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21 Nigerian Scammer Slangs

by Abbey
Nigerian Scammer Slangs

Today I bring you a whole lot of words that are commonly used by Nigerian scammers. Some of our common words have been hijacked to possibly have a negative connotation.

I will like to stress that these words have found their way into our music and film and even daily life and they are not in any way indicative that hearing these words from a person means such a person is a fraudster. I use a lot of them myself, and I assure you that I am not a scammer (haha).

In the same vein, I had also compiled a list of 16 words that will tell that the person you are dealing with is mostly a scammer which you can find here.

You can also check this link if you want to find out all the “nick names” or slang words that Nigerians use to describe fraudsters. It is important that you read it because the information written out there by foreigners is so wrong.

Without wasting so much of your time, here is a list of 21 slang that are common among Nigerian scammers. There are loads of them and this list will constantly be updated.

1. Yahoo Boy

If they call someone a yahoo boy, it means the person is into scam. Yahoo boy is the number nickname for fraudsters.

2. Aza

“Send me your AZA.” This means “send me your account number” AZA is the word used to mean your account number and it has now found its way into the everyday Nigerian Lingua. AZAMAN on the other hand, means a scammer.

3. Tax return

This is a common scam that fraudsters used to pull on unsuspecting westerners. A version of it even became a thing during the covid-19 economic relief payment made by the United States Government. This operation was a massive one where stolen details of Americans are stolen and used to collect money from the government without the knowledge of the victim or the government.

In 2021, a man named Abidemi Rufai was charged with aggravated identity theft with the intention of stealing $1.6M from the IRS.

Who was actually successful at robbing over 100 residents of Washington to the tune of $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Employment Security Department (ESD).

It only leaves one wondering if the American system is too “trusting” or if the man in question is just too smart.

However, the fraud-related meaning of it is when a scammer sends you an account where you wire the money into, it’s the very last step before a scam occurs.

4. Bombing

Nigerian scammers can be great multi-taskers. They could dedicate 30 minutes of their day to each of their victims especially if it is a romance scam. And they can chat with more than 10 of those victims in a day.

Now, because of the time difference between the USA and Nigeria, these scammers usually stay awake all night to keep chatting with a victim which makes their type of multi-tasking all the more impressive.

Bombing means to attack at once. They bombard a particular dating site in the hopes that one of the victims will “drop” something for them.

5. CC (Credit card)

This is also another slang that can very well mean such a person is not into fraud. It is only in the western world that you’ll have credit cards, Nigerians only have debit cards.

While I understand that debit and credit cards can be sometimes mixed up, the word “CC” can be a code word for a credit card scam.

By the way, Nigerian scammers are not hackers. They usually only buy stolen credit card information which a westerner would have hacked.

6. Wire or Waya Waya

The only way most Nigerians receive money via wire is if the money is coming from a foreign country (I would assume this is true for most countries as well).

So, there is a fair chance that a typical Nigerian who is talking about wire without having a legit business or having families overseas could be into something shady.

As a side note, the bigger scammers are the ones who receive money via wire transfer.

7. Maga

A maga is a male foreigner who has been deceived into thinking he is chatting with a beautiful girl from LA while the actual person is somewhere in Lagos.

8. Maye

A maye is a western woman who thinks she is talking to some white guy in the US army posted to Germany but could very well be in Africa.

9. Home Boy

This is what you can describe as a “fraud apprentice.” The fellow doesn’t know much yet and is currently shadowing people who are up the ladder.

10. Shaye

This is not necessarily a fraud word. It means to go and have fun (at a club). Fraudsters celebrate but so do legit people as well.

11. Format

The scammers usually have a way they scam people. Think about how they ask you to submit your email in order to access the free trial of a software, then after the free trial, they keep sending you emails in order to get you to purchase…it is something similar.

The people who perpetrate fraud, say for example, via email usually have a prepared FORMAT for it. The people who scammed you via romance scam usually had a prepared FORMAT for it.

12. Picker

This is a mule, usually a foreigner who has a foreign bank account where proceeds of crime can be paid to. Pickers also often run away with the money of the fraudsters.

13. Fools

This is a pool of people who could have gotten into the list via different forms. If a scammer buys up the identity of a large group of people, those people are termed FOOLS.

If a scammer has a list of people he has scammed in the past, those people are also FOOLS and they can be retargeted for scams.

14. Legit

When scammers say something is legit, it means that the authenticity of the information they are giving you about a potential victim is legitimate.

15. VPN

Yeah, I know VPN companies market it as a tool that can be used to hide your online identity but the proliferation of VPNs had made it even easier for fraudsters to “be in a location they are not.”

People can now access country-locked dating apps from wherever they are.

16. Bad Market

This means bad luck. You must know that most fraudsters are highly superstitious people. Sometimes when they have an unsuccessful scam attempt, they might blame a lot of things or people for giving them bad luck.

17. Oka Ti Fo/Ise Ti Ja

These terms are used to describe a scenario when the victim of a fraud finds out about it. But don’t get carried away, victims in a lot of cases still want to keep the relationship going especially in a romance scam. They now know that the person they are chatting with is fake, but they don’t care. You’ve got to give it to those fraudsters sometimes; they are very consistent.

18. Grinding

This has the same meaning as the normal grind. Fraudsters also grind but for a bad reason.

19. Eke

A slang used to call members of the Nigerian police. By the way, scammers and the police are like cat and mouse.

20. Opata

Where you are saying things that are outright rubbish.

21. Noke

This means to defraud another person.


  • Abbey

    Abbey Johnson has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.

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