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Nigerian scams -- how do they work?

By jardinier ·
I have been on the receiving end of a considerable number of these attempted scams, largely because I have belonged to a number or matchmaking sites, although I have also received at least one via TechRepublic.

So Jane's late husband/father was killed in a civil war in some African country, and he was adviser to the Chief Minister of the former government. Prior to his death he deposited $US 5,000,000 in a bank account.

His heir cannot access this money, and so asks if she can transfer it to my bank after which I will send some of it back to her.

So I give Jane access to a bank account which has hardly any money in it so that I can't lose out that way.

Does anyone know -- hopefully from second-hand rather than first-hand experience -- what follows after that and how does Jane get hold of any of my money? Also, would it be legal to bring such a large amount of money into my country? Would I have to declare it? Could I be prosecuted if I didn't declare it?

No I am not about to fall for this scam but I would like to know precisely how it works so that I can perhaps post an article on my website to warn others.

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Nigerian scams

by cs In reply to Nigerian scams -- how do ...

Firstly the money does not exist. The way they make money is that they get you to pay up front "administration fees" of a few thousand $'s. The story from the fraudsters will be that the fees are essential to ensure the release of the "money". Needless to say once you have paid up, typically by Western Union, you can say goodbye to your money. The fraudsters will often start with low amounts and then build it up.

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I heard of an instance where...

by TechExec2 In reply to Nigerian scams -- how do ...

I heard of an instance where they arranged for the victim to fly TO Nigeria to do something required as part of the money transfer. Once there, the victim was kidnapped and held for ransom until his family paid up.

From what I understand, each victim is induced to voluntarily put himself/herself into a vulnerable position (sending money for "fees" or "taxes", flying to Nigeria, etc.). The victims are desperate and/or ignorant and/or foolish people. If the perpetrators send out enough letters, they will eventually find someone in that category and score a huge windfall.

This is similar to scams where the victim is told s/he has won the lottery in a foreign country and must pay the taxes in advance in order to receive the prize.

"A fool and his money are soon parted".

The advice to give is simple: If it seems too good to be true, it is not true.


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Another example

by cs In reply to I heard of an instance wh ...

I used to work for an international bank in London UK. I have a very common name that was used at random in fake bank documents by some Nigerian Scammers, though they got the actual street address of the bank wrong.
I received an angry phone call from some company directors of a Japanese company based in Okinawa, demanding to know why I wouldn't authorise payment of $5,000,000.
These guys had paid $7,000 in advance fees to Nigerian scammers. As I was working in the IT department I was unable to release any funding (lol).
I had them fax through a set of the documents which I then handed over to the Bank Security team. The documents were obvious fakes, but if your first language is not english I guess it was easy to fall for the trick.

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Urban Legend Zeitgeist: The Nigerian Scam

by maxwell edison In reply to Nigerian scams -- how do ...
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Thanks for the link, Max

by jardinier In reply to Urban Legend Zeitgeist: T ...

I had no idea that they went so far as to kidnap or murder victims.

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It really works the way it's described.

by stress junkie In reply to Nigerian scams -- how do ...

I was skeptical but the letter that I received seemed so warm and friendly, and the circumstances of the poor victim of a change in political regime seemed so sad, that I sent them US$100,000. That money helped to grease the bureaucratic wheels. I'm glad I did. Not only was I helping someone in dire straits to recover their money, but they will give me a pretty large percentage of it for my trouble. I expect to receive the money that I sent and the reward very soon now. It's only been nine months since I sent them the money so I'm not worried. These things take time.

I'm glad that I didn't let my skepticism get in the way of being helpful to these people. It worked out really well for both of us. Well. It will eventually work out well for everybody. I'm sure of it. Really.

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I've hit the jackpot !! I get the money AND the girl.

by jardinier In reply to It really works the way i ...

My Dearest,
I am more than happy in your reply to my mail. How are you this days? How was your night hope fine.? Mine is a little bit cold over here in Dakar Senegal. In this camp we are only allowed to go out from the camp only on mondays and fridays of the weeks. Its just like one staying in the prison and i hope by Gods grace i will come out here soon. We don't have any relatives now whom we can go to all our relatives ran away in the middle of the war the only person we have now is Rev. Dickson ,who is the pastor of the (Christ for all Churches) here in the camp he has been very nice to me since i came here but i am not living with him rather i am leaving in the women's hostel because the camp have two hostels one for men the other for women.

The Pastors Tel number is (00221- 572-87-11) if you call and tell him that you want to speak with me he will send for me in the woman hostel. As a refugee here i don't have any right or privilledge to any thing be it money or whatever because it is against the law of this muslem country.I want to go back to my studies because i only attended my first year before the traggic incident that lead to my being in this situation now took place. Please listen to this, i have my late father's deposit certificate and death certificate here with me which i will send to you later,because when he was alive he deposited some amount of money in a leading financial instutition here in Dakar Senagal which he used my name as the next of kin, the amount in question is $3.750 (Three Million Seven Hundred and fiftyThousand USDollars).

So i will like you to help me transfer this money to your account and from it you can send some money for me to get my travelling documents and air ticket to come over to meet with you. I kept this secret to people in the camp here the only person that knows about it is the Revrend because he is like a father to me. So in the light of above i will like you to keep it to yourself and don't tell it to anyone for i am afraid of loosing my life and the money if people gets to know about it.

I like honest and understanding people, truthful and a man of vision, trustworthy and hardworking.Our language is french but i speak english very fluently. Meanwhile i will like you to call me like i said i have a lot to tell you. Have a nice day and think about me.

Awaiting to hear from you soonest
Yours in love Evan with feeling

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You're a lucky man.

by stress junkie In reply to I've hit the jackpot !! I ...

It's a pity when such nice people fall on hard times. That refugee camp mentioned in the letter must be a terrible place. I hope you telephone your letter writer soon. It sounds like they don't need as much money to help them recover their funds as I sent to my letter writer. On the other hand my sad correspondent is due a lot more money once it is liberated from the new oppressive regime.

Let's hope that all of these people manage to recover their money soon. If you and others find love along the way then all the better.

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Here's a FOR INSTANCE for you

by mjd420nova In reply to Nigerian scams -- how do ...

My son is trying to sell a boat on Craig's list. He received an email from an interested party in Minnesota. After providing his address only to the party, he received a cashiers check for $4500. The asking price was $1600. I instucted him to take it to the bank and tell the manager he suspects the check to be stolen and attempt to clear it 100% before making any deposits into his account. Sound fishy?? The party says the excess is to cover shipping the boat from California. Too strange.

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