clients, this stockbroker received an email from someone claiming to have an inheritance for him. He lost $400,000 to the fraud scheme. Read more

Dr. Louis A. Gottschalk (psychiatrist)

Age: 89
Irvine, California

$1.3 to $3 million
March 2, 2006

A renowned psychiatrist at UC Irvine, his son alleges in a lawsuit that he has squandered millions on scams, even travelling to Africa once. Read more

Thomas Katona

Age: 56
Harrisville, Michigan

$1.2 million in public funds, 9 to 14 years in prison
June 12, 2007

As Treasurer of Altona County, he embezzled almost 25% of its annual budget to invest in a Nigerian email scam. He was setnenced to prison. Read more

Danielle Miller

Age: 17
Charlottesville, Virginia

April 2008

Although she is well aware of online scams, when she received an email titled "Job Offer" it seemed legit. The job was to cash checks. Now she's out $3,600 and embarrassed she fell for it. Read more

Ann Mowle

Age: 72
Monroe, New Jersey

Suicide after life savings lost
October 31, 2007

She received an email about a Jamaican lottery jackpot. After sending a fee, the situation rapidly spiraled out of control. A year later her life savings were gone and she had become a recluse. She committed suicide. Read more

Rupert Sessions

Age: 73
Orlando, Florida

February 2, 2002

He was fleeced of his life savings by Nigerian scammers. Read more

Photo of Janella Spears

Janella Spears

Sweet Home, Oregon

Lost $400,000
November 11, 2008

She says she wasn't a sucker or easy mark, but she was curious about an email concerning large sum of money and an alleged lost relative. Over two years, she lost thousands and now is in debt. Read more & more

Geana Stutz & her family

Age: 33
Kelso, Washington

Scammed of $4,100
June 10, 2008

She received a convincing letter from a company claiming to want to hire her for consumer research, that contained a check. This is just a variant of the famous Nigerian scam, also known as a "false check" scam. Now the family is out $4,100. Read more

1,500 victims

Malaga, Spain

Scammed a total of £21m
May 30, 2008

They targeted British retirees with scams regarding international lottery prizes. Spanish police broke up the ring and arrested 55 people. Read more

"John Doe"

Age: 84
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Scammed of $35,000
May 29, 2008

A Nigerian immigrant convinced him he was due to receive $1 Million inducing him to pay various fees. The million never materialized, of course. The immigrant was prosecuted and sentenced to 30 months in prison. Read more

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