SAMPLES OF TYPICAL “ADVANCE FEE FRAUD” A.K.A 419 LETTERS
HINTS ON ADVANCE FEE FRAUD a.k.a 419
(By The Nigerian Police)
IT IS AN EVIL BUSINESS (DON’T FALL A VICTIM BY BEING GREEDY AND/ OR GULLIBLE)
WHAT IS IT?
WHAT TO DO
WHAT NOT TO DO.
LATEST GOVERNMENT MEASURES AGAINST ADVANCE FEE FRAUD
1. 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.
2. 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 cleared the payments. Also, it is not unusual for them to contrive fake publications in the newspapers evidencing purported approvals to transfer non-existent funds.
3. 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!
4. A recent variant of these scams directed primarily at charitable organizations 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 been used too 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.
5. You are gain warned in your own interest not to 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.
6. 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.
7. 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 Organization (Interpol).
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
PRESS STATEMENT ON ADVANCE FEE FRAUD
DON’T BE FOOLED! MANY HAVE LOST MONEY.
IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE THEN IT IS NOT TRUE.
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 (AKA. ’419) has declined significantly. Nevertheless there are still some people who have continued to fall victim to the solicitations of advance fee fraudsters. This 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 fraudsters.
You have been warned several times! You have been warned again!!
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
Samuel Ladoke Akintola Way,
P.M. B. 0187, Garki, Abuja, NIGERIA.
SAMPLE OF TYPICAL “ADVANCE FEE FRAUD” A.K.A
FAX#: 234 – 1 -759 5783
TEL/FAX: 234 – 1 – 288 1489
ATTN: THE PRESIDENT
I am Mr.—————, a Senior Accountant with the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). I came to know of you in my search for a reputable institution/person who can handle a very strictly, confidential transaction which involves transfer of a reasonable sum of money to a foreign account.
Presently, there is Twelve million United States Dollars ($12,000,000.00) only, in my department awaiting remittance. I was a member of the contract award committee that monitored the award and execution of a contract of US$145M by a foreign firm, my colleagues and my self over invoiced this contract and declared US$145M.
After the successful execution of the contract, and the original contractor paid his US$145M, we now have US$12M that we can only claim with the assistance of a foreign firm.
I now seek if you would permit the said funds to be remitted into your personal company account, so that the money so remitted will be shared mutually among the parties concerned, including you.
However, I would wish to receive your personal assurance that you would not sit on the money when it goes into your account. More importantly, you keep confidential this transaction, in order not to tarnish the confidence reposed in the officials involved in this transaction.
Tentatively, we have agreed that 70% of the money goes to the officers where this money originated, 20% to the owner of the account, while 10% would be used to defray whatever expenses that may be incurred in the course of this transaction.
You are expected to forward to me through the above telefax number, the following details:
a) Name of Bank where you want the money to be transferred;
b) Account number and name of the account;
c) Bank address, telephone, fax and telex number;
d) Your personal telephone and fax number
Be informed that on the completion of this business, I will use my share of the money to procure goods from your company or any company you may introduce.
Do not contact your bank yet because payment justification is going to be provided by the CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA to your bank.
Finally, on acceptance of this request, please reply through the above fax number 234-1-759 5763
Tel/fax 234-1-288 1498. This is to guarantee the confidentiality of your interest.
FAX NO. 23417591108.
LAGOS – NIGERIA.
ATTN; THE PRESIDENT/CEO
RE: CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL.
HAVING CONSULTED WITH MY COLLEAGUES, AND BASED ON THE INFORMATION GATHERED FROM AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION HERE IN NIGERIA, I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO REQUEST YOUR ASSISTANCE TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF TWENTY SEVEN MILLION, FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS ($27.4 U.S. DOLLARS) INTO OYUR ACCOUNT.
THE ABOVE SUM RESULTED FROM AN OVER-INVOICED CONTRACT EXECUTED, COMMISSIONED AND PAID FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS (5YRS) AGO BY A FOREIGN CONTRACTOR. THIS ACTION WAS HOWEVER INTENTIONAL AND SINCE THEN THE FUND HAS BEEN IN A SUSPENCE ACCOUNT AT THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, OUR APEX BANK. WE ARE NOW READY TO TRANSFER THE FUND OVERSEAS, AND THAT IS WHERE YOU COME IN.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO INFORM YOU THAT AS CIVIL SERVANTS, WE ARE FORBIDDEN TO OPERATE FOREIGN ACCOUNTS; THAT IS WHY WE REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE. THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE SHARED AS FOLLOWS:- 70% FOR US, 25% FOR YOU AND 5% FOR LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL EXPENSES INCIDENTAL TO THE TRANSFER.
THE TRANSFER IS RISK FREE ON BOTH SIDES. I AM AN ACCOUNTANT WITH THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (N.N.P.C.). IF YOU FIND THIS PROPOSAL ACCEPTABLE, WE SHALL FAX YOU A FOREIGN CONTRACTOR APPLICATION FORM WHICH YOU WILL HAVE TO COMPLETE AND FAX BACK TO US.
THIS BUSINESS WILL TAKE US 30 WORKING DAYS TO ACCOMPLISH.
FOR SECURITY REASONS, ALL CORRESPONDENCE SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO MY E-MAIL ACCOUNT.
PLEASE REPLY URGENTLY.
COMPLIMENTS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM. GRACE AND PEACE AND LOVE FROM THIS PART OF THE ATLANTIC TO YOU. I HOPE MY LETTER DOES NOT CAUSE YOU TOO MUCH EMBARRASSMENT AS I WRITE TO YOU IN GOOD FAITH. BASED ON THE CONTACT ADDRESS GIVEN TO ME BY A FRIEND WHO WORKS AT THE NIGERIAN EMBASSY IN YOUR COUNTRY. PLEASE EXCUSE MY INTRUSION INTO YOUR PRIVATE LIFE.
I AM BARRISTER————-, SENIOR ADVOCATE OF NIGERIA (SAN). I REPRESENT MOHAMMED ABACHA, SON OF THE LATE GEN. SANI ABACHA, WHO WAS THE FORMER MILITARY HEAD OF STATE IN NIGERIA. HE DIED IN 1988. SINCE HIS DEATH, THE FAMILY HAS BEEN LOOSING A LOT OF MONEY DUE TO VINDICTIVE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO ARE BENT ON DEALING WITH THE FAMILY. BASED ON THIS THEREFORE, THE FAMILY HAS ASKED ME TO SEEK FOR A FOREIGN PARTNER WHO CAN WORK WITH US AS TO MOVE OUT THE TOTAL SUM OF US$75,000,000.00 (SEVENTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS), PRESENTLY IN THEIR POSSESSION. THIS MONEY WAS OF COURSE, ACQUIRED BY THE LATE PRESIDENT AND IS NOW KEPT SECRETLY BY THE FAMILY.
THE SWISS GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY FROZEN ALL THE ACOUNTS OF THE FAMILY IN SWITZERLAND, AND SOME OTHER COUNTRIES WOULD SOON FOLLOW TO DO THE SAME. THIS BID BY SOME GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO DEAL WITH THIS FAMILY HAS MADE IT NECESSARY THAT WE SEEK YOUR ASSISTANCE IN RECEIVING THIS MONEY AND IN INVESTING IT ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILY.
THIS MUST BE A JOINT VENTURE TRANSACTION AND WE MUST ALL WORK TOGETHER. SINCE THIS MONEY IS STILL CASH EXTRA SECURITY MEASURES HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO PROTECT IT FROM THEFT OR SEIZURE, PENDING WHEN AGREEMENT IS REACHED ON WHEN AND HOW TO MOVE IT INTO ANY OF YOUR NOMINATED BANK ACCOUNTS. I HAVE PERSONALLY WORKED OUT ALL MODALITIES FOR THE PEACEFUL CONCLUSION OF THIS TRANSACTION. THE TRANSACTION DEFINITELY WOULD BE HANDLED IN PHASES AND THE FIRST PHASE WILL INVOLVE THE MOVING OF US$25,000,000.00 (TWENTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS). MY CLIENTS ARE WILLING TO GIVE YOU A REASONABLE PERCENTAGE OF THIS MONEY AS SOON AS THE TRANSACTION IS CONCLUDED. I WILL, HOWEVER, BASED ON THE GROUNDS THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO WORK WITH US AND ALSO ALL CONTENTIOUS ISSUES DISCUSSED BEFORE THE COMMENCEMENT OF THIS TRANSACTION. YOU MAY ALSO DISCUSS YOUR PERCENTAGE BEFORE WE START TO WORK. AS SOON AS I HEAR FROM YOU, I WILL GIVE YOU ALL NECESSARY DETAILS AS TO HOW WE INTEND TO CARRY OUT THE WHOLE TRANSACTION. PLEASE, DO NOT ENTERTAIN ANY FEARS, AS ALL NECESSARY MODALITIES ARE IN PLACE, AND I ASSURE YOU OF ALL SUCCESS AND SAFETY IN THIS TRANSACTION.
PLEASE, THIS TRANSACTION REQUIRES ABSOLUTE CONFIDENTIALITY AND YOU WOULD BE EXPECTED TO TREAT IT AS SUCH UNTIL THE FUNDS ARE MOVED OUT OF THIS COUNTRY.
PLEASE, YOU WILL ALSO IGNORE THIS LETTER AND RESPECT OUR TRUST IN YOU BY NOT EXPOSING THIS TRANSACTION, EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED.
YOU CAN CONTACT ME IMMEDAITELY ON TEL/FAX NUMBER 234 1775 3417 OR E-MAIL ADDRESS: IKEODILI@ MAILCITY.COM
I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU AND PRAY THAT THE YEAR 2000 WILL BRING US ALL BOUNTIFUL HARVEST.
419? IS AN EVIL BUSINESS DON’T FALL A VICTIM BY BEING GREEDY AND/ OR GULLIBLE
1. WHAT IS IT?
Advance Fee Fraud, otherwise known as 419 in Nigeria simply means the demand for and payment of an advance fee in form of tax, brokerage, bribe, etc under the pretence that such is needed to consummate a business deal whether the business in itself is genuine or not. The term 419 derives from section 419 of the Nigeria Criminal Code which dealt with this offence before the promulgation of the Advance Fee Fraud Decree No13 in 1995.
Advance Fee Fraud is introduced to intended victims through scam letters containing false information on:
¨ Millions of Dollars from over invoiced contracts in Nigeria.
¨ Millions of Dollars from funds left by deceased persons.
¨ Contracts for the purchase of vehicles, computers and accessories, medical equipment, etc all running into millions of Dollars.
¨ The sale of crude oil.
Requests are initially simple and easily accompanied by unsuspecting minds, and are a natural extension of scam letters which contain the sort of information mentioned above. These letters are tempting as they tend to show the ease with which money can accrue to the addressees. Thus, when items such as particulars of Bankers, Company letter head stationeries and blank Company proforma invoices are asked for, they are usually received.
Writers of fraudulent (scam) letters often purport to be persons of social distinction, giving themselves bogus prefixes such as Alhaji, Doctor, Prince, Engineer, Chief, HRH(His Royal Highness) etc. They also lay claim to positions of high status as in being Chief Executive Officers, Chairmen, Executive Directors etc. These positions are claimed to be held in Government offices such as the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Security Printing & minting Company (NSPMC), Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL), Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST), Ministry of Defense (MOD), etc.
The purported advantages of such proposals lies in the making of huge monetary gains, with minimal effort or input. In the case of transfer of funds, there is the inducement of a commission of between thirty to forty percent of the total amount involved to the benefit of the addressee.
Advance Fee Fraud demands surface soon after a link with a would be victim has been made, and normal course of communication established. Series of demands for money are made under several guises, one demand metamorphosing to the other until the victim is unwilling to make further payments in the apparent realisation of deceit in the whole transaction.
Such guises include request for:
¨ 5% Remittance fee
¨ 1% Legal charges
¨ Job completion Certificate charges
¨ 3% National Economic Recovery Fund Tax
¨ Inheritance tax ( in the case of funds supposedly emanating from Wills), and
¨ Value Added Tax (VAT) Revenue Tax amongst others.
*Note that these demands do not exist in normal and actual Government contracts. They are a part of the usual ploy to extort money from unsuspecting victims.
The victims targeted by Advance Fee Fraudsters are, in the main, foreign nationals who are invited to the country by fraudulent letters and investors who, having arrived the country for genuine business, are schemed into fraudulent and frivolous transactions ostensibly to defraud them. Information about such foreigners are easily and usually obtained from catalogues of foreign companies.
Many of these scam/solicitous letters contains several errors of form and grammar. These should naturally raise suspicions from those who are targeted.
2. WHAT TO DO.
Upon the receipt of any letter suggesting the inference that it could be fraudulent going by the above analysis, take any of the following actions as applicable:
*Report immediately to the Local Police Authorities nearest to you.
• Report to the Nigerian Mission in your country.
• If you must respond, reply negatively and terminate communication.
• Send back the scam letter to any of the following addresses in Nigeria:
a) The Assistant Inspector-General of Police,
The Nigeria Police,
Ikoyi – Lagos.
b) The Commissioner of Police,
Special Fraud Unit,
13 Milverton Road,
Ikoyi – Lagos.
c) National Intelligence Agency,
Garki – Abuja.
Where you find yourself in Nigeria, and probably unaware of the fraudulent nature of the transaction you are pursuing, promptly report your presence, giving details of flight, hotel accommodation and other relevant in formation to any of the officers listed above, or the nearest Police Station or your Embassy for security reasons.
3. WHAT NOT TO DO.
• Do not respond to the scam letter either by mail, fax or telephone.
• Do not agree to any proposed meeting – whether it is to take place in your country, another country or Nigeria.
• Do not part with your money under any circumstances.
• Do not reveal or give out your bank account number, as you could be duped.
• Do not be convinced by documents carrying the insignia/logo of Federal Government of Nigeria, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, or any other Nigeria Government Agency. Such documents are faked or forged.
• Do not accept proposals for remittance of money into your bank account. There is no money to be remitted.
• Ensure the security of your vital documents relating to bank accounts, International Passports, Identity cards, fax/telephone numbers, Insurance Certificates, company letter head papers, contractual agreements etc.
• Do not prolong communication as this may convince and lure you into avoidable mess.
• Do not give out documents or other information about yourself or business especially bank/passport particulars, as these may serve as the basis for fraud.
LATEST GOVERNMENT MEASURES AGAINST ADVANCE FEE FRAUD.
• Closure by Nigeria Telecommunication (NITEL) of all telephone business centers all over Nigeria. This was necessitated by the fact that an over-whelming percentage of communication between fraudsters and their victims were through these centers.
• Withdrawal of the International Direct Dialing (IDD) facilities from the public pay booths.
• Enlightenment programs through adverts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other Government agencies.
• Collation of telephone numbers subscribed to by fraudsters, and subsequent investigation of their activities by the Police.
• Commencement of trials of fraudsters in the Miscellaneous Offences Tribunal, as opposed to the regular courts.
• The approval of the use of Police as prosecutors in the above mentioned Tribunal.
SPECIAL FRAUD UNIT,
THE NIGERIA POLICE.