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Nigerian Scams Reach Epidemic Proportions!

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#1 Jonathan Parker

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 11:36 AM

Online schemes operating out of Nigeria that have defrauded victims out of tens of millions of dollars have become so pervasive that the U.S. government has given the West African country until November to take steps to decrease such crimes or face sanctions.

Financial fraud is now reportedly one of the three largest industries in Nigeria, where the anonymity of the Internet is being used to give crime syndicates a windfall.

In 1980 the US Secret Service took a proactive approach to combating Nigerian organized crime by establishing and maintaining task forces throughout the United States whose main focus was the investigation of financial fraud committed by Nigerian nationals and their accomplices.

Membership in these task forces included representatives from the United States Customs Service, Nigerian Crime Initiative (NCI), the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Nigerian Organized Crime Task Force (INOCTF), the United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Nigerian National Police (NNP), the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, bank investigators from the private sector, as well as numerous state and local law enforcement agencies and other Nigerian federal law enforcement agencies. This diverse membership is indicative of the multitude of crimes being perpetrated by Nigerian criminals.

There are so many scams coming out of Nigeria that in June 2000 the US Secret Service established a permanent office in Lagos!

Here are some links and quotes that go into greater detail:

1. FBI - http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/orgcrime/africancrim.htm
Nigerian criminal enterprises are the most significant of these groups and operate in more than 80 other countries of the world. They are among the most aggressive and expansionist international criminal groups and are primarily engaged in drug trafficking and financial frauds.

Nigerian groups are famous globally for their financial frauds, which cost the U.S. alone an estimated $1 billion to $2 billion each year. Schemes are diverse, targeting individuals, businesses, and government offices."

2. Nigeria - The 419 Coalition Website - http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/
"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..."

3. Interpol - http://www.interpol.int/Public/FinancialCr...erianLetter.asp
"For more than 16 years, private individuals, as well as organizations and commercial companies, have been receiving unexpected communication through letters and faxes but mainly through e-mails from senders claiming to be Nigerian or African citizens and promising high profitable business. According to the relevant section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria it is referred to as 4-1-9 Fraud."

4. Crimes of Persuasion - http://www.crimes-of-persuasion.com/Nigeri...erian_busts.htm
"One investigation resulted in the seizure of 11,460 Nigerian advanced fee fraud letters mailed via the Hong Kong Post Office, which represented 95% of the incoming mail from Nigeria. The addresses had been sourced from local and international telephone directories and various business publications.

In May of 1996, pursuant to PDD-42, a federal law enforcement interagency working group was created to develop a domestic law enforcement strategy regarding Nigerian organized crime. The proposed enforcement effort of the strategy became known as the Nigerian Crime Initiative (NCI).

DEC 1997 - Douglas Arthur Cole a.k.a. Peter McGrath a.k.a. William H. Miles whose ring may have been responsible for up to $20 million in fraud worldwide was convicted of 22 counts of 419 related charges in the US District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In 1998, then-Attorney General Reno approved the recommendation of the working group to establish the Interagency Nigerian Organized Crime Task Force (INOCTF).

On January 12, 1999, the Secret Service began a cooperative effort with the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, and the Nigerian National Police (NNP). The purpose of this effort was to provide operational, investigative and training assistance to the NNP and other Nigerian federal law enforcement agencies.

SEP 2000 - The United States Secret Service is said to have carried out 150 investigations into financial crimes in Nigeria leading to no fewer than 220 arrests since January, last year.

On January 5th, 2001 the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. M. R. Rasheed was charged in a US Federal District Court with lying under oath and providing false testimony regarding his direct involvement in setting up secret offshore accounts and trusts."

5. Nigeria Police Internet Resource Unit - http://www.nigeriapolice.org/419.htm
"Advanced Fee Fraud is a criminal offence defined and punishable under section 419 of the Nigeria criminal code."

6. Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria - http://www.nigeriaembassyusa.org/fraud.shtml
"The publicity campaigns by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have proved successful in sensitizing the public about the menace of advance fee fraud and the falsehood of claims that easy money could be made in Nigeria."

7. US Postal Inspector - http://www.usps.com/websites/depart/inspect/pressrel.htm
"Inspectors announced they have seized and destroyed over two million Nigerian advance-fee fraud letters at the JFK Airport Mail Center since March 30, 1998. The letters, often referred to as "419" letters after the Nigerian statute that makes them illegal, were found to have counterfeit Nigerian postage, and they promoted fraudulent business proposals.

Lee Heath, Postal Inspector in Charge of the New York Division, warns that American consumers are being scammed to the tune of $100 million annually by international con artists, who send the letters primarily from Nigeria and other West African countries."

8. Florida Computer Crime Center - http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Fc3/nigerian.html
"There are several variations of the Nigerian Scam that criminals may use to exploit their victims. Here are some examples: Fake lottery winnings, Beneficiary of a Will, Bogus Cashiers Checks, Donation Solicitations, Fake Web Site, Modeling opportunities, American Soldier in Afghanistan or Iraq, fake items sold on auction sites, credit card fraud, bank fraud, check kiting, various types of insurance fraud, entitlement fraud, false identification, passport & visa fraud, marriage fraud to obtain U.S. citizenship, vehicle thefts, the counterfeiting of U.S. currency, and the counterfeiting of corporate checks and other obligations."

9. Attorney General - http://www.ago.mo.gov/newsreleases/2001/042701.htm
"Nigerian scam bust uncovers new victims including one $3 million victim and money trail to Cayman Islands."

10. Department of Consumer Affairs - http://www.scconsumer.gov/press_releases/m...gerian_scam.htm
"...many businesses are getting some very curious mail from the country of Nigeria. There is an organization of con men from this country operating numerous swindles throughout the United States..."

11. The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command - http://www.mccoy.army.mil/vtriad_online/09...am_09-22-06.htm
"...released an advisory warning Soldiers and family members of a so-called Nigerian Fraud Scam or advanced fee fraud, using unsolicited faxes, electronic-mail or letters. The advisory also warns of the criminal implications for Army personnel who actively facilitate the scheme.

The Nigerian Scam starts with someone from Nigeria, or another country, making unsolicited contact with unsuspecting victims requesting their help in disposing of gold or money recovered in Iraq, or oil revenues from Nigeria or Russia, or lottery winnings from some oversees location."

12. State Department - http://www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/alerts/nigerian.htm
"The Nigerian Advance Fee Scam continues to draw in victims even though it's been around for a long time. View the U.S. Secret Services' website for tactics Nigerian scam artists use to lure victims."

13. US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria - http://www.state.gov/www/regions/africa/naffpub.pdf
"According to the Metropolitan Police Company fraud department in London, some 3000 AFF letters are mailed or faxed worldwide; primarily form Nigeria."

14. Snopes.com - http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/nigeria.asp
"Nigerian fraud costs its victim anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to hundreds of thousands."

15. Fraud.org - http://www.fraud.org/scamsagainstbusinesse...ps/nigerian.htm
"you will be asked to pay a never-ending series of fees or expenses before the funds can be transferred to your account. Unfortunately, the millions never materialize."

16. FTC - http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/nigeralrt.shtm
"Nigerian advance-fee fraud has been around for decades, but now seems to have reached epidemic proportions..."

17. The Dallas Morning News - http://metrocolumnistsblog.dallasnews.com/...rian-fraud.html
"Release Feb. 27, 2008 - Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Casey Jr. issues warning to the public of a new tactic on the Nigerian Fraud Letters."

18. MSNBC - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3078489
"Hundreds of victims have recently fallen..."

19. Fox News - http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,232500,00.html
"Victims still falling prey to Nigerian email scams"

20. Internet Crime Complain Center - http://www.ic3.gov/crimeschemes.aspx#item-3
"In most instances, the money is sent to locations in West Africa (Nigeria)."

21. Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_fee_fraud
"The 419 scam originated in the early 1980s as the oil-based economy of Nigeria declined. Several unemployed university students first used this scam as a means of manipulating business visitors interested in shady deals in the Nigerian oil sector before targeting businessmen in the west..."

22. Bestfrauds.com - http://www.bestfrauds.com/money-swindle3.html
Online schemes operating out of Nigeria that have defrauded victims out of tens of millions of dollars have become so pervasive that the U.S. government has given the West African country until November to take steps to decrease such crimes or face sanctions. Financial fraud is now reportedly one of the three largest industries in Nigeria, where the anonymity of the Internet is being used to give crime syndicates a windfall."

23. This is a link to the US Department of Justice site showing another 36 links discussing Nigerian scams.

24. Here is a link to the US Secret Service site showing another 91 links to Nigerian scams.

The United States Secret Service (USSS) and the United States Postal Service are primary U.S. law enforcement agencies in dealing with these types of scams. U.S. citizens or residents who have suffered a financial loss and want to report a scam may forward unsolicited e-mails to the USSS at [email protected]. U.S. citizens and residents who have suffered a financial loss are instructed to contact the nearest field office of the Secret Service by telephone.

#2 rezroyalty



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Posted 09 August 2011 - 08:15 PM

have you ever hear of jerry christopherson? for a modeling job in newyork? weselectmodels.com?

#3 moerckt



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Posted 09 September 2012 - 09:05 PM

Mr. Parker,

I know your post is about Nigerian Scams, but you should be aware that a guy from Cape Town, South Africa is holding himself out to be one Terry Rolf of Terri Rolf Designs and is using your photographs to attempt to scam people out of money. He is known to join numerous dating websites as well and use your photographs as his profile pictures.

I plugged your photos into Tineye.com and that is how I located you.

If you want more information regarding this individual, please let me know you can contact me by email and I will forward you everything I know about this individual.

#4 josejay



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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:26 PM

Nice blog but not all nigerians are scammers some are just harmless example me people just have to be careful about the kind of business they do online and make sure their security is extremely tight

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