this site presumes neither to speak authoritatively about the
effect of the scam on North Americans, Europeans, Asians,
Australians, nor to advise
governments, the comments that come in suggest that this scam
hurts the reputation of legitimate African businessmen among
people who have no other knowledge of, for example, West African society.
As if business wasn't tough enough. West African government officials
and legitimate business people must be
steaming mad. The relatively few scam artists cast a shadow of
suspicion over many business dealings. Africa is a country
in resources with a tremendous history.
Some of the scams play on the victims' greed, but many play on
victim's financial neediness, altruism or religious feelings. The
specifically business-related scams entice small to mid-sized
business people or faith-based organizations to pay advance fees to bid on non-existent contracts, or
to give money to pay fees associated with moving money to their bank account. The
religious scams, sprinkled with a lot of references to God and
church work, prey especially on faith-based organizations.
Perhaps (let us hope) a future Nigeria, tranquil and
prosperous, will see fewer of these frustrated
novelists-in-crime -- their literary talents will have found
other legitimate avenues by which to profit. The 419 scams are
truly sad, because there are so many wonderful people in
Africa. We love Africa and we love Africans. Nothing here
should be taken as a criticism of any nation or people, nor do
we suggest that there are no scam artists in other countries.
By the way,
are two of the words
Nigerian scam artists use when talking about their victims.
Not flattering terms! Don't be a MUGU. We hope and pray that you will not fall
prey to their many variations of the confidence game.
This web site is a labor of love...
QUEST FOR RICHES DARKENS THE
SENSE OF RIGHT AND WRONG.”
— Antiphanes, ancient Greek dramatist"
The bottom line that needs to get pounded
into the head of every person reading this is:
E V E R Y O N E O F T
H E S E S C A M S I S
A S C A M. P E R I O D. -- T H
E S C A M L E T T E R Y O
U R E C E I V E D I S N O
T A N E X C E P T I O N T
O T H I S R U L E --
8. A bogus
letter designed to see how scam artists would respond --
something about JFK. Kinda funny.
9. Here's how one "scam
buster" dealt with a 419 scam artist posing as a
10.Will the real fake Auditor
General of African Banks please stand up? --
What a $152
11. The Mariam
Abacha story is by far the most popular of all 419
scams...check 'em out!
11. Police bust a 419 ring in South Africa. Read
12. Many use religion
as their main tool in the confidence game --
13. Here's an
exchange with a persistent scam artist.
14. True Confessions. Here are some responses
from scam artists when
confronted. Quite insightful.
-- Frequently Asked Questions and other responses regarding 419 scams.
From a Nigerian who has researched these scams from within the
419 rings. Insightful.
17. Some of the latest 419
news coming out of West Africa.
18. Some variations
of the 419 scam. Remember, it's always about the advance fee
they are looking for.
19. An actual 419 scammer was captured on film by a
remote VideoCam in Amsterdam.
20. 419 Lottery
Scams -- Same scam, different approach.
21. Here are some of the latest scams -- Same
scams, different approaches.
E V E R Y.......E V E R Y
unsolicited email or fax you
receive that looks even close
- like the ones
we list here -
I S A F R A U D. 100% Guaranteed. Period.
Run, don't walk,
away from all of these frauds. It's called an "advance fee" scam.
They all make the empty promise of big money and then ask you to
some money -- any amount. They will start high, but if you protest
they will come down.
All they want you to do is to advance them some money. It's that
Everything complicated gets real simple
when you grasp this simple
Here are several of many blunt responses from active 419 scam
artists to this web site:
"I would rather say f--- this Freeman Institute. The white men
has cheated us in our life a lot and now its time to revenge.
F--- all ya M------ F------ dealing with Nigerians. If
isn't greedy in life why should he believe such
You know what? I am happy this is happening. This
is what I call 'reprisal attacks' for the evils
the so called western world did to Africa and the
entire black race (slavery, apartheid, looting,
killings etc.) Now, It show that blacks are
smarter after all.
AN EYE FOR AN EYE ...
Never believed whites can be so daft to fall for
such schemes as 419. You people think blacks are
fools? Or why would you people want to assist
someone who wishes to loot, steal or transfer some
illegal money from Africa. Candidly, I feel all
419 victims should be arrested and tried. It takes
two to tango.
We have a saying, it goes thus: "if a man cannot
match his master strength for strength, he resorts
to killing his master's favourite goat." Just by
writing and cooking up some fictitious story, the
mighty are falling. THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE
O P T I O N S ---
1. All-Day "Diversity Seminar" Program --
2. "Diversity Day" Presentation or Keynote Address --
3. "Black History" Presentation --
4. Dr. Freeman's African American History Collection --
Click Here 5. Preview Online Diversity Course --
Flash Player needed to Preview Courses --
Flash 6. Critical Incident Debriefing --
Click Here 7. Symbols that Address Cultural Awareness --
Click Here 8. Employee Assistant Seminars in DC Region --
"....Nigeria is still ranked as one
of the most corrupt countries on earth. U.S. citizens lose
approximately $2 billion ($2,000 million) a year to Nigerian
fraud -- be it credit card fraud, insurance fraud, or 419 scam
letters, or counterfeiting," which totals about "two
and one-half times the value of our total U.S. exports to
Nigeria." -- Nov. '99, Robert L. Mallet, Deputy Secretary of
A recent letter from someone scammed
-- I have recently fallen victim to a Nigerian wire transfer
scam. I realized it too late to stop it. I had recently put
up some used computer equipment for sale. Within a few days,
someone claiming to be from England had contacted me to buy my
equipment. Part of the deal was that he was going to send me
a cashiers check, I was to cash it and take my share, then
forward the rest to a supposed shipping agency to pick up the
equipment and ship overseas. Now that all is said and done,
it makes sense how it worked. Basically, once the check is
cashed into real money, I forwarded it to a name and address
(all fake) to Lagos, Nigeria. A few days later, my bank's
collection department called me in regards to my account being
in the negative! It was then that I realized what had
happened. Once they had the money transferred, it was
realized that the check was counterfeit and I got left holding
the bag. As much as I'd like to fly over to Nigeria to sift
through their scam-ridden society, I realize that it would
most likely result in a dead end search--literally.
Nonetheless, thank you for creating such a site to increase
the knowledge of this behavior.
Here are some
rationalizations from scam artists as to why a victim should
work with them:
Dear Mr. xxxxxxxx: Thank you
for the information, but i must let you know that if you
beleive in the story you gave me now then we should call it a
quit ok, i think that i did explain all these to you on the
phone that although that there so many SCAMS going on but this
one is not among them, you know people can fake some thing
from orriginal ok. and i must let you know that all those
things you saw on the internet is the hand work of the
Nigerian Govt. they have connived with American and European
Govt. to discourage so many Foreigners who join hand with
their African counterparts to take money away from this
country so all these is a plot with the Western Govt. there
are so many advertorials both on the Internet and media
organisations to discourage people. So if you so beleive in
all those stories then i will look for some body else ok, i
have promised to furnish you with my working ID and my
international passport so that at th end of the day if this
dose not work out i will refund you all the Monies that you
have spent so far. I promise not to offend you and you must
promise not to betray this trust bestowed on you. Please
respond to this mail immediately so that i will know my faith,
i will send you any further information until i have received
a response from you based on this mail. Best regards,
Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxx: Thanks for your prompt response, your
question about the legitimacy of this transaction is just like
asking a trader why should i pay for what i am buying. But in
any case we are like partners in progress and if i had the lot
money to pay the lawyer and pay the fees for the documents
then there is no point of contacting you ok, you need to
assist in either paying the lawyer or the fees for the
documents because without the back up documents there should
be no indication that you are the next of Kin to Mr Hew ok i
will like you to understand this point and more over if we did
not pay the lawyer how will you secure the legal backing. So
if you are ready to participate in this transaction you will
have to assist at some point either to pay the lawyer or the
fees for the documents. My dear i will like you to ignore all
the advertorials on the internet or Media groups because they
work hand in hand with our Fedral Govt. our Govt. pay them a
lot for these adverts, i want you to cast all those
discourgements behind you and let us forge a head with this
transaction for you will never regret knowing me ok i assure
you this, i am ready to lay my Job on the line for this money
because i needed this money and we will get this money, you
know that i work in the bank as an Auditor so i know how to go
about the whole thing with out any traces at the end of the
transfer, just leave everything for me, but you will have to
assist at some point to defray the cost on this transaction. i
wait to hear from you immediately. Best regards, Hayford
Feel free to provide a link to this web
page, so that more
people can see the truth about these 419 scams.
Central Bank Of Nigeria Fake International Remittance Alhaji
Egwu fake board member of the Petroleum Trust Fund.
Dr. Umar Danjuma Ali fake Chairman of the Committee for the
Verification of Claims
Dr. Richarson John Garba fake purchase of ammunition Sierra Leone
Dr. Solomon Godfrey fake foreign liaison officer board of trustee
RWA Agency Relief West Africa Edward
Amedu, fake Eastern Area manger of Ecobank, PLC. Federal
Ministry of Works and Housing, Abuja, Nigeria fake confirmation certificate
Ibrahim musa fake chief security officer central bank of ivory coast Jean
Kolonoga fake Chairman of the Allocation Board Committee Jose
Emmanuel, Larry Kosweat, Allan Kismate -- Who is the real fake
Auditor of Prime Banks in Africa? Michael
Ndidi Kabila, fake cousin of late President of Congo
Agwasi, fake wife of late Col. John Ndosi Agwasi from Congo
Affairs Commission fake certificate
Preachers from a supposed Nigerian church, Seed
Harvest Ministry -- John Waters or Patrick Udo? Prince
Bundor, fake son of King Sankoh, Sierra Leone Robert
Kambili, Fake Bank Manager of Delta Trust Bank of Nigeria
Abacha fake wife of Nigerian head of State General Sani Abacha. Yuvraj
Kailash -- A new story line out UK, using Nepal as a backdrop
for the story
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Fake certificate of
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Fake foreign exchange
Nigerian Scam Letter Abu Zamani fake official Nigerian National
Nigerian Scam Letter Alhaji Ibrahim Tukur fake official Nigerian
National Petroleum Corporation
Nigerian Scam Letter Clement Apkamgbo fake official Nigerian
National Petroleum Corporation
Nigerian Scam Letter Engr Frank Dada fake official
Nigerian Scam Letter Dr. Anthony Enahoro Kome
Nigerian Scam Letter Dr. Dandyson Ugo
Nigerian Scam Letter Dr. Frank GOZIE fake financial controller NNPC
Nigerian Scam Letter Dr. Hassan Ahmed
Nigerian Scam Letter Dr. Timothy Ajala
Nigerian Scam Letter Dr. Yerima Musa
Nigerian Scam Letter Dr. Yerima Musa fake request for real estate
Nigerian Scam Letter Uffot Ekaette Fake Secretary of the President
Nigerian Scam Letter Engr. Clement Esu
Nigerian Scam Letter Engr. Sarki Shehu
Nigerian Scam Letter John Aknife fake lottery win
Nigerian Scam Letter John Ude fake solar panels purchase order
Nigerian Scam Letter Yukaba fake Nigerian Federal Ministry Member
Nigerian Scam Letter Lucky Osa a fake Justice of the Peace
Nigerian Scam Letter Shugaba fake chairman Nigerian Federal Ministry
of Works & Housing( FMWH)
Nigerian and Congo Scam Letter Chima Magashi fake son of Theophilus
Sierra Leone scam letter, fake Accountant General Hassan
SMS Mobile Telephone Please call me on 09011500065 Message Scam
South Africa Anglo Gold Corporation Dr. James Khumalo
South African kidnap gangs lure businessmen to traps
South Africa Mrs. Mariam Y Sankoh
Union Bank of Nigeria Michael Noble fake bank official
United Bank of Africa Mazwell Ibe Fake Bank Manager
Alhaji Mustapha Yaya fake director of national Nigerian corporation
(heart rending E-mail from victim)
The list goes on and on -- With much more to come....
Nigerian 419 is a global problem, affecting
nearly every nation on earth. These operations have been
running since the mid-1980's and conservative estimates of
total money is stolen worldwide through the year 2001 range
upwards of $5 billion.
The term 419 comes from the section of the
Nigerian criminal code outlawing fraudulent activities. It has
become a part of everyday Nigerian Language. As others
might say that one has cheated, or stolen, or tricked, or
misrepresented, or lied, or conned, etc., a Nigerian will
often just use the term "419" to cover all or some
of the above activities.
Some of the more common "Advance Fee" 419 versions are:
1. Contract Repurchase
419, in which the target thinks he is buying the
proceeds of an over billed contract legitimately executed in Nigeria by
2. Oil 419 in which the target thinks he
is buying a
shipment of Nigerian oil at a discounted rate.
3. Charity Scam 419 in which the target is
told that the persecuted Nigerian Christians or Muslims, etc, (depending upon the target organization) need to get their
money out of the country before it is seized.
4. Black Currency 419, the second most
prevalent version, and is a money laundering scheme where the
target pays the Nigerians money to purchase chemicals to clean
5. Will Scam 419 in which the target is
told he has been willed money by someone in Nigeria.
6. Dead Foreigner Scam -- A large sum of money has been left in an bank account by a visiting businessman in Nigeria, who tragically
died in a car/plane wreck. Unfortunately, the lawyer/bank employee can find no heirs.... would you like a share in these
funds by posing as the sole heir of the deceased's estate? Of course, some lawyer fees and estate taxes will need to be paid for first... but hurry, in a short time, the government will seize the
funds and put them into their war fund!
7. Ill Gotten Gains Scam -- A large sum of money
or gold bullion was left to the wife/son/ daughter of a Nigerian
Member who has since been ousted/ assassinated. Sadly, there is no way to safely get these funds out of the country without the
help of an open-minded foreigner. Some minor out-pocket expenses will need to be paid, initially, of course, but imagine the
rewards of having your share of the money... but hurry, the new
government in power is trying to recover these funds!
8. Fortunate Investor Scam -- A wealthy (usually ex-royal, ex-government official) investor wants to invest in a large sum of money in a foreign country, but can't attend to the business personally. Wouldn't you care to do them the favor of overseeing the investment? Of course, some sort of formalities will need to be attended to first, after all, how can you be trusted with their
millions without first having you meet them in Nigeria.... but hurry,
this is a limited time offer, and the new government in power is
9. Over-Billed Government Contract Scam
-- The National Petroleum Company (or another government agency) of Nigeria has been
purposely and successfully over billed a large sum of money on a legitimate contract. Now all these fellows need is a helpful foreign
company to make them dummy invoices so that the funds will be
transferred. Wouldn't a minor investment to get some paperwork pushed through the Nigerian government bureaucracy be worth the
millions of dollars that your share will bring... but hurry, the
contract needs to be billed within a short period of time, or the payment will lapse!
10. Below Market Commodities Scam -- A fortunate Nigerian has gotten a large quantity of crude oil/gold/diamonds but cannot move them
from their storage facility without the help of a foreigner investor. If you would only pay some "earnest
money/fees/ bribes" he will let you keep a very generous percentage of the commodities' market
value once they have been sold.... but hurry, time is of the essence, the people in charge of storing it are getting suspicious!
11. Death Fax Scam -- The U.S. State Department's report on Nigerian Fraud
has an actual reproduction of one of these... Basically a wealthy executive gets a "pay or die" demand from a "professional assassinator organization"... hurry, if you don't pay, or if you tell anyone else, you will be killed by our observers!
It would be laughable if it weren't so twisted.
12. Letter of Credit Scam -- A Nigerian business places a relatively small (legitimate) order from your company, perhaps $1000 worth of goods. Shortly thereafter, another order is placed, for a slightly
larger amount, again, paid in full. Suddenly, an urgent order and much larger is placed, but this one needs to be air freighted on the double! Your Nigerian partners have just received a lucrative
government contract, and if this shipment arrives on time, it means many more large orders in the near future. Don't worry about waiting until the bank draft clears... after all, the order is from our friends in Nigeria, and they have always made good their
13. Helpful Police Official Scam -- It's the re-victimization scheme. If at any point, the victim decides to walk away from the deal, an individual posing as a government or police " task force
official" will contact the victim and offer to "investigate" the scammers and attempt to recover the lost funds...of course, this
sort of investigation requires the utmost privacy and discretion,
and apparently that doesn't come cheap in Nigeria... but hurry, you have to start this investigation as soon as possible, or else "they"
will get away! Ironically, more often than not, the same group of scammers is responsible for the
"re-vic" con, and it has also been documented that con men often resell the
"walk-aways" to other groups of con artists that specialize in the
14. The Confidence Scam -- Pretending to
befriend or to be in love with someone and then mentioning that
something terrible has happened (e.g. I was beaten up two days
ago, left for dead...all money taken...I am in hospital...My
passport and money was stolen and I am in another country with
no place to go...etc.). The scam artist plays on the victims
emotion. They wait until the "emotional hook" has been set
before sharing the "recent" awful news. ("I am embarrassed to
ask you for this, but I need $3,000 to pay the hospital or they
will throw me out on the streets. Please help me. I do not know
what to do...")
------- WHAT CAN BE DONE
ABOUT THESE SCAM ARTISTS? -------
Not much. We don't want to sound fatalistic,
but the reality is that the scam artists hide behind
untraceable email addresses, sending their scam letters from
pay-by-the-hour Internet Cafes. The governments of Africa
are generally in a survival mode, with little interest in
dealing with some Internet scam artist in a local village.
There are always bigger fish to fry.
Plus we have actually talked with West
African government and business officials about their
perception of these 419 scams. They have expressed amazement
that anyone could be fooled by the empty promises
contained in unsolicited emails from a stranger in Africa. In their
eyes, the culpability goes both ways. "Who could be
such a fool to give money to someone they have never
personally met for such an obvious fraud?" This is a valid question for all of us to
What we have done at The Freeman Institute
is to provide a free service to warn individuals who may be
flirting with the idea of great wealth coming their way. Our
motto is: Run, don't walk, away from these scams and then do
what you can to warn people about this pervasive problem.
Feel free to provide a link to this page, so that more
people can see the truth about these 419 scams.
Most 419 letters and emails originate from or are traceable back to Nigeria. However, some originate from other nations, mostly also West 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.