The 419 Nigerian Scam Has Refused to Go Away, What Do We Do?
I know I am a Nigerian and
probably shouldn't wash "our dirty linen in public", but it has
bothered me so much lately, that I have to talk about it. It is
such a painful and embarrassing stigma, that one hoped never
existed. If you haven't traveled out of Nigeria, you may not
realize the gravity of the issue, but there were times, when I
did not feel very proud carrying the Nigerian passport. One is often
subjected to target screening at most of the foreign airports,
not necessarily because they feel suspicious of you as an
individual, but mainly because you carry the Nigerian passport.
They may not admit this reason.
The 419 Scam is the most notorious
of them all, but we often neglect other types of Nigerian Scams
(which may not necessarily be peculiar to Nigeria), a few of
which includes drug trafficking, credit card thefts and Identity
thefts. Even though, emphasis is placed on Nigerian 419
Scams, everyone needs to be aware that other types of scams do exist.
What is Nigerian 419 Scam
This crime is appropriately named, because
it violates the section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code. Even
though it is called Nigerian 419 scam, many cases originate
elsewhere. The scam often begins with a letter, a fax or a
telephone call from an official in Nigeria or another African
country. This is often unsolicited and the main content is
usually what appears as legitimate proposal for transfer
of a huge sum of money from one account to the other. In some
cases, the transaction may not be monetary, it could be Oil, or
other merchandise. The video below shows a typical case where a
California surgeon is swindled and lost his hard-earned money.
Click on some of the sample letters
below. These are some of the letters I received recently(
all within 1 week).
Sample Letter 3
Sample Letter 7
As you can see, each letter is peculiar,
but the motive is quite the same... to dupe the unsuspecting
If you noticed, sample letter 6 came from someone who is resident in South Africa,
I am not even sure where sample letter 7 came from,
all 419 scam letters do not originate from Nigeria. It is quite a shame, that people actually fall
for such deceptions. In some cases, those who fall prey to such deceits are
themselves very greedy.
What is common to these cases? The 419 communications usually
exhibit the following characteristics : there is often a sense
of urgency communicated to the recipient, the transaction is
portrayed as confidential, the sender usually claims connection
with a prominent official in high ranking position and in some
cases, they've inherited a huge sum of money and they need your
bank account to transfer the cash. Some of them even have the
audacity to request for transaction fees.
What You Should Do To Protect Yourself
Do not pay money upfront for any
Do not give your personal
information to anyone until that person has been verified.
an offer sounds too good to be true,
It may very well be "too good to be real".
If you suspect fraud, report