What is "the Nigerian Scam?"
The "Nigerian Scam" is another frequent visitor to SVPAL. The name is derived from the fact that Nigeria was often the country referenced in the scam. The scam is also sometimes referenced as the 419 scam which is the Nigerian penal code section for crimes of this nature.
This scam has been around in the form of letters, faxes, and phone calls for years. In the last few years, it has been appearing in email form. In this scam the sender writes a tale about how they have millions of dollars stuck in a foreign bank account (sometimes in Nigeria, but many other countries may be involved). The money belonged to some government official who has died and the money was basicly forgotten. There are variations on this but basicly there is a bank account with several millions of dollars which is unclaimed. The correspondent says that they need your help to gain access to that money and will share a portion of the proceeds with you for your help.
They ask you to provide your bank account number to transfer the money to your account. Then they will transfer the bulk of the money to another account, leaving a nice sum for you as a reward. DON'T DO IT. These people are criminals. If you give them your bank account number, they will steal your money.
In some variations of this scam, they ask you to provide money to cover fees or bribes of government officials. The country involved may be different, but the scam takes the same basic form. There are other variations such as unclaimed multi-million dollar lottery winnings, packages stuck in customs. They may ask for money to cover a variety of expenses. If you send the money, they will often respond back to you indicating a new problem has cropped up and that you need to send more money, often a larger amount. The victim already committed often complies to the second request.
A number of Nigerian scam emails pass through SVPAL daily. We see regular error reports of these emails, so we must assume that many of these messages arrive daily on SVPAL. For more information check out the following links:
Slightly Edited Example of a Recent "Nigerian" Scam Email
Attn: Sir/Madam, URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL: RE: TRANSFER OF ($12,800.000.00 USD) TWELVE MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS. We want to transfer to abroad ($12,800,000.00 USD) twelve million eight hundred thousand united states dollars from a security company, Magnum Trust Inc, Madrid, Spain. I want to ask you to quietly look for a reliable and honest person who will be capable and fit to provide either an existing bank account or to set up a new bank account immediately to receive this money, even an empty account can serve to receive this money, as long as you will remain honest to me till the end of this important business transaction. I am Steve Makinze the Auditor General, Magnum Trust Inc, Madrid-Spain. During the course of our auditing, I discovered a floating fund in an account opened in the security company in 1995 and since 1999 nobody has operated on this account again. After going through some old files in the records, I discovered that the owner of the account died without a [heir], hence the money has been floating and if I do not remit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing. The owner of this account was Mr. Abdou Elzanaty, a foreigner, and an industrialist, him and his wife died since 1999 in an Air crash and no other person knows about this account or anything concerning it. Please check with the following website to confirm about this; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm The account has no beneficiary and my investigation proved to me as well that Mr. Abdou Elzanaty until his death was the Managing Director, Diamond Safari [Pty] S.A. We will start the first transfer with $2 million U.S. dollars [$2,000.000.00] upon successful transfer without any disappointment from your side, we shall re-apply for the transfer of the remaining $10.8 million United States dollars [$10,800.000.00] into your account bringing the sum total to twelve million eight hundred thousand United States dollars [$12,800.000.00]. I am contacting you as a foreigner because this money can only be approved to a foreigner with a valid international passport, driver^Òs license and foreign account because the money is in us dollars and the former owner of the account Mr. Abdou Elzanaty is a foreigner. I will like us to meet to sign a binding agreement that will bind us to! gether in the business, I am revealing all this to you with the belief that you will never let me down in this business, you are the first and the only person I am contacting for the business so please reply urgently for me to tell you the next step to take. You should forward your telephone and fax numbers and your bank account details that will be used in transferring the money. you will have to give me the assurance when we meet that this money will be intact pending our physical arrival in your country for sharing and disbursement of the fund which will be 20% for your assistance, 75% will be for us while 5% will be set aside to take care of all the expenses that will be incurred by both parties during the course of the transfer. I look forward to your earliest response through my e-mail below. Best regards, Steve Makinze
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