Internet Frauds and Scams - Part VI Nigerian Scam: The never ending con-game

The Nigerian Advance Fee scam is one of the most notorious Internet frauds that has been running for nearly 10 years. Large number of on-line and off-line articles have been published on this scam, Police depts in most European and American countries have issued fraud alert notices, activists have formed consumers groups to fight this evil - still Nigerian conmen continue to defraud more people than any other Internet fraud.

The origin of the con-game is usually a letter, e-mail, fax etc. that promises millions of dollars for minor help in a money laundering operation like swindling money from unclaimed bank accounts, over-invoiced bill in supply and service contracts where the operators want to get the overage out of the country, a bequest left in a will etc.

The offer could even may even look legitimate - like request for help in investment, agency agreement, import order on D/A, real estate venture etc.

The simplicity of the scheme and lure of easy money attracts gullible people who eventaully loose large sums in paying 'bribes', 'taxes', 'attorney fee', cost of 'special software' and even 'erasing liquid' - until they have no more money to pay or lose patience.

I have already described the modus operandi etc. in earlier issues ( This is an update on previous articles.

Names that you should be careful of Any letter, fax, e-mail with following names, coming from Nigeria or other countties is a suspect:

  • Mrs Mariam Abacha, widow of Sani Abacha the Late Nigerian Head of State.

  • Julius Nsekou Mobutu Sese Sekou, son of the late president Mobutu Sese Sekou of the Congo Democratic Republic(former Republic of Zaire).

  • Victor Kamara, son of late Col. Raymond Camara, the director of Seria Leone Diamond Corporation

  • Loi C. Estrada, wife of Mr. Joseph Estrada, the former President of Philippines

  • Mrs. R.A. Kabila, wife of former president of Congo Late Laurent Kabila

  • Mrs. Roseline Coleman wife of late Chief Paul Coleman from Sierra Leon

  • Assortment of people (Director to Assistants) from Banks, Contract Awarding Committees, brokers for crude oil, Govt Depts, Security Companies etc. located in Nigeria, seeking help

How to Detect Nigerian Crooks - some Internet Resources

  • Crime On-Line:
    This site is dedicated to information gathering and distribution of info on fraud originating from Nigeria and surrounding countries. The searchable database has information on persons participating in the fraud along with letters and copies of fake official documents and stamps, crooks phone numbers and e-mail addresses and even photos. You can add your own information to the database of crooks and use the forum to communicate with others who have been in contact with the crooks.

  • Correspondence with a Nigerian Crook
    If you ever wondered how the crooks go about their job - read a series of correspondence. The author fabricated a handful of characters and situations to unfold the scam design with liberal dose of humour

  • Adventures of Wendy Willcox and her dog Willis
    Read through this scam correspondence page and learn how Wendy Willcox diminishes and ridicules Advance Fee fraudsters

  • More correspondence with Nigerian Crooks
    Check out a long correspondence between Zach Beane and the alleged Nigerian crook Dr. Solomon.

Nigerian scam is the most common type of fraud one finds in Internet and has defrauded more people than any other Internet scam - the reason I keep writing about this menace. Please remain alert and spread the message to as many of your friends as possible. Being aware is about half the battle won !

Related Links:

Source: FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad Vol: 3, Issue 43 February 20' 2003

Author : Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development, MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of his own. He may be reached at )

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