An advance-fee scam is a form of fraud and one of the most common types of confidence trick . The scam typically involves the large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster requires in order to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster or the victim, or simply disappears.

There are many variations on this type of scam , including the 419 scam , the Spanish Prisoner scam , the black money scam , Fifo’s fraud and the Detroit-Buffalo scam. [1] The scam has been used with fax and traditional mail, and is now prevalent in online communications like emails .

The number “419” refers to the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud, the charges and penalties for offenders. [2]


The modern scam is similar to the Spanish Prisoner scam dating back to the late 18th century. [3] [4] In that con, businessmen were contacted by an individual allegedly trying to smuggle someone connected to a wealthy family out of a prison in Spain . In exchange for assistance, the scammer promises to share money with the victim in exchange for a small amount of money to bribe prison guards. [5] One variant of the scam May dates back to the 18th or 19th centuries, as a very similar letter, Entitled “The Letter from Jerusalem”, is seen in the memoirs of Eugène François Vidocq , a form French criminal and private investigator . [6] Another variant of the scam, dating back to circa 1830, appears very similar to what is passed via email today: “Sir, you will doubtlessly be astonished to be receiving a letter from a person “, And goes on to talk of a casket containing 16,000 francs in gold and the diamonds of a late marchioness. [7]

The modern day transnational scam can be traced back to Germany in 1922, [8] and became popular during the 1980s. There are many variants of the letters sent. One of these, sent via postal mail, was addressed to a woman’s husband, and inquired about his health. It is a great place to stay. [9] Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. He said he wanted to transfer $ 20 million to the recipient’s bank account – money that was budgeted but never spent. In exchange for transferring the funds out of Nigeria , the recipient would keep 30% of the total. To get the process started, The scammer for a few sheets of the company’s letterhead, bank account numbers, and other personal information. [10] [11] Yet other variants-have Involved mention of a Nigerian prince or other member of a royal family seeking to transfer off sums of money out of the country-THUS, thesis Sometimes scams are called “Nigerian Prince emails.” [12] [13]

The spread of e-mail and email harvesting software lowered the cost of sending scam by using the Internet. [14] [15] While Nigeria is most often the nation referred to in these scams, they may originate in other nations as well. For example, in 2006, 61% of Internet criminals were traced to rentals in the United States , while 16% were traced to the United Kingdom and 6% to locations in Nigeria . [16] Other nations Known to-have a high incidence of advance-fee fraud include Ivory Coast , [17] Togo , [18] South Africa , [19] the Netherlands , [20] and Spain . [21]

One reason Nigeria may have been singled out is the apparently comical, almost ludicrous nature of the promise of West African rich from a Nigerian prince. According to Cormac Herley, a researcher for Microsoft , “By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible, the most promising marks to self-select.” [22] Nevertheless, Nigeria HAS earned a reputation as being white at the center of email scammers, [23] and the number 419 Refers to the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code (part of Chapter 38: “Obtaining property by false pretenses ; Cheating ” ) Dealing with fraud. [24] In Nigeria, Scammers use computers in internet cafes to send mass emails promising potential victims rich or romance, and to trawl for replies. They refer to their targets as Magas , slang developed from a Yoruba word meaning “fool”. Some scammers have accomplishes in the United States and abroad that move in to finish the deal once the initial contact has been made. [25]


Scam letter posted within South Africa

This scam usually begins with the perpetrator contacting the victim via e-mail , instant messaging or social media using a fake email address or fake social media account and making an offer that would allegedly result in a large payoff for the victim. [5] [26] An email subject line may say something like “From the desk of barrister [Name]”, “Your assistance is needed”, and so on. The details vary, but the usual story is that a person, often a government or bank employee, knows of a large amount of unclaimed money or gold which he can not access directly, usually because he has no right to it. Such people, who may be real but impersonated people or fictitious characters played by the con artist , Could include, for example, the wife or son of a deposed African leader who has amassed a stolen fortune, a bank employee who knows of a terminally ill wealthy person with no money, in a plane crash (leaving no will or Known next of kin), [27] a US soldier Who has stumbled upon a hidden hides of gold in Iraq, business being white Audited by the government, a disgruntled worker or corrupt government official Who has Embezzled funds, a refugee, [28] and similar characters. The money could be in the form of gold bullion , gold dust, money in a bank account, blood diamonds , a series of checks or bank drafts, and so forth. The sums involved are often in the millions of dollars, and the investor is promised a broad share, typically ten to forty percent, in return for assisting the expatriate the money. Although the vast majority of recipients do not respond to these emails, a very small percentage of, as many millions of messages can be sent daily.

To help persuade the victim to the deal, the scammer often sends one or more false documents bearing official government stamps , and seals . [29] 419 scammers often mention false addresses and use photographs taken from the Internet or from magazines to falsely represent themselves. Often a photograph used by a scammer. Multiple “people” involved in schemes are fictitious, and in many cases, one person controls many fictitious personas used in scams. [17]

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at the following e-mail address: ” Or “Nigerian bank of $ 100,000 or more” or similar. This is the money being stolen from the victim; the victim willingly transfers the money, usually through channel Some irreversible Such As a wire transfer , and the scammer Receives and pockets it. This is a great place to spend a weekend or a weekend away. This is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. More Was this review helpful? Yes Problem with this review? The implication that these payments will be used for “white-collar” crime such as bribery, and even that the money they are being promised is being stolen from a government or royal family, often prevents the victim from telling others about the ” Transaction “, as it would involve admitting that they intend to be complicit in an international crime. Sometimes psychological pressure is added by claiming that the Nigerian side, to pay certain fees, had to sell belongings and borrow money on a house, or by comparing the salary scale and living conditions in Africa to those in the West. Much of the time, however, the necessary psychological pressure is self-applied; Once the victims have provided money to the payoff, they feel they have a vested interest in seeing the “deal” through. Some victims even believe they can cheat the other party, and walk away with all the money instead of just the percentage they were promised. [17]

The essential fact in all advance-fee fraud operations is the promised money transfer to the victim never happens, because the money does not exist. The perpetrators rely on the fact that, by the time the victim realizes this (often only after being confronted by a third party who has noticed the transactions or conversation and recognized the scam), the victim may have sent their dollars of their own money , And more or less irrespective of the way in which it is transmitted. [17] The scammer disappears, and the victim is left on the hook for the money sent to the scammer.

During the course of many schemes, scammers ask victims to supply bank account information. Usually this is a “test” by the scammer to gauge the victim’s gullibility ; [20] the bank account information is not used directly by the scammer, because a fraudulent withdrawal from the account is more easily detected, reversed, and traced. Scammers usually INSTEAD That request payments be made using a wire transfer service like Western Union and MoneyGram . [30] The reason given by the scammer to the speed at which the payment can be received and processed, allowing quick release of the supposed payoff. The method of payment is irreversible, Untraceable and, because identification beyond knowledge of the details of the transaction is often not required, completely anonymous. [17] However, the bank account information obtained by scammers is sometimes used in the case of fraudsters, who wait a few months for the victim to repair the damage caused by the initial scam, before raiding any accounts which the victim did not close.

Phone numbers used by scammers tend to come from burner phones . In Ivory Coast a scammer may purchase an inexpensive mobile phone and a pre-paid SIM card without submitting any identifying information. If the scammers believe they are being traced, they discard their phones and purchase new ones. [17]

The spam emails used in these scams are often sent from internet cafes equipped with satellite internet connection. Recipient addresses and email content are copied and pasted into a webmail interface using a stand-alone storage medium, such as a memory card. Certain areas of Lagos , such as Festac , contain many cyber cafes that serve scammers; Cyber ​​cafes often seal their doors outside hours, such as from 10:30 pm to 7:00 am, so that scammers inside may work without fear of discovery. [31]

Nigeria also contains many businesses that provide false documents used in scams; After a scam involving a forged signature of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in summer 2005, Nigerian authorities raided a market in the Oluwole section of Lagos. 10,000 blank British Airways boarding passes, 10,000 United States Postal money orders , customs documents, false university certificates, 500 printing plates, and 500 computers. [31]

The “success rate” of the scammers is also hard to gauge, since they are operating illegally and do not keep track of specific numbers. One individual estimated he sent 500 emails per day and received about seven replies, citing that he got 70 percent certain he would get the money. [25] If you are a member of a group, you may be interested in this. [32]


Screenshot of a suspicious site in the Firefox browser [33]

In recent years, efforts have been made by governments, internet companies and individuals to combat scammers involved in advance-fee fraud and 419 scams. In 2004, the Nigerian government formed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to combat economic and financial crimes, such as advanced fee fraud. [34] In 2009, Nigeria’s EFCC announced that they had adopted smart technology developed by Microsoft to track down fraudulent emails. They hoped to have the service, dubbed “Eagle Claw”, running at full capacity to warn a quarter of a million potential victims. [23]

Some people take part in a practice as a scam baiting , in which they pose as potential targets and engage the scammers in lengthy dialogue. [35] Details on the practice of scam baiting, and ideas, are chronicled on a website, , launched in 2003 by Michael Berry. Nigerian scammer as James T. Kirk . When the scammer – Star Trek – asked for his passport details, “Kirk” Star Trek ‘ S Captain Kirk, hoping the scammer would try to use it and get arrested. [36]

Common elements

Fake checks

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Fraudulent checks and money orders, by the bank of the victim’s account, are key elements in many advance-fee scams, such as auction / classified listing overpayment, lottery scams, inheritance scams, Scam when a “payment” to the victim is required to gain, regain or further solidify the victim’s trust and confidence in the validity of the scheme. [37]

The use of checks in a scam hinges on the practice or law in many countries concerning checks: when an account holder presents a check for deposit, , Especially if international, may take longer than that to clear. [38] The clearing process may take 7-10 days, and can take up to a month when dealing with foreign banks. The time between the funds and the check is known as the “float”, during which time the bank could technically be said to have Bank clearing the check. Even after it has cleared, funds may be reclaimed much later if fraud is discovered.

The check given to the victim is typically counterfeit. With correct banking information a checks can be produced that looks genuine, passes all counterfeit tests, and may initially clear the paying account if the account information is accurate and the funds are available. However, if it does not exist, it may be deemed to have been a forgery. This is a very good book. It is a very good book. It is a very good book. It has been suggested that in some cases a genuine check, from the payment of account, is issued with intent to defraud:

Regardless of the amount of time involved, subject to certain limits, the cashing bank is alert to the fraudulent check, the transaction is reversed and the victim’s account debited; This may lead to it being put in overdraft .

Western Union and MoneyGram wire transfers

A central element of advance-fee fraud is the transaction from the victim to the scammer must be untraceable and irreversible. Otherwise, the victim, once they become aware of the scam, can successfully retrieve their money and alert officials who can track the accounts used by the scammer.

Wire transfers via Western Union and MoneyGram are ideal for this purpose. International wire transfers can not be canceled or reversed, and the person receiving the money can not be tracked. Other non-cancellable forms of payment include postal money order and cashier’s checks, but wire transfer via Western Union or MoneyGram is more common.

Anonymous communication

Since the scammer’s operations must be untraceable to avoid identification, and because the scammer is often impersonating someone else, any communication between the scammer and his victim must be done through channels that hide the scammer’s true identity. The following options in particular are widely used.

Web-based email

Because many of the free communication services are available to the public, they can also be used for communication purposes. Some services go so far as to mask the sender’s source IP address ( Gmail being a common choice), making the scammer more difficult to trace to country of origin. While Gmail does have strip headers from emails, it is in fact possible to trace an IP address from such an email. Scammers can create a lot of money. In addition, if email providers are alerted to the scammer’s activities and suspend the account, it is a trivial matter for the scammer to simply create a new account to resume scamming.

Email hijacking / friend scams

Some fraudsters hijack email accounts and use them for advance-fee fraud purposes. The fraudster impersonates associates, friends, or family members of the legitimate account owner in an attempt to defraud them. [39] A variety of techniques such as phishing , keyloggers , and computer viruses are used to gain login information for the email address.

Fax transmissions

Facsimile machines are commonly used tools of business, whenever a client requires a hard copy of a document. They can also be simulated using web services, and made untraceable by the use of prepaid phones connected to mobile fax machines or by using a public fax machine as FedEx Office / Kinko’s . Thus, scammers posing as business entities often use fax transmissions as an anonymous form of communication. This is more expensive, as the prepaid phone and fax equipment cost more than email, but to a skeptical victim it can be more believable.

SMS messages

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Abusing SMS bulk senders such as WASPs , scammers subscribe to these services using fraudulent registration details and paying either via cash or stolen credit card details. They then send out masses of unsolicited SMSes to victims stating they have won a competition, lottery, reward, or like event, and they have to contact somebody to claim their prize. Typically the details of the party to be contacted will be an equally untraceable email address or a virtual telephone number . These messages can be sent over a weekend when the staff at the service providers are not working, enabling the scammer to be able to abuse the services for a whole weekend. Even when traceable, They give out long and winding procedures for procuring the reward and that too with the impending huge cost of transportation and tax or duty charges. The origin of such SMS messages are often from fake websites / addresses.

A recent (mid-2011) innovation is the use of a Premium Rate ‘call back’ number (instead of a web site or email) in the SMS. We call on the number of winnings to win their first prize. During the message, there will be frequent instructions to ‘ring back in the event of problems’. The call is always ‘cut off’ just before the victim has the chance to note all the details. Some people call back multiple times in an effort to collect all the details. The scammer thus makes their money out of the fees charged for the calls.

Telecommunications relay services

Many scams use telephone calls to convince the victim that the person on the other end of the deal is a real, truthful person. The scammer, possibly impersonating a person of a nationality, or gender, other than their own, would arouse suspicion by telephoning the victim. In these cases, scammers use TRS , a federally funded relay service or a speech translation program as an intermediary between a TDD or other teleprinter device. The scammer may claim they are deaf, and that they must use a relay service. The victim, possibly drawn in by sympathy for a disabled caller, might be more susceptible to the fraud.

FCC regulations and confidentiality laws, and the rules governing confidentiality and ethics. Thus, no relay operator may judge the legality and legitimacy of a relay call, and must relay it without interference. This means that the call is a scam. MCI said they were scams. [40]

Tracking phone-based relay services is relatively easy, so scammers tend to prefer Internet protocol-based relay services such as IP Relay . In a common strategy, they bind their overseas IP address to a router or server located on US soil, allowing them to use US-based relay service providers without interference.

TRS is sometimes used to relay credit card information to make a fraudulent purchase with a stolen credit card. In many cases however, it is simply a means for the con artist to further lure the victim into the scam.

Invitation to visit the country

Sometimes, victims are invited to a country to meet government officials, an associate of the scammer, or the scammer themselves. Some people who travel are held for ransom. Scammers may tell a victim that they do not need a visa , or that the scammers will provide one; [41] if the victim does this, the scammers have the power to extort money from the victim. [41] Sometimes victims are ransomed or murdered. According to a 1995 US State Department report, over fifteen persons were murdered between 1992 and 1995 in Nigeria following the advance-fee frauds. [42] In 1999 Norwegian millionaire Kjetil Moe was lured to South Africa by 419 scammers, and murdered.


See also: Internet fraud , List of email scams , and phishing

There are many variations on the most common stories. Some of the more commonly seen variants involve employment scams , lottery scams , and romance scams . Many craigslist and eBay , or property rental. This article can not be used to describe any scheme or scheme. Only some major types are described. Additional examples may be found in the external links section at the end of this article.

Employment scams

This scam targets people who have posted their summaries on eg job sites. The scammer sends a letter with a falsified company logo. “Government official” to contact. The Government of the United States of America. The government official then proceeds to the victim by extracting fees from the unsuspecting user for the work permit and other fees. A variant of the job scam recruits freelancers seeking work, such as editing or translation, then requires some advance payment before assignments are offered.

Many legitimate (or at least fully registered) companies work on a similar basis, using this method as their primary source of earnings. Some models and escort agencies have applicants who have a number of clients, but they require some sort of prior “registration fee”, usually paid in by an untraceable method, eg by Western Union transfer; The customer is not entitled to be paid,

The scammer contacts the victim to interest them in a “work-at-home” opportunity, or asks them to cash a check or money order that for some reason can not be redeemed locally. In one cover story, the perpetrator of the scam the victim wishes to work as a “mystery shopper” Evaluating the services provided by MoneyGram or Western Union locations Within Major retailers Such As Wal-Mart . [47] The scammer sends the victim a forged or stolen check or money order as described above , the victim deposits it-banks will often credit the account of the money of the scammer via wire transfer. Later the check is not honored and the bank debits the victim’s account. Schemes based solely on checking the amount of checks will follow; If the victim buys into the scam and cashes all the checks, the scammer can steal a lot in a very short time.

Bogus job offers

More sophisticated scams with recruitment agents. A bogus telephone or online interview may take place and after some time the applicant is informed that the job is theirs. To secure the job they are instructed to send money for their work, the visa or travel costs to the agent, or to a bogus travel agent who works on the scammer’s behalf. No matter what the variation, they always involve the job seeker sending them or their agent money, credit card or bank account details. [48] A newer form of employment scam has arisen in which users are sent a bogus job offer, but are not required to give financial information. Instead, Their personal information is harvested during the application process and then sold to third parties for a profit, or used for identity theft . [49] [50]

Another form of employment scam involves making people receive a fake “interview” where they are told the benefits of the company. The expectations are then made to assist in the development of a new product. Quite often, the company lacks any form of physical catalog to help them sell products (eg jewelry). When “given” the job, the individual is then asked to promote the scam job offer on their own. They are also a form of “training”. [51] Similar scams involve making alleged job candidates pay money upfront in person for training materials or services, With the claim that they will be able to work with them. [52]

Cash-handling scam

These scammers do internet searches on various companies to obtain hiring managers names. They then advertise job offers on Job Search sites. The job hunter will then apply for the position with a resume. The asking for credentials is the only way to get a job. The scammer will sometimes request that the victim have an “Instant Messenger” to get more information. The scammer guarantees employment, usually through automated computer programs that have a certain algorithm, with “canned responses” in broken English.

At the “Instant Messenger” stage it is usually too late and the process has already begun. If the victim questions the integrity of the process, the computer program may call them a “scammer” and can be quite vulgar. Quite often the fraudulent negotiables are still sent to the address on the victim’s resume, even after the fake online rant.

The scammer sends the victim fraudulent negotiables, assuring them that they get to keep part of the funds. They will expect the victim to send the remainder to various parties that they specify, under the guise that they are legitimate business contacts. This is a money laundering scheme, as the victim becomes a pawn in the filtering process. The process continues until the victim catches on, or even gets caught.

Another form of the scam is the “Representative / Collection Agent”. As the representative, the job involves receiving cash payments and depositing payments received from “customers” into one’s account and remitting to the overseas business bank account. This is essentially money laundering.

Lottery scam

Main article: Lottery scam

The lottery scam involves a lottery, but the intended victim has not entered the lottery. The “winner” is usually sent to send information such as name, residential address, occupation / position, lottery number etc. To a free email account which is at times untraceable or without any link. In addition to harvesting this information, the scammer then notifies the victim that the release requires the small fee (insurance, registration, or shipping). Once the victim sends the fee, the scammer invents another fee.

The fake check technique is also used. Fake or stolen checks, representing a part of the winnings, being sent; Then a fee, smaller than the amount received, is requested. The bank receives the money from the victim.

In 2004 a variant of the lottery scam appeared in the United States: a scammer phones a victim purporting to be speaking on behalf of the government about a grant they qualify for US $ 250. [53]

Online sales and rentals

Many scams involve the purchase of goods and services via classified advertisements, especially on sites like Craigslist , eBay , or Gumtree . These typically involve the scammer. They will Typically Then send a fake check written for an amount Greater Than the asking price, asking the seller to send the difference to an alternate address, usually by money order or Western Union . A seller has sold this product and is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained on this site. [54]

Some scammers advertise phony academic conferences in exotic or international locations, complete with fake websites, scheduled agendas and advertising in a particular field that will be presenting there. They offered to pay the airfare of the participants, but not the hotel accommodations. They will extract money from the victims when they try to reserve their accommodations in a non-existent hotel. [55]

Sometimes, an inexpensive rental property is advertised by a fake landlord, who is typically out of state (or the country) and asking for the rent and / or deposit to be wired to them. [56] Or the con artist finds a property, pretends to be the owner, lists it online, and communicates with the would-be renter to make a cash deposit. [57] The scammer may also be the landlord seeking accommodation. They are located in the heart of the city. Once the terms are negotiated, a forged check is forwarded for a greater amount than negotiated, and the fraudster asks the landlord to wire some of the money back. [58]

Pet scams

This is a variation of the online sales scam Where high-value, scarce pets are advertised as bait is online advertising websites using little real seller verification like Craigslist , Gumtree , and JunkMail . The petty price of a pet can be increased or increased for adoption. Typically the pet is advertised on online advertising pages complete with photographs taken from various sources such as real advertisements, blogs or where ever an image can be stolen. Upon the potential victim contacting the scammer, the scammer responds by asking for details pertaining to the potential victim’s circumstances and location under the pretense of which the pet would have a suitable home. By determining the location of the victim, The scammer ensures he is far enough from the victim to get the buyer to physically view the pet. Should the scammer be questioned, as the. This forces a situation whereby all communication is either via email, telephone (normally untraceable numbers) and SMS. Upon the victim, the victim decides to adopt or buy the pet. If this is not the case, then it is necessary to pay a fee. Payment is via MoneyGram, Western Union or money mules’ bank accounts where other victims have been duped into work from home scams. [59] Should the scammer be questioned, as the. This forces a situation whereby all communication is either via email, telephone (normally untraceable numbers) and SMS. Upon the victim, the victim decides to adopt or buy the pet. If this is not the case, then it is necessary to pay a fee. Payment is via MoneyGram, Western Union or money mules’ bank accounts where other victims have been duped into work from home scams. [59] Should the scammer be questioned, as the. This forces a situation whereby all communication is either via email, telephone (normally untraceable numbers) and SMS. Upon the victim’s decision to adopt or purchase the pet. If this is not the case, then it is necessary to pay a fee. Payment is via MoneyGram, Western Union or money mules’ bank accounts where other victims have been duped into work from home scams. [59] This forces a situation whereby all communication is either via email, telephone (normally untraceable numbers) and SMS. Upon the victim, the victim decides to adopt or buy the pet. If this is not the case, then it is necessary to pay a fee. Payment is via MoneyGram, Western Union or money mules’ bank accounts where other victims have been duped into work from home scams. [59] This forces a situation whereby all communication is either via email, telephone (normally untraceable numbers) and SMS. Upon the victim, the victim decides to adopt or buy the pet. If this is not the case, then it is necessary to pay a fee. Payment is via MoneyGram, Western Union or money mules’ bank accounts where other victims have been duped into work from home scams. [59] Western union or money mules’ bank accounts where other victims have been duped into work from home scams. [59] Western union or money mules’ bank accounts where other victims have been duped into work from home scams. [59]

Numerous problems are encountered in the courier phase of the scam. The crate is too small and the victim has the option of either purchasing a crate with air conditioning or paying a deposit, typically called a cautionary or cautionary fee. The victim may also have to pay for insurance. If the victim pays these fees, the victim is entitled to receive the repayment of the courier. Additionally, the victim may be required to pay for a kennel fee during the recuperation period. The more scam progresses, the more similar are the fictitious fees to those of typical 419 scams. It is not uncommon to see how to use the scam plot.

Numerous scam websites may be used for this scam. This scam has been linked to the classical 419 scams in which the fictitious couriers used, as are also used in other types of scams such as lotto scams.

Romance scam

Main article: Romance scam

One of the variants is the Romance Scam , a money-for-romance angle. [61] The con artist approaches the victim on an online dating service , an instant messenger , or a social networking site. The scammer claims an interest in the victim, and pictures of an attractive person. [62] The scammer uses this communication to gain confidence, then asks for money. [61] The con artist may claim to be interested in meeting the victim, but needs cash to book a plane, Cover other expenses. In other cases, they claim they are trapped in a foreign country and need assistance to return, To escape imprisonment by corrupt local officials, to pay for medical expenses due to an illness contracted abroad, and so on. [62] The scammer may also use the confidence gained by the romance angle to introduce some variant of the original Nigerian Letter scheme, [62] the wealth, Making the request for help in leaving the country even more attractive to the victim. Scams often involve meeting someone on an online match-making service. [61] The scammer initiates contact with their target who is out of the area and requests money for transportation fare. [62] Scammers will typically ask for money to be sent via a money order or wire transfer due to the need to travel, or for medical or business costs. [63]

Jette Jacobs, 67, from Australia. It’s a good idea to have a look at this. Jette Jacobs traveled to South Africa to assumedly marry her scammer, Jesse Orowo Omokoh, 28, after having more than $ 200,000 to him over a three-year period. Her body was discovered on February 9, 2013 under mysterious circumstances, two days after meeting up with Omokoh. Omokoh has fled back to Nigeria. After questioning in Nigeria, Omokoh was arrested. He was found to have had 32 fake online identities. He was never charged with murder, due to the inability to prove he had a hand in the death of Jette Jacobs, only fraud charges. [64] [65]

Mobile tower installation fraud

Main article: Mobile tower fraud

One variant of advanced-fee fraud in India is mobile tower installation fraud . The fraudster uses Internet websites and print media to lure the public for installation of mobile towers on their property. The fraudster also creates fake websites to appear legitimate. Taxes, government charges, bank charges, transportation charges, etc. The Indian government is issuing public notices in media to spread awareness among the public and warn them against mobile tower fraudsters. [66] [67] This fraud is widespread in India and Pakistan. [68] [69]

Other scams

Other scams involve unclaimed property, also called ” bona vacantia ” in the United Kingdom . In England and Wales (other than the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall ), this property is administered by the Bona Vacantia Division of the Treasury Solicitor’s Department. Fraudulent emails and letters claiming to be from this department have been reported, informing the recipient they are the beneficiary of a legacy but requiring the payment of a fee before sending more information or releasing the money. [70] In the United States , messages are falsely claimed to be from the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), a real organization, But one can not make payments. [71]

In one variant of 419 fraud, an alleged hitman writes to someone explaining he has been targeted to kill them. He tells them he knows the allegations against them are false, and asks for money so the target can receive evidence of the person who ordered the hit. [72]

Another variant of advanced fee fraud is known as a pigeon drop. This is a confidence trick in which the mark , or ” pigeon “, is persuaded to give a sum of money in order to secure the rights to a larger sum of money, or more valuable object. In reality, the scammers make off with the money and the mark is left with nothing. In the process, the stranger (actually a confidence trickster) It is actually switched for a full-time newspaper or other worthless material. Through various theatrics, the mark is given the opportunity to leave with the money without the stranger realising. In reality the mark would be fleeing from his own money, Which the man has in his hand . [73]

Some scammers will go after the victims of previous scams; Known as a reloading scam . For example, they may contact a victim as they can track and apprehend the scammer and recover the money lost by the victim, for a price. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. The recovery scammers get lists of victims by buying them from the original scammers. [74]


Estimates of the total losses due to the scam are uncertain and vary widely, since many people may be too embarrassed to admit that they were gullible enough to be scammed to report the crime. A United States government report in 2006 indicated that Americans lost $ 198.4 million to Internet fraud in 2006, averaging a loss of $ 5,100 per incident. [16] That same year, a report in the United Kingdom asked that these scams cost the economy £ 150 million per year, with the average victim losing £ 31,000. [75] In addition to the financial cost, many victims also suffer a severe emotional and psychological cost, such as losing their ability to trust people. One man from Cambridgeshire , UK burnt himself to death with petrol after-Realizing que le $ 1.2 million “internet lottery” that He Had Won Was Actually a scam. [76] In 2007 a Chinese student at the University of Nottingham was killed when she discovered that she had fallen for a lottery scam. [77]

Other victims lose wealth and friends, become estranged from family members, get divorced, or commit criminal offenses in the process of either fulfilling their “obligations” to the scammers or obtaining more money. [78] In 2008 an Oregon woman lost $ 400,000 to a Nigerian advance-fee fraud scam, after an email told her she had inherited money from her long-lost grandfather. Her curiosity was piqued because she had a grandfather and her family had lost touch with, and whose initials were given in the email. She has been working for more than a decade, and she has been working for more than two years. [79] The elderly are particularly likely to online scams such as this, As they are typically come from a generation that is more trusting, [80] and are often too proud to report the fraud. They also may be concerned with the possibility of seeing it as a sign of declining mental capacity, and they are afraid to lose their independence. [81]

Victims can be enticed to borrow or embezzle money to pay the advance fees, believing that they will shortly be paid a much larger sum and be able to refund what they misappropriated. Crimes committed by victims include Credit-card fraud , check kiting , and embezzlement . [82] [83] [84] San Diego -based businessman James Adler lost over $ 5 million in a Nigeria-based advance-fee scam. While short Affirmed That various Nigerian government Officials (comprenant un governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria ) Were Directly or Indirectly Involved, and That Could Be Nigerian government Officials sued in US courts under the “commercial activity” Except to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act , Adler was unable to get his money back due to the doctrine of unclean hands because he had knowingly entered into a contract that was illegal. [85]

Some 419 scams involve even more serious crimes, such as kidnapping or murder . One such case, in 2008, involves Osamai Hitomi, a Japanese businessman who was lured to Johannesburg , South Africa and kidnapped on September 26, 2008. The kidnappers took him to Alberton , south of Johannesburg, and asked a $ 5 million ransom from his family . Seven people were ultimately arrested. [86] In July 2001, Joseph Raca, a former mayor of Northampton , UK, was kidnapped by scammers in Johannesburg , South Africa, who demanded a ransom of £ 20,000. The captors released Raca after they became nervous. [87] One 419 scam ended up in murder in February 2003, Michael Lekara Wayid, an official at the Nigerian embassy in Nigerian embassy in Prague , and a second person, after the Nigerian Consul General explained he Could not return the $ 600,000 that Pasovský had lost to a Nigerian scammer. [36] [88] [89] [90]

The international nature of the crime, combined with the fact that many of the victims do not want to admit that they bought into an illegal activity. In addition, the government of Nigeria has been slow to take action, leading some investigators to believe that some Nigerian government officials are involved in some of these scams. [91] The US government’s establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2004. [34] [92] A notable case that the EFCC was pursued was that of Emmanuel Nwude , who was convicted for defrauding $ 242 million out of the director of a Brazilian bank,

Despite this, there has been some recent success in apprehending and prosecuting these criminals. In 2004 fifty-two suspects were arrested in Amsterdam after an extensive raid, after which almost no 419 emails were reported being sent by local internet service providers . [93] In November 2004, Australian authorities apprehended Nick Marinellis of Sydney , the self-proclaimed head of Australian 419ers who later boasted that he had “220 African brothers worldwide” and that he was “the Australian headquarters for those scams.” [94] In 2008 US authorities in Olympia, Washington , Sentenced Edna Fiedler to two years in prison with 5 years of supervised probation for her involvement in a $ 1 million Nigerian check scam. She had an accomplice in Lagos , Nigeria, who shipped her up to $ 1.1 million worth of counterfeit checks and money orders with instructions on where to ship them. [95]

In popular culture

Due to the Increased use of the 419 scam on the Internet, it has-been used as a plot device in Many movies , television shows and books . A song, “I Go Chop Your Dollar”, performed by Nkem Owoh , also became internationally known as an anthem for 419 scammers. [96] Other appearances in popular media include:

  • The Novel I Do not Come To You By Chance [97] by Nigerian author Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani explores the phenomenon.
  • The 2006 direct-to-DVD kid flick EZ Money features an instance of this scam as its central premise. [98]
  • In the 2007 Futurama straight-to-DVD movie Bender’s Big Score , Professor Farnsworth falls for a lottery scam , giving away his personal details on the internet after believing he has won the Spanish national lottery . Later, Nixon’s Head falls for a “sweepstakes” letter by the same scammers, while Zoidberg is taken by an advance-fee fraud, thinking it’s next to a Nigerian Prince.
  • In series 6, episode 3 of the BBC television series The Real Hustle , the hustlers demonstrated the 419 Scam to the hidden cameras in the “High Stakes” episodes of the show. [99]
  • In the HBO comedy series The Flight of the Conchords episode ” The New Cup “, the band’s manager, Murray, uses the band’s emergency funds for the remainder to be 419 scam-an investment offer made by a Mr. Nigel Soladu, -mailed him from Nigeria. Nigel Soladu is a real Nigerian businessman and the investment is legitimate, although Murray notes that, despite Mr. Soladu having e-mailed many people for an investment, only he had taken him up on it. The band receives a 1000% profit, which they use to get bailed out of jail.
  • The Residents included a song called “My Nigerian Friend” in their 2008 multimedia production The Bunny Boy .
  • A segment of the 2008 This American Life episode Enforcers Discusses scammers from Nigeria and a group of activists That try to scam the scammers. [100]
  • In the pilot episode, “The Nigerian Job”, of Leverage , the group uses the reputation of the Nigerian Scam to con a deceitful businessman.
  • In the Office episode ” Michael’s Birthday ” it is revealed that Michael fell for a 419 scam because he thought he was helping the “sound of the deposed king of Nigeria”.
  • The 2012 novel 419 by Will Ferguson is the story of a father and daughter. A follow-up to earlier novels about Generation and Spanish Fly , 419 won the 2012 Giller Prize , Canada’s most distinguished literary award. [101] [102]
  • An episode of 30 Rock shows Tracy Jordan reminding his entourage about an email from a group of Nigerians trying to get a large sum of money out of the country. Tracy explains that he has just arrived, but that he would have been just happy to help the dethroned Nigerian Prince.
  • In the video game Warframe , Nef Anyo ran an advance-fee fraud during Operation False Profit, where players attempted to reverse the scam and steal credits from him in order to bankrupt him and prevent his creation of a robotic army.
  • In the song ” Lame Claim To Fame ” by “Weird Al” Yankovic , the singer mentions getting an e-mail from the prince of Nigeria.
  • MC Frontalot’s song “Message No. 419” is about a 419 scam [103]

See also

  • Crime portal
  • Causes and correlates of crime
  • Email spam
  • Nigerian organized crime
  • True-believer syndrome


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