Danger! Hoax 419


I recently posted an append that I received spam where my eMail address was taken from this list. It was a "Nigeria 419 hoax". If others received something similar (from 'Obot Williams' for example) be warned! It is a Advance Fee Fraud. For more information see http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/



On the other hand, it can be very interesting to reply to their email, lead them on for as long as possible.

At least while you have their attention, it's less time that they could be drawing in suckers.

And while you're at it, perform all of your calculations using your trusty HP calculator. Tell them about it. Drive them crazy :-)


Are you talking about what I think you are talking about? An email from a person saying he (or she) is a relative of, or an official of, an African government, has access to millions of dollars that are sitting somewhere unnoticed, and just needs a bank account number to transfer the money to? In return for providing which, you will receive 20 - 30% of the money?

I've received a bunch of what I described, never the same twice. I always print them out becauise they are so entertaining.

Who would ever respond to such a thing? Maybe someone who felt they had little in their bank account to lose, and lost what little they had? I guess if you can do that to enough people it might be lucrative.


This actually is a very serious problem-- so serious that the US Secret Service has set up a special project to fight it. The project is called "Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud - Operation 4-1-9" and you can visit http://www.secretservice.gov/financial_crimes.shtml#Nigerian
for a description of it. They have also set up a web page at http://www.secretservice.gov/alert419.shtml that gives details of the way the scam operates. Here are a few quotes from it:

"Unfortunately, there is a perception that no one is prone to enter into such an obviously suspicious relationship. However, a large number of victims are enticed into believing they have been singled out from the masses to share in multi-million dollar windfall profits for doing absolutely nothing. It is also a misconception that the victim's bank account is requested so the culprit can plunder it -- this is not the primary reason for the account request -- merely a signal they have hooked another victim."

"The goal of the criminal is to delude the target into thinking that he is being drawn into a very lucrative, albeit questionable, arrangement. The intended victim must be reassured and confident of the potential success of the deal. He will become the primary supporter of the scheme and willingly contribute a large amount of money when the deal is threatened. The term "when" is used because the con-within-the-con is the scheme will be threatened in order to persuade the victim to provide a large sum of money to save the venture."

"Victims are almost always requested to travel to Nigeria or a border country to complete a transaction. Individuals are often told that a visa will not be necessary to enter the country. The Nigerian con artists may then bribe airport officials to pass the victims through Immigration and Customs. Because it is a serious offense in Nigeria to enter without a valid visa, the victim's illegal entry may be used by the fraudsters as leverage to coerce the victims into releasing funds. Violence and threats of physical harm may be employed to further pressure victims. In June of 1995, an American was murdered in Lagos, Nigeria, while pursuing a 4-1-9 scam, and numerous other foreign nationals have been reported as missing."

"Indications are that Advance Fee Fraud grosses hundreds of millions of dollars annually and the losses are continuing to escalate. In all likelihood, there are victims who do not report their losses to authorities due to either fear or embarrassment."

It's better not to get involved with these people in any way. I always forward any of those emails I receive to 419.fcd@usss.treas.gov which is an address that has been set up to report this scam.


I kept getting the same emails just after I started posting questions here. After a couple of weeks the 'Nigerian Scam" stopped but as soon as it did I started getting exactly the same from another source. This is the email address of the second wave of these scams - Anne_Bangura@libero.it - if you know the email addresses of these scams then you can set it up your email program to delete them from the server once they are sent.


I looked at the website above and I see that it is a very serious matter. I still have all the emails on my inbox and I am going to send them as requested.


No, I will never ever response to spam. But there are enough that should be warned.

You know, the sum of intelligence on earth is constant and population is growing ;-)



Should I believe that? Oh My, oh My... if you are right, there are people also able to increase their brain activity linearly (or exponencialy) while others have their activity kept the same and others will, definitely, have a reduction.

Something to think about...


Anyone that falls for this Nigerian SCAM deserves what they get. They have FRAUD, SCAM written all over the emails. They even tell you it is illegal upfront.

So, if you think you will get rich, you are either brain dead or deserve what you get, in my opinion.

These are designed to work only on the dishonest ones in society. This scam has been around for 100 years in other forms.


I agree that one would have to be very foolish to fall for such an obvious scam, but even foolish people don't "deserve" to be treated so badly. And for someone who's living from paycheck to paycheck and wondering how he's ever going get out of debt and doesn't think through the probable consequences, it must seem awfully tempting, if only it were believable. Illegal, yes, but how many are bothered by their conscience if they find a way to avoid paying a government some tax?

Yes, these are variations on a very old scam, but we've heard often enough that "There's a sucker born every day."

I've gotten a variety of these e-mails (It seems to me that the last one claimed to be from South Africa) regarding various sorts of unclaimed cash or securities. Typically, the owner is deceased and no surviving heirs can be found, and the money will go into the government treasury unless some relative comes forward to claim the valuables, so who'll be harmed, other than a government that won't get a "windfall profit" from the death of a rich person? Sometimes I read them for the entertainment value before filtering out the sender (though I doubt that that does any good) and trashing the e-mail. It does seem like a good idea to forward them to Uncle Sam before tossing them; though I have my doubts as to how much they'll be able to accomplish against the senders.



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