Nigerian money scams
Did you get an strange email from Africa
offering you a big sum of money?
Then read the following warning below
supplied by the US Secret Service:
The 4-1-9 money scam
The perpetrators of Advance Fee Fraud are
often very creative and innovative.
This fraud is called "4-1-9" fraud after the section of the Nigerian penal code
that addresses fraud schemes. Nigerian nationals, purporting to be officials of
their government or banking institutions, will fax or mail letters to individuals
and businesses in the United States and other countries. The correspondence
will inform the recipient that a reputable foreign company or individual is
needed for the deposit of an overpayment on a procurement contract. The
letter will claim that the Nigerian government overpaid anywhere from $10 to
$60 million on these contracts. There is the perception that no one would enter
such an obviously suspicious relationship; however, many victims have been
enticed into believing they can share in such windfall profits.
Individuals are asked to provide funds to
cover various fees and for personal identifiers such as Social Security numbers, bank
account numbers, and other similar data. Once this information is received, the victims
find that they have lost large sums of money. It is hard to pinpoint how much has been
lost in these scams since many victims do not report their losses to authorities due to
fear or embarrassment.
In response to this growing epidemic, the
Secret Service established "Operation 4-1-9" to target Nigerian Advance Fee
Fraud on an international basis. Indications are that losses attributed to Advance Fee
Fraud are in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Agents on temporary assignment to the
American Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, in conjunction with the Regional Security Office,
supplied information in the form of investigative leads to the Federal Investigation and
Intelligence Bureau (FIIB) of the Nigerian National Police. This project was designed to
provide Nigerian law enforcement officials with investigative leads to enable them to
enforce their own
On July 2, 1996, officials of the FIIB,
accompanied by Secret Service agents in an observer/advisor role, executed search warrants
on 16 location in Lagos that resulted in the arrests of 43 Nigerian nationals. Evidence
seized included telephones and facsimile machines, government and Central Bank of Nigeria
letterhead, international business directories, scam letters, and addressed envelopes, and
files containing correspondence from victims throughout the world.
As there are many variations of these
money scams we will inform you an emails and email messages of these criminals. Pass the
word around so more business
men will be aware of these scams.
The role of the Nigerian
If you would think the officials would do
anything to stop it read this
Email addresses used by African
How you can help to stop these
- Check which email addresses are used and
send a copy of the
email to the abuse department of the email provider. If the
reply address is email@example.com
then the abuse
address would be firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send a copy of the email to local
authorities / police
- Tell other business men about this
information page, if you have
a website you might link to this page so thousands of people
will find this info thanks to you.
[Source: Nigerian 419 coalition site]
A Five Billion US$ (as of 1996, much more
now) worldwide Scam which has run since the early 1980's under Successive Governments of
Nigeria. It is also referred to as "Advance Fee Fraud", "419 Fraud"
(Four-One-Nine) after the relevant section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria, and "The
Nigerian Connection" (mostly in Europe). However, it is usually called plain old
"419" even by the Nigerians themselves.
The Scam operates as follows: the target
receives an unsolicited fax, email, or letter often concerning Nigeria or another African
nation containing either a money laundering or other illegal proposal OR you may receive a
Legal and Legitimate business proposal by normal means. Common variations on the
Scam include "overinvoiced" or "double invoiced" oil or other supply
and service contracts where your Bad Guys want to get the overage out of Nigeria; crude
oil and other commodity deals; a "bequest" left you in a will; "money
cleaning" where your Bad Guy has a lot of currency that needs to be "chemically
cleaned" before it can be used and he needs the cost of the chemicals; "spoof
there is supposedly money in your name already on deposit; and "paying" for a
purchase with a check larger than the amount required and
asking for change to be advanced. Or the victim will just be stiffed on a legitimate goods
or services contract...the variations are very creative
and virtually endless.
At some point, the victim is asked to pay
up front an Advance Fee of some sort, be it an "Advance Fee", "Transfer
Bond", or to extend credit, grant COD privileges, whatever. If the victim pays the
Fee, there are many "Complications" which require still
more advance payments until the victim either quits, runs out of money, or both. If the
victim extends credit etc. he may also pay such fees
("nerfund" etc.), and then he is stiffed with NO Effective Recourse.
The Nigerian Scam is, according to
published reports, the Third to Fifth largest industry in Nigeria. It is the 419 Coalition
view that, in effect, the
elites from which successive Governments of Nigeria have been drawn ARE the Scammers -
therefore, victims have little recourse in this
matter. Monies stolen by 419 operations are almost Never Recovered from Nigeria.
Most 419 letters and emails originate
from or are traceable back to Nigeria. However, some originate from other nations, mostly
African nations such as Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast ( Cote D'Ivoire )
etc. In most cases 419 emails from other nations are
also Nigerian in that the "Home Office" of the 419ers involved is Nigeria
regardless of the source of the contact materials. But there are
occasionally some "local" copycats trying to emulate the success of the
Nigerians. These folks tend not to last too long actually operating out of
nations other than Nigeria, but they do try.