1.The publicity campaigns by the Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN) and the Government of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria have proved successful in sensitizing the public
about the menace of advance fee fraud
and the falsehood of claims that easy money could be made in
Nigeria. Consequently, the reported incidence of advance fee fraud (A.K.A. '419'), has declined
significantly. Nevertheless, there are still some people who have continued to fall victim to the solicitations of
advance fee fraudsters. The warning is, therefore, specifically intended for the benefit of those misguided
people who, in the quest to make easy money at the expense of Nigeria, are defrauded by international
2.The advance fee fraud is perpetrated by enticing the victim with a
bogus 'business' proposal which
promises millions of US dollars as a reward. The scam letter usually
promises to transfer huge amounts of
money, usually in US dollars, purported to be part proceeds of
certain contracts, to the addressee's bank account, to be shared in some proportion between the parties. A
favourable response to the letter is
followed by excuses why the funds cannot be remitted readily and
subsequently by demands for proportionate sharing of payments for various 'taxes' and 'fees'
supposedly to facilitate the processing and
remittance of the alleged funds. The use of 'fake' Government,
Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation, etc. documents is a common practice.
3.The fraudsters usually request that the
transaction be done under the cover of confidentiality. Sometimes,
the 'victims' are invited to Nigeria where they are given red-carpet
reception and attended to by the
fraudsters, posing as Nigerian Government officials. Quite often the
fraudsters invent bogus Government
committees purported to have the payments. Also, it is not unusual
for them to contrive fake publications in the newspapers evidencing purported approvals to transfer
4.To consummate the transaction, the 'victim' would be required to
pay 'advance fees' for various purposes:
e.g. processing fees, unforeseen taxes, license fees, registration
fees, signing/legal fees, fees for National Economic Recovery Fund, VAT, audit fees, insurance coverage fees,
etc. The collection of these 'advance fees' is actually the real objective of the scam!
5.A recent variant of the scam directed primarily at charitable
organisations and religious bodies overseas
involves bogus inheritance under a will. Again the sole aim is to
collect the 'advance fees' already described above. A new strategy that has also been used to defraud the
'victims' is an offer to use chemicals to transform ordinary paper into United States dollar bills, which
would be subsequently shared by the parties.
6.You are again warned in your own interest not be become yet
another dupe to these fraudulent
solicitations or schemes. Genuine and prospective investors in
Nigeria are advised to consult their home
Chambers' of Commerce and Industry, or Nigeria's Chambers' of
Commerce and Industry, Manufacturers' Associations of Nigeria, Federal Ministries of Commerce and
Industry, Nigerian Missions in their countries of origin, their embassies or High Commissions in Nigeria for proper
briefing and advice.
7.The Central Bank and indeed, the Federal Government of Nigeria
cannot and should not be held
responsible for bogus and shady deals transacted with criminal
intentions. As a responsible corporate body,
the Central Bank of Nigeria is once again warning all recipients of
fraudulent letters on bogus deals, that
there are no contract payments trapped in the bank's vaults. They
are once again put on notice that all documents appertaining to the payment, claims, or transfers
purportedly issued by the bank, its senior
executives or the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for
the various purposes described above are all forgeries, bogus and fraudulent.
8.Please join the Central Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria
to fight the criminal syndicates who
play on the gullibility and greed of their victims by reporting any
solicitation to your local law enforcement
agencies or the local International Police Organisation (Interpol).
9.You have been warned several times before! You have been warned
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
Samuel Ladoke Akintola Way,
"....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 Commerce
The following is the response from a Standard Bank of South Africa
official about a scam artist posing as, Mike Tabo, a supposed bank
Subject: RE: Mike Tabo; account information
Your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
refers. Don't get involved here. This is a
Nigerian 419 scam linked to "Black Dollars" and you will
place your own safety at risk should you travel to South Africa to meet with the perpetrators. We strongly recommend
that you sever all ties with these people and cut your losses should you have departed with any funds.
Standard Bank is not involved in this scam although our company name is being used to give it some form of
credibility. There is also no staff member by name of Mike Tabo in our employ. The phone numbers quoted in the
e-mail are all Cellular/Mobile phones acquired on a "Pay As You Go" basis.
J H Cronje
Manager, Strategy, Policy, Communication & Intelligence
Standard Bank of South Africa Limited
Group Internal Audit - Forensic Services
Tel. no. (2711) 636-7430
Fax no. (2711) 636-8307 or 636-6224
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many well known and reputable Nigerian
Organizations which fight the Scam. Among the most prominent of
these is the Association of Nigerians Abroad (ANA).
While IIS and the 419 Coalition differ Significantly with the ANA on
the causation of, responsibility for, and exact methods and
specifics to be used to control the Scam, we cooperate with ANA on
Matters of Mutual Interest.
The Nigerian Democratic Movement (NDM) has issued a series of very
strong statements supporting our efforts in this matter.
The Organization of Nigerians in the Americas (ONA) supports our
efforts in this matter.
Other expatriate Nigerian Organizations which condemn the Scam are:
The International Roundtable on Nigeria (IRTON)
The National Liberation Council (NALICON)
The Global Network of Nigerian Organizations (GNNO)
The Nigerian Alliance for Democracy (NAD)
The Nigerian Freedom Foundation (NFF)
Nigerians for Democracy (NIFORD)
The United Nigeria League (UNL)
The World Union of Nigerians (WUN)
Some of the organizations within Nigeria which condemn the Scam are:
The Campaign for Democracy (CD)
The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO)
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR)
The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADL)
The Constitutional Rights Project (CRP)
The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO)
------- 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 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
met?" This is a valid question for all of us to ponder...
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 www.freemaninstitute.com/419.htm
-- so that more people can see the truth about these 419 scams.
For hard numbers, the Australian
Institute of Criminology article and the US Dept. of State pub.
10465 will prepare you better than this site will. Really good
backgrounders. From these you will get an idea of the scope of this
scam. There are already inter-governmental relationships established
over this issue.