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- Employment status
- Aug 1999 - May 2002
We Fight the Nigerian Scam with Education
The Nigerian Scam Defined
A Five Billion US$ (as of 1996, much more now) worldwide Scam which has run since the early 1980's under Successive Governments of Nigeria. It is also referred to as "Advance Fee Fraud", "419 Fraud" (Four-One-Nine) after a formerly relevant section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria, and "The Nigerian Connection" (mostly in Europe). However, it is usually called plain old "419" even by the Nigerians themselves. 419 is defined as a sub-classification of Advance Fee Fraud in which the criminals have a West African (primarily Nigerian) connection. There are of course Advance Fee Fraud criminals of many nationalites, operating in many nations, but only Advance Fee Fraud crime with a West African (primarily Nigerian) connection is classified as 419. 419ers operate globally and there are 419er cells in many nations, but Nigeria tends to be the "home office" of most 419ers regardless of the physical location of an individual cell. 419 crime is multinational and transnational. In recent years the massive use of e-mail and the internet to perpetrate 419 crime has also made it virtually omnipresent.
Historically, 419 is said to be a modern derivative of traditional centuries old West African scams and pranks such as the "Red Mercury" scam (a "magical substance" advance fee fraud scam very similar to Black Currency 419, which is described below. Although 419 has often been erroneously described as an evolution of an old European advance fee fraud called the "Spanish Prisoner" scam, after a journalist doing an early article on noted the similarities between it and certain forms of 419, in actuality 419 is more of a "home grown" enterprise as it were.
419 Scams operate as follows: the target receives an unsolicited fax, email, or letter often concerning Nigeria or another African nation 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 "overinvoiced" or "double invoiced" oil or other supply and service contracts where your Bad Guys want to get the overage out of Nigeria (Classic 419); crude oil and other commodity deals (a form of Goods and Services 419); a "bequest" left you in a will (Will Scam 419); "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 (Black Currency 419, also called Wash-Wash) ; "spoof banks" where there is supposedly money in your name already on deposit; "paying" for a purchase with a check larger than the amount required and asking for change to be advanced (cashier's check and money order 419); fake lottery 419; chat room and romance 419 (usually coupled with one of the other forms of 419); employment 419 (including secret shopper 419) ; and ordering items and commodities off "trading" and "auction" sites on the web and then cheating the seller. The variations of Advance Fee Fraud (419) are very creative and virtually endless, so do not consider the above as an all-inclusive list!
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, send back "change" on an overage cashier's check or money order, whatever. If the victim pays the Fee, there are often many "Complications" which require still more advance payments until the victim either quits, runs out of money, or both. If the victim extends credit on a given transaction etc. he may also pay such fees ("nerfund" etc.), and also stiffed for the Goods or Service with NO Effective Recourse.
Most 419 letters and emails originate from or are traceable back to Nigeria. However, some originate from other nations, mostly also West African nations such as Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast ( Cote D'Ivoire ) etc. In most cases 419 emails from other nations (even European nations like the UK, the Netherlands, Spain etc. ) are also Nigerian in that the "Home Office" of the 419ers involved is Nigeria regardless of the apparent source of the contact materials. But there are occasionally some "local" copycats trying to emulate the success of the Nigerians, generally not very successfully.
The Nigerian Scam is, according to published reports, the Third to Fifth largest industry in Nigeria. It is the 419 Coalition view that the elites from which the governing classes of Nigeria are drawn contain 419 Scammers which can make it difficult for victims seeking recourse in these matters. Monies stolen by 419 operations are very rarely recovered from Nigeria, although the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when led by Nuhu Ribadu and Ibrahim Lamorde made some welcome progress in that regard for several years prior to 2008.
Ribadu and Lamorde were, however, replaced by Mrs. Farida Waziri as head of the EFCC in early 2008. Under her leadership, it is our view and the consensus of most counter-419ers as we understand it, that the EFCC has not been as active in counter-419 matters as it was under Ribadu and Lamorde. 419 Coalition believes that EFCC performance in the area of recovery and repatriation of 419ed monies has been particularly bad under Waziri. For example, in the Odiawa case, in which the EFCC was able to convict the 419er several years ago, and the court ordered restitution of over a million dollars to the victim, the victim has yet to see a dime to date. However, Ibrahim Lamorde returned to the EFCC as Director of Operations in December 2010, and perhaps under his leadership EFCC performance in recovery and repatriation of 419ed funds will improve. Mr. Lamorde did some good work in those areas prior to his reassignment away from the EFCC in 2008.
419 Coalition expects the EFCC to arrest 419ers, convict 419ers, seize and liquidate 419er assets, and repatriate 419ed funds to 419 victims. There is much room for improvement in all these areas, unfortunately.
PLEASE DON'T SEND 419 COALITION A COPY OF THE 419 SOLICITATION YOU RECEIVED, we've seen tens of thousands already.
DO NOT RESPOND TO THE 419ER and DO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT APPLY TO YOU AS GIVEN IN THE WHAT TO DO SECTIONS BELOW..
Please Read the ENTIRE site BEFORE contacting 419 Coalition for information, questions etc., as ALL AVAILABLE INFORMATION AND DATA IS ALREADY SUMMARIZED AND POSTED UP ON THIS SITE.
Scroll down to our News section below for articles on 419 from 1996 to the present, and to our "Fighters" (Links) section for links to many other sites that deal with 419.
STATISTICS AND CHARTS ON 419 ADVANCE FEE FRAUD
.NExT Web Security has prepared a Flowchart of "Classic 419" Type Operations which is very helpful in conceptualizing the lifecycle of these criminal enterprises.
Ultrascan Advanced Global Investigations, a Netherlands - based firm which has been studying 419 matters since the mid -1990's, has prepared a report titled 419 Advance Fee Fraud Statistics each of the last few years. These stats are based on Ultrascan's in-house investigations and include, by nation: number of 419 rings; number of 419ers; income of the 419ers (the amount of losses by victims to the 419ers); and additional data. 419 Coalition view is that these stats present a reasonably conservative and realistic look at the extent and magnitude of 419 criminal operations worldwide. Ultrascan accompanied their compilation of 419 Statistics for 2005 with a Press Release that still serves as an excellent short summary of the modes of 419er operations. It stresses the need for Centralized counter-419 operations by country and for simplified reporting of 419 by country in order to control it.
THE FIVE RULES FOR DOING BUSINESS WITH NIGERIA
Courtesy of The 419 Coalition
1. NEVER pay anything up front for ANY reason.
2. NEVER extend credit for ANY reason.
3. NEVER do ANYTHING until their check clears.
4. NEVER expect ANY help from the Nigerian Government.
5. NEVER rely on YOUR Government to bail you out.
What To Do If You Receive A Nigerian Scam/419 Letter
[All information in the What To Do and the Additional Country Specific Reporting sections of this site is kept as current as possible. The most recent update of these sections of the site was done in SEP 2009]
1. DO NOT RESPOND TO THE 419 SOLICITATION.
2. Notify your Own Nation's National Law Enforcement Agency and your Own Nation's Foreign Office.
3. File a Complaint with the Nigerian Embassy or High Commission in your nation. It used to be possible to email complaints and 419 materials in to the Central Bank of Nigeria and to the Nigeria Police, but those email addresses have not worked for some time.
4. For Loss cases only, you may file a complaint with the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Their website is at http://www.efccnigeria.org/ You may also file complaints with the Central Bank of Nigeria Anticorruption Unit at email@example.com and should do so especially if CBN is mentioned in the 419 materials.
5. If the contact from the 419ers was via email: write their email provider at their "abuse" address (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com etc.) and include the 419er message with its headers; complain about the 419 message; and ask that the account be shut down. You may also file complaints with watchdog type sevices like Spamcop to try and get the 419ers email accounts shut off by whatever ISP they are using - Spamcop and other services like it will parse the headers of the 419 email and try to see through forged information etc. to get back to the actual origin of the 419 email, which is often useful in these matters.
Please remember that it is important to include the message's full header information. This is necessary for tracking the message's point of origin. This extra information is not shown by default, and the method of displaying it depends on the email resource you use. If you don't know how to display full headers, please see the instructions in your mail program or website. (Note: Many webpage-based email hosts include a "full headers" option link near the top of the message.)
Some 419ers give different email addies in the body of their mail than the one they sent from. You should complain to "abuse" etc. at those email providers as well.
Additional Country Specific Reporting Instructions
Australia - Additional Country Specific Instructions - Australia
According to the West African Crime Section (WAOCS) in the UK, Australians are to report 419 matters In Australia to their local police and to the Australian West African Organized Crime Section at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also report 419 scams via Scamwatch, a service provided by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission of the Australian government.
Belgium - Additional Country Specific Instructions - Belgium
The Belgian Federal Police encourages everyone not to reply to these suspect emails. 419 emails received by Belgian citizens or which contain Belgian phone numbers or other Belgian information should be sent, with headers, in to the Belgian Federal Police at email@example.com so the police can use these mails in further investigations.
Canada - Additional Country Specific Instructions - Canada
Regional Offices of the RCMP Commercial Crime Branch are the proper places to direct inquiries. The phone/fax numbers of the nearest CCB office are available from any local detachment of the RCMP/GRC.
Also, in Canada, The Phonebusters National Call Centre (PNCC) is a joint partnership involving the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Phonebusters is very interested in receiving copies of any 'new' versions of Nigerian letter schemes particularly those involving Canadian mailing addresses or telephone numbers. You can email such 419 letters to them at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also access the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Website (RCMP/GRC) which contains a section on the Nigerian Scam.
Netherlands - Additional Country Specific Instructions - Netherlands
The Fraud Department of the National Criminal Intelligence Service of the Netherlands is investigating worldwide fraudulent practices known as the "Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud" or the "Nigerian 419 Fraud."
If you have suffered a Loss to 419 scammers operating from The Netherlands, report the matter to the Dutch authorities at WACN@klpd.politie.nl. Please put APOLLO - LOSS in the subject line of your email.
You are also asked to file No Loss reports on 419 solicitations related to The Netherlands, particularly those containing a Dutch phone number, banking data, post address or other tangible data, to WACN@klpd.politie.nl. Please show the headers of forwarded 419 solicitations and put APOLLO - NO LOSS in the subject line and/or at the top of the body of the forwarded 419 solicitation.
For post/fedex, fax, and voice reporting, the information is:
Reference: Project Apollo (LOSS or NO LOSS)
Korps Landelijke Politiediensten
2700 KX Zoetermeer
Telephone no. : 0031- 79- 3458900
Fax.no. : 0031- 79- 3459100
South Africa - Additional Country Specific Instructions - South Africa
You may fax all Scam documents referencing South Africa, especially those with phone numbers or banking information, to the Commercial Branch, South African Police Service, Head Office for attention Superintendent SC Schambriel at facsimile number +27 12 339 1202, telephone number + 27 12 339 1203 or e-mail email@example.com. Please mention whether or not you have incurred any financial loss.
The South African Police Service maintains a 419 Scams/Nigerian Letters Alert on their website. They also have a counter-419 notice in their FAQ Section on the site. They also used to show a short Anti-419 Pamphlet which was issued by and available from the South African Police Service, Click Here.
United Kingdom - Additional Country Specific Instructions - United Kingdom
Basically, the UK has decentralized 419 reporting and does not want to hear from people unless there has been a loss or a UK bank account or phone number is given by the 419ers. The complete instructions can be seen at the London Metropolitan Police website section concerning Nigerian 419 Advance Fee Fraud: http://www.met.police.uk/fraudalert/419.htm
United States - Additional Country Specific Instructions - United States
1. The United States Secret Service continues to be tasked as the primary US law enforcement agency in dealing with Advance Fee Fraud (419) matters. NOTICE: EFFECTIVE 20 JUN 2007 THE SECRET SERVICE HAS ILL-ADVISEDLY AND SHORTSIGHTEDLY (our view, we're trying very hard not to use the word "Stupidly") TERMINATED ITS LONG-STANDING CENTRALIZED firstname.lastname@example.org NO-LOSS REPORTING ADDRESS. If you want to complain to USSS about this, here is their Public Affairs Section Comment Form, that might be useful. There is no point in hassling 419 Coalition about this situation. We ourselves are very upset about this matter and have already tried to get the centralized no-loss reporting address put back into service, to no avail.
2. United States Citizens and Residents who HAVE suffered a Financial Loss are instructed to contact the nearest Field Office of the United States Secret Service (USSS) by telephone.
3. You may file a Financial Loss complaint online with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) [formerly the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) ]. This organization is a partnership of the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
4. American citizens concerned that they may be the victims of an international scam may also call the U.S. Department of State at (888) 407-4747 or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
5. Anyone who has not suffered a loss, but who wishes report receipt of 419 "spam", may forward the 419 solicitation they have received, with headers, to the Federal Trade Commission at email@example.com for their database.
Nigerian Scam News, Links, Information, & Analysis
Additional Data and Analysis on the Nigerian Scam, plus LATEST NEWS and Other Information follows. PLEASE READ EVERY PAGE to get a Comprehensive View of the Nigerian Scam and the Efforts of Public and Private Agencies to Combat It. LINKS to other Scam Fighting Websites are also provided below for your convenience.
419 COALITION LATEST NEWS ON
NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2010 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2009 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2008 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2007 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2006 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2005 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2004 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2003 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2002 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2001 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 2000 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 1999 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 1998 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 1997 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* 419 COALITION 1996 NEWS ON NIGERIAN SCAM / 419 OPERATIONS
* BOOKS AND MOVIES ON 419 and how to purchase them, including
Brian Wizard's "Nigerian 419 Scam: 'Game Over'!"
* Nigerian Government SEP 2002 Response to FinCEN Financial Advisory Notice
* Reports on International Advance Fee (419) Fraud Conference of 17 SEP 2002
* Full Text of H.R. 3916: the "Nigerian Advanced Fee Fraud Prevention Act of 1998"
* US Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs - Financial Scams Brochure (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required. This is a large pdf file - a long download but the brochure is excellent)
* US Department of State - Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs - Publication 10465 - "Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud" (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required. This is a large pdf file - a long download but an excellent publication)
* US Department of State - Tips for Business Travelers to Nigeria
* US Department of State - Travel Warning on Nigeria
* US Secret Service Nigerian Scam Warning in Various Languages
* Nigerian 419 Advance Fee Fraud Scam Alert in Arabic (in both .rtf and .pdf files)
* Transparency International Mucks It Up On 419
* Private Firms Interested in 419 Recovery Operations
* Sample Nigerian Scam/419 Letters
* Government of Nigeria Involvement in the Scam
* Government of Nigeria Media Campaigns
* 419 Coalition Recommendations on the Nigerian Scam
* Select Nigerian Organizations Fighting the Nigerian Scam
* Response to Nigerian Gov't Statement on IIS & 419 Coalition
* Alpha Electronics Statement on the Nigerian Scam
* 419 Coalition Peace with Honor Proposal (Expired 31 MAR 97)
* 419 Coalition at YOUR site
* About The 419 Coalition
LINKS TO SITES FIGHTING THE NIGERIAN SCAM HERE!!
Most in English, but also some in French, Dutch, Swedish & Portuguese languages.
419 Coalition appreciates immensely the contributions of the media in fighting 419, as publicity and education are two of the best ways currently available to fight 419.
419 Coalition is always glad to try and answer via email any questions from individuals or journalists on 419 matters which are NOT already covered on the site.
419 Coalition no longer takes voice calls nor does voice interviews. We used to, but we were too overwhelmed to continue doing so. However, author Brian Wizard ( Nigerian 419 Scam: Game Over! ) does enjoy doing occasional voice interviews. US Secret Service 419 Task Force also has spokesmen available for interviews, call them in Washington DC at 202-406-5850.
419 Coalition no longer "furnishes" 419 victims to the media for interviews, sorry. However, several victims have stated in our News sections that they are available for interview and have given their contact data, so check there.
Thank you for visiting The 419 Coalition website. We hope that you have found it useful.
Please inform us of non-working links and non-working email addresses.
Email The 419 Coalition
Freewill non tax deductible contributions are always appreciated.
Visitors since 15 DEC 96.
Primary Funding for this Site is a Public Service of Alpha Electronics Inc.
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