"Nigerian 419 Internet scam asks consumers to become involved in a humanitarian effort that requires participation in a banking or money order transaction. Perhaps a child is sick or disaster victims are having troubles accessing their own bank accounts; the sad stories are often very creative and designed to prey on the human emotions. When consumers offer to join their good names with a bad banking deal, their name can become responsible for the total amount of the transaction after the money is released to the people who instigated the fraud. Nigerian 419 scams are not always from Nigeria or other foreign sounding locations on the map. Consumers must use care with all strangers. For 'iYogi Scam Alert' series, "Read more...
Here's what a typical message looks like:
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE VERIFIED YOUR CONTRACT/INHERITANCE FILE AND FOUND OUT THAT WHY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR PAYMENT IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT FULFILLED THE OBLIGATIONS GIVEN TO YOU IN RESPECT OF YOUR CONTRACT/INHERITANCE PAYMENT.
SECONDLY, WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU ARE STILL DEALING WITH THE NONE OFFICIALS IN THE BANK,ALL YOUR ATTEMPT TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE FUND TO YOU. WE WISH TO ADVISE YOU THAT SUCH AN ILLEGAL ACT LIKE THIS HAVE TO STOP IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT SINCE WE HAVE DECIDED TO BRING A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM. RIGHT NOW WE HAVE ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH OUR SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER ASIA PACIFIC, THAT IS THE LATEST INSTRUCTION FROM MR. PRESIDENT, GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN GCFR
PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE.
THIS CARD CENTER WILL SEND YOU AN ATM CARD WHICH YOU WILL USE TO WITHDRAW YOUR MONEY IN ANY ATM MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD,BUT THE MAXIMUM IS ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER DAY, SO IF YOU LIKE TO RECIEVE YOUR FUND THIS WAY PLEASE LET US KNOW BY CONTACTING THE CARD PAYMENT CENTER AND ALSO SEND THE FOLLOWING
INFORMATION TO HIM IN ORDER TO PROCEED IMMEDIATELY:
1. FULL NAME
2. PHONE AND FAX NUMBER
3. ADDRESS WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND THE ATM CARD TO P.O BOX NOT ACCEPTABLE
4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION
5. A COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION
HOWEVER, KINDLY FIND BELOW THE CONTACT PERSON:
MR. PHIL MORRIS DIRECTOR, ATM PAYMENT CENTRE,
THE ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER HAS BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT 8,300,000.00 AS PART PAYMENT FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR 2011. ALSO FOR YOUR INFORMATION, YOU HAVE TO STOP ANY FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER PERSON(S) OR OFFICE(s) TO AVOID ANY HITCHES IN RECEIVING YOUR ATM PAYMENT.FOR ORAL DISCUSSION, I CAN BE REACHED ON OR EMAIL ME BACK AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR FURTHER DIRECTION AND ALSO UPDATE ME ON ANY DEVELOPMENT FROM THE ABOVE MENTIONED OFFICE.
NOTE THAT BECAUSE OF IMPOSTORS, WE HEREBY ISSUED YOU OUR CODE OF CONDUCT, WHICH IS ATM-811 SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN CONTACTING THE CARD CENTER BY USING IT AS YOUR SUBJECT.
CHIEF AUDITOR TO MR PRESIDENT
First and foremost I would like to apologize for infringing on your privacy by sending you an unsolicited email,I would have given you a call, but rather I decided to contact you via an email to get us acquainted since it is a safer way of private communication.If you must
know, I came about your contact information through a random search with my client's name on the Inter net while trying to locate any link to him.
I am Dr.Williams Walters a personal account adviser/officer to a great late industrialist who has an account in one of the top banks here in Ghana. It has been ten years now since he died in the year 2000 without a written or an oral will to the best of my knowledge from information I gathered via his attorney here in Ghana and since then nobody has operated on his account again hence the money is floating and if I do not remit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing since the bank has been sold on , 19 January 2011 to another bank and the management of the bank are now ready to release the fund to any foreigner who has the correct information of the account before fully handing over the management to the new bank.
The owner of this account is a foreigner and no other person knows about this account OR anything concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary. My investigation through the National immigration department proved to me as well that he was single as at the point of his entry into Ghana.As a matter of fact, I have decided to transfer this fund abroad for investment.Your assistance as a foreigner is necessary because the management of the bank will welcome any foreigner who has correct information to this account which I will give you immediately, if you are interested to do this business with me. Firstly, before I will disclose the said amount to you, I must solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction. This is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential,I want to be sure and have confidence of your ability and reliability to prosecute a transaction of this great magnitude which I solicit your assistance to enable us transfer the said amount into your safe account for on ward investment.
You can either provide us with an existing account or to set up a new bank account immediately to receive this fund, even an empty bank account will serve to receive this fund,as long as you are willing to remain honest to me till the end of this important business transaction, trusting in you and believing that you will never let me down either now or in future. I am sure that everything will work out as the world bank send their delegate to us which we had a meeting in the bank of Ghana on our independence day 6 of march 2010 and the G20 summit meeting that was heard in London to stop the global financial crisis have brought a new banking system to Africa, in a way that nobody will know and i will get you all the legal document in your name, more to it i was able to speak with the representative from the world bank at length so i strongly believe that everything will work out. As soon as I hear from you, and upon your strong assurance that you will not let me down once the fund goes into your account I will then start to process the transfer of the fund to your account without further delay.If interested contact me for further details.
Attention: The President/CEO
Confidential Business Proposal
Having consulted with my colleagues and based on the information gathered from the Nigerian Chambers Of Commerce And Industry, I have the privilege to request for your assistance to transfer the sum of $47,500,000.00 (forty seven million, five hundred thousand United States dollars) into your accounts. The above sum resulted from an over-invoiced contract, executed commissioned and paid for about five years (5) ago by a foreign contractor. This action was however intentional and since then the fund has been in a suspense account at The Central Bank Of Nigeria 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 a foreign account; 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 incident to the transfer.
The transfer is risk free on both sides. I am an accountant with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). If you find this proposal acceptable, we shall require the following documents:
(a) your banker's name, telephone, account and fax numbers.
(b) your private telephone and fax numbers -- for confidentiality and easy communication.
(c) your letter-headed paper stamped and signed.
Alternatively we will furnish you with the text of what to type into your letter-headed paper, along with a breakdown explaining, comprehensively what we require of you. The business will take us thirty (30) working days to accomplish.
Please reply urgently.
Ever received a mail from a Nigerian official or diplomat which claimed to make you richer by a million bucks or more? Have you been a victim of the notorious Nigerian or 419 fraud and ended up in a complete fiasco? Share your story with us at iYogi and we will publish your story to ensure that innocent people do not get defrauded anymore by the Nigerian fraud.
Patrick Samuel, London
30 June, 2011
Hi Kurt, I didn't get your point. Can you just give me a brief description about this IRS and other potential legal issues which help us from not being scammed? It will be a great help for me and also for others who had no idea about this.
Kurt Bailey, Tampa
20 April, 2011
Even though I was about to pay up for such a scam, I backed out in the end. The fact that such huge amounts of money cannot be transferred without the knowledge of the IRS and other potential legal issues kept me away from being scammed. The person even called me a couple of times trying to convince me it was legit! I guess they must have gotten someone new by now.
Donna Harris, Sydney
07 April, 2011
Hey it happened with me too.... I was lured by the idea of earning good profits and was duped by a scamster... I just wanted to advice you all that do not fall prey to such scams that take place on the net... .
Kerry Phillips, Toronto
29 March, 2011
It happened with me too…. I forgot the fact that no money can be earned without HARD WORK…
Nigerian or 419 Internet Fraud
25 February, 2011
The e-mail began, "Dear Sir or Madam," and went on with a request for my "utmost confidentiality". It continued by explaining that the sender is a top Nigerian government official who is in possession of funds that need to be gotten out of Nigeria. The sender went on to tell me that he had great confidence in my ability to help him get this money, a huge sum by the way, out of Nigeria. He then promised I could keep 20% of that sum for simply allowing him to deposit it into my bank account. He was placing his trust in me to send the other 80% via Western Union to an address that he would reveal in a future communication. In the meantime, I was to reply and he would promptly send me further instructions.
Almost everyone has heard the adage, "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is." I've done a lot of research on many of the so called "opportunities" that abound the internet so I pretty much know a scam when I see one and I realized that this letter was a definite scam. Still, I was curious how it was supposed to work. So, I replied to the e-mail. The answer did not take long to arrive in my inbox and my instructions were, of course, to provide my personal information, including my bank account number. I did not respond to this request. If the misspelled and poorly written initial e-mail wasn't enough to alert me to the scam, this surely was. I'm quite apt to check things out on Snopes.com and that's just what I did with this proposition.
It turns out that the letter I received is just one of many versions of what has been nicknamed the Nigerian Scam or 419 Internet Fraud. I also learned that versions of this scam began way back in the 1920's and are still around because they still WORK. People, and lots of them, fall for it all the time. Blinded by the idea of all those supposed millions of dollars, just for letting someone use your bank account, they give out their personal information. Pretty soon their bank account is empty and there is no forthcoming fortune to replenish it. Their money is gone, thanks to the Nigerian or 419 Internet Fraud, and so are the "Nigerians".
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