It is estimated that West African scams cost the UK at least 3.5 billion a year. The most common type of fraud is ‘advance fee’. known as 4-1-9 fraud after the penal code in Nigeria that makes it illegal. The profits earned from these crimes are often used to finance drug trafficking and arms. ’419′ Letters are distributed by post, fax but most commonly email. In a typical ’419′ (advanced fee fraud) letter, the author introduces themselves as a senior government, or an high profile family member or senior central bank official.
The costs of these scams are now having a significant impact on the economy of industrialized countries all over the world. 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.
Even honest men can be fooled by scammers.
What is West African 419 fraud?
Online scammers are getting more sophisticated and, as a result, a lot wealthier. The FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center said Friday that online scams are on the rise in part because it’s so easy to do.
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 “over invoiced” or “double invoiced” oil or other supply and service contracts; 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, 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.