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Nigeria - The 419
They Fight the Nigerian Scam.
The Nigerian Scam Defined
A Five Billion US$ (to date) worldwide Scam which has run since the early 1980's under Successive Governments of Nigeria. It is also referred to as "Advance Fee Fraud", "419 Fraud" (Four-One-Nine) after the relevant section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria, "The Fax Scam" and "The Nigerian Connection" ( mostly in Europe ). However, it is usually called plain old "419" even by the Nigerians themselves.
The Scam operates as follows: the target receives an unsolicited fax or letter from Nigeria containing either a money laundering or other illegal proposal OR you may receive a Legal and Legitimate business proposal by normal means. Common variations on the Scam include "overinvoiced" or "double invoiced" oil or other supply and service contracts where your Bad Guys want to get the overage out of Nigeria; crude oil and other commodity deals; a "bequest" left you in a will; and "money cleaning" where your Bad Guy has a lot of currency that needs to be "chemically cleaned" before it can be used and he needs the cost of the chemicals. Or the victim will just be stiffed on a legitimate goods or services contract...the variations are very creative and virtually endless.
At some point, the victim is asked to pay up front an Advance Fee of some sort, be it an "Advance Fee", "Transfer Tax", "Performance Bond", or to extend credit, grant COD privileges, whatever. If the victim pays the Fee, there are many "Complications" which require still more advance payments until the victim either quits, runs out of money, or both. If the victim extends credit etc. he may also pay such fees ("nerfund" etc.), and then he is stiffed with NO Effective Recourse.
The Nigerian Scam is, according to published reports, the Third largest industry in Nigeria. Our research demonstrates rather conclusively that, in effect, the elites from which successive Governments of Nigeria have been drawn ARE the Scammers - therefore, victims have little recourse in this matter. Monies stolen by 419 operations are almost Never Recovered from Nigeria, though there have been some indications of progress in anti-419 matters under the Obasanjo government.
Please review the 419 Coalition Inquiry and Information links which follow below on this page. The email address of 419 Coalition is firstname.lastname@example.org and Snailmail is The 419 Coalition, Twin Maples, 3891 North Valley Pike, Harrisonburg, VA, 22802, USA. Freewill non-tax deductible contribitions are always appreciated.
And if YOU Have Received a Nigerian Scam/419 Letter Please Be Sure to Scroll Down and READ the What Do If You Receive a Nigerian Scam/419 Letter Section BELOW.
THE FIVE RULES FOR DOING BUSINESS WITH NIGERIA
Courtesy of The 419 Coalition
1. NEVER pay anything up front for ANY reason.
2. NEVER extend credit for ANY reason.
3. NEVER do ANYTHING until their check clears.
4. NEVER expect ANY help from the Nigerian Government.
5. NEVER rely on YOUR Government to bail you out.
What To Do If You Receive A Nigerian Scam/419 Letter
United States Citizens and Residents
1. If you are a United States Citizen or Resident and have suffered NO Financial Loss, write "No Financial Loss - For Your Database" on the documents you received and Fax them to the US Secret Service Task Force handling Scam matters at 202-406-6930. Actual hardcopy of the Bad Guy document(s) is required to add your Bad Guy information to the Task Force Database for legal reasons, merely telling Task Force about it will NOT suffice.
Since Task Force is Very Busy dealing with cases in which there Have been financial losses, it is NOT customary for them to contact you in cases where there has been No loss. But it is Very Important that you get your Bad Guy data into the Task Force Database, so DO send it along.
2. IF you are a United States Citizen or Resident and YOU HAVE SUFFERED A FINANCIAL LOSS write "Financial Loss - Contact Me ASAP" on the documents you have received and Fax them to the Task Force at 202-406-6930 and give Your telephone number(s). A Secret Service Agent will call you back as soon as possible to discuss the matter with you ( don't worry, you're Not in any trouble ). You may also email the 419er materials, especially any Banking Data they have given you, to Task Force Main in DC marked as described above.
If you don't get a callback soon enough to suit you, call the Task Force Voice at 202-406-5850 and tell the Operator (or voicemail) that it's Urgent, you want to talk to an Agent as soon as possible, and give your name and telephone number(s).
International Citizens and Residents
1. If you are Not a US Citizen or Resident, but there is ANY US CONNECTION to your Case at all, follow the instructions for US Citizens and Residents given above, and be Sure to include any US banking data on your Bad Guys if you have any.
Clearly State what the US Connection is, and provide backup material to support the US Connection. Also notify your own Nation's authorities as in #2 below.
International and Your Case has NO US Connection:
2. Notify your Own Nation's National Law Enforcement Agency and your Own Nation's Foreign Office.
3. Please Fax hardcopy of your Bad Guy Data correspondence you received to the US Task Force at 202-406-6930, especially any banking data, so that they can be included in the Task Force Database, state what Country you are sending from, and state whether there has been a Loss or there is No Loss. You can also email the material to Task Force Main in DC marked as described above.
In cases without a direct US connection it is unlikely that Task Force will contact you, however, there IS an an informal group of National and International Law Enforcement Agencies which meets and shares Information and Data on Nigerian Scam operations, and it is Important that your Bad Guy data be on record to be included in these discussions.
Therefore, whether or not your case has a US connection, do not fail to Fax your Bad Guy data, especially banking data, to Task Force, properly annotated with Your Country, Loss or No Loss etc., at 202-406-6930 in addition to reporting your case to your National authorities as described above. And remember you can also email your 419er documents to Task Force Main in DC as you wish.
For Everybody Everywhere
1. If you have NOT suffered a financial loss, so the matter is not Urgent, you may alternatively SNAILMAIL the Scam documents you have received to the United States Secret Service, Financial Crimes Division, 419 Task Force, 950 H Street, Washington, DC, 20001-4518, USA. But be sure to mark your documents "No Financial Loss - For Your Database" as described above.
2. If you wish, file a Complaint with the Nigerian Embassy in your Nation. Won't help much, but can't hurt much. The fax number of the Nigerian Ambassador in DC is 202-775-7385 and the fax number of the Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations is 212-697-1970 ( until they change them that is ). The voice numbers of the Embassy of Nigeria in DC are 202-986-8400 & 202-822-1500; the fax number there is 202-986-8449. The mailing addresses of the Embassy of Nigeria in DC are: Embassy of Nigeria, 1333 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20036 and also Embassy of Nigeria, 2201 M. Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20037.
3. If you decide to fax Your Nigerian Scammers and tell them off, be sure and tell them 419 Coalition sent you - we LIKE for them to know Who's Sticking It To Them.
Canada - Country Specific Instructions - Canada
Although there is a 419 investigative team of the RCMP based in Ottawa, this is NOT where citizens should direct complaints or inquiries. Regional Offices of the RCMP Commercial Crime Branch are the appropriate places to direct inquiries or data. The phone/fax numbers of the nearest CCB office are available from Any detachment of the RCMP/GRC. Data forwarded to the Regional CCB office is used to establish regional statistics and will be sent to the Central Team.
And please do fax hardcopy of your Bad Guy Data, especially Nigerian Scammer Banking Data to the US Task Force, appropriately marked with Canada, Loss ( or No Loss as the Case May Be ), No US Connection, For Your Database, at 202-406-6930. You may also email such data to Task Force Main in DC if you prefer.
If there IS a US Connection, please Follow These Instructions for Canada AND ALSO follow the instructions for US Citizens and Residents given above.
You may also access the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Website (RCMP/GRC) which contains a section on the Nigerian Scam.
South Africa - Country Specific Instructions - South Africa
Please contact Captain SC Schambriel of Commercial Crime, Head Office, at telephone number (012) 339 1203 or preferably fax the information to him at (012) 339 1202.
Also please fax the Scam documents, especially Nigerian Scammer banking data, to the US Task Force at 202-406-6930 appropriately marked South Africa - Loss ( or No Loss as the case may be ) - For Your Database. Please be SURE to state if there is any US Connection to your 419ers' operations, Particularly if there is US Banking Data on them. You may also email such relevant data to Task Force Main in DC if you prefer to do it that way.
The South African Police Service maintains a 419 Scams/Nigerian Letters Alert on their website.
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Copyright © 1996 Gamma Investigative Research Last Modified: 29 June, 2005