The Nigerian Scam

This particular type of scam has been around for many years now but, perhaps due to the widespread use of email, it has once again gained prominence in the scamming world.

Alternatively known as the “Advance Fee Scam”, or “4-1-9 fraud” (4-1-9 is the part of the Nigerian penal code which addresses fraud), the Nigerian scam still amazingly manages to part honest people with millions of pounds each year.

Traditionally this scam targeted smaller companies and charities.

However, it is becoming much more prevelant in email inboxes around the world, aimed at individuals.

Here is an example –

Dear Sir,

I am a highly placed official of Government of Nigeria and also a founding member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). My committee – The Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC)-which is in charge of managing and supervising the disbursement of oil sales revenues for the Nigerian government which covers payment to foreign and local contractors that have executed contracts for our country.The revenue under our control runs into several hundred of millions of dollars monthly.Myself and other colleagues in the NDDC are currently in need of a foreign partner with whose bank account we shall transfer the sum of Forty Nine Million Five Hundred Thosand United States Dollars($49.5m). This fund was accrued from various over invoicing of foreign contractors’ payments made over the years. The Total fund is presently waiting in the Government Account named CBN/FGN INDEPENDENT REVENUE account Central Bank of Nigeria.However, by virtue of our position as civil servants and members of the NDDC, we cannot acquire this funds in our name. This is because as top civil servants, we are not allowed by law of the land to own or operate bank accounts outside our country for now. I have been delegated as a matter of trust by my colleagues, to look for an overseas partner in whose account we would transfer the fund,hence the reason for this mail.We shall be Transferring the money to your account with your company as the beneficiary, under the guise that you are being paid for a contract which you/your company executed for our country through the NDDC and any other Federal Ministry that we decide to use to siphon the funds through. For your support and partnership,please reply me to negotiate your fees or the percentage you wish to be paid when the funds arrive your bank account. You must however note that this transaction, with regards to our disposition to continue with you, is subject to these terms. Firstly, our conviction of your transparency.Secondly, that you treat this transaction with utmost secrecy and confidentiality. Finally and above all, that you will provide an account over which you have absolute control . The transaction, although discrete, is legitimate and there is no risk or legal lliability either to ourselves or yourself now or in the future as we have put in place the neccesary machinery that will ensure a hitch free transfer into your account upon acceptance. The transfer will be effected to your account within ten to fourteen (10-14) working days from the date we reach an agreement and you furnish me with your contact telephone and fax numbers. I am looking forward to doing business with you and do solicit your confidentiality in this transaction, Please mail your response to me through my confidential email address; > for me to update you on our plans as to how we intend to actualize this transaction.

Yours Sincerely,

(name and email hidden to protect the guilty!)

Of course the goal of this con is to convince you that you cannot fail to acquire millions of dollars in this get rich quick scheme.

If you bite then seemingly genuine lawyers, barristers and government officials will all be brought on board to increase your comfort with the scheme.

Once you trust them they’ll start hitting snags in their previously perfect scam.

There will be the need for visas, bribes and other unforseen circumstances.

Natuarally, the scammers will be wanting you to front the money to cover it.

And, why not?

You’re going to receive millions back in a week or so anyway arn’t you? Hahaha

Pay once and they will know they have you then.

Your greed will be obvious and they will string you along for as long as possible.

In extreme cases respondants have been duped into going to Nigeria without visas – no problem getting in without one as airport guards can be bribed, but getting out leads to all sorts of problems – problems the scammers can “fix” with the righ financial incentives!

At the end of the day, view these emails thus: why is a complete stranger offering you, a random person from the net, a fortune?

If something sounds too good to be true then STOP and think that maybe it is!

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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