In advance-fee fraud, victims are baited with promises of a monetary asset or other gain (some common types of lure are identified below). Advance-fee fraud has been perpetrated out of Nigeria and other developing countries since the 1980s. Initially, fax, telex and postal mail were used, but with the advent of Internet cafés, email became the fraudsters’ tool of choice. SMS messages are also used, but to a much lesser degree.
Once the perpetrators have succeeded in recruiting a new victim, they proceed to groom him or her by email and telephone, often presenting various falsified documents intended to substantiate the deal. Eventually, the fraudsters will ask the victim for an advance payment towards administrative, storage or other fees that allegedly must be paid to make the transaction possible. These requests are typically made in the name of a bank, courier service or other third party. Phony addresses, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, may be used to impersonate an existing organisation, but the criminals may also simply invent the name of a bank or whatever.
African telephone country-codes usually begin with +2. For example, +234 means Nigeria. Fraudsters often also use British ‘personal numbers’ beginning with +44 70, as calls to such numbers can be easily and cheaply (VoIP) routed to another country. Any telephone number can be used criminally, but some attempts are more obvious than others.
If the victim makes a payment to the perpetrators, new payments are requested for as long as the they continue to make them. Obviously, the victim will never receive the alleged asset that was used as bait.
The inheritance bait
I wish to notify you that late Engr. Jürgen Krügger made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Thirty Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD$30,100.000.00) to you in the Codicil and last testament to his WILL. This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good.
The donation bait
I have willed out almost half of our assets to several charities, less privileged in different countries. I and my late husband also agreed to render support to an unknown individual that we have not met before due to the fact that when we were still young in life we received an anonymous help from an individual we don't know and we have not being able to know till date. I deposited a Cheque in the sum of £4,800.000.00 (Four Million Eight Hundred Thousand British Pounds) in a brown envelope as a parcel with DHL Express Courier Services UK over four weeks ago to be delivered to you.
The jackpot bait
Microsoft and Oracle are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and Oracle in conjunction with Yahoo! Mail are running an e-mail beta test. Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached to ticket number 00190 with reference number MSW1002/07 and draw numbers 14-21-25-39-40-47(20) which subsequently won you £900,000.00 (Nine Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds) as one of the 28 jackpot winners in this draw.
The money laundering bait
My name is Sgt. Owen John, I am an American soldier, I am serving in the military of the 1st Armored Division in Iraq, as you know we are being attacked by insurgents everyday and car bombs. We managed to move funds belonging to Saddam Hussein? family. The total amount is US$25.5 Million dollars in cash, mostly 100 dollar bills. We want to move this money to you, so that you may invest it for us and keep our share for banking.
The loan bait
HANSON BEN gives out loans at low interest rate of 3% to student,individuals,business men and woman with low credit all over the globe.Sound lending is base on the promise that the borrowers will repay.contact us via email:email@example.com
The visa bait
Two hundred and twenty five (225) U.S- visa's were released and 6.3 million e-mail addresses were extracted from world wide registered web-sites during the 33-days extraction period that ran for final selection, all extracted email addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and privacy for final- selection through computer- draw- system. Your e-mail address- attached to- ticket- number (564002-188) drew -the lucky- number's which subsequently won- you the- U.S -visa and we are sending the winning- notification- directly through the- selected- winning e-mail address which means that if you receive the winning- notification in your mail box that you have been selected- among the lucky- winner's.
The invitation bait
It gives me a great pleasure to invite you to the forth coming international seminar which the American Institute for Human Right (AIHR) is excited to be hosting in September 14th to 16th 2011 first Phase at Elm Croft Manor New York City USA, And then from September 19th to 22nd 2011, Second phase at Lagasca Madrid Spain. Note: the (AIHR) will be providing all delegates with to and fro Air ticket and also visa's guidance for the seminar purpose.
The current-event bait
This exhibit was received in October 2011, some days after Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed:
Goodday, I apologies to reach you through this medium but I just have to due to the urgency of my offer. Am Dr. Mohammed Abdullah a Senior Adviser to Late Col. Moammar Gadhafi who died in the recent revolution in Libya, before the former Libyan leader was ought out of power and killed he move the fund of US$120M through me which was lodged in a finance house in Europe for safe keeping. But due to the new development where all aides to the late Libyan leader is under serious check and close monitoring I have decided to seek for a foreign assistance who will help me lay claim of this fund since I can no longer travel out of my country as friend and associate are now part of the revolutionary movement making it impossible for me to seek for the assistance of my old associate. Please contact me through my private email if you are willing to assist: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr.Mohammed Abdullah.
The sex-and-love bait
i am very open and would like to know little about you for serious relationship. Well I am little girl by age 24ys old but I still have more to say if you care to know more about me please back to me via email privatly for my photo and more details (email@example.com)
The ‘black money’ bait
The perpetrators show the intended victim black pieces of paper, which they claim are actually stained banknotes. The victim is asked to advance money towards a very expensive washing liquid that can allegedly clean the ‘banknotes’ and make them usable. – This bait can also be used in follow-up fraud:
This is Fivestars Chemical Laboratory Company,specializes in chemicals for anti-breeze bank notes currencies such as us.dollar, euro, pound, and many other local currencies.If you have made a kind of currency business proposals which involves your money been stacked or not fully processed, You will not be charged for any chemical for the cleaning of your money but you must bear in mind that 30% of the total money cleaned will be our commission after cleaning all the money. we have helped a lot of people all over the world in this issue, Contact us today for quality & effective service for we are the best among equals.
The job bait
Although most job ads seem to aim to recruit money mules, recruiting scams can take a multitude of other forms as well.
Concept: We seeks people -- regular citizens, not professional drivers -- to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with an advert of any of the companies we are advertising their product pasted on your car. You will be compensated with a sum of $200 ( Two dollars per Week),which is essentially a "rental" payment for letting our company use the space.We shall provide experts that will handle the advert placement on your car. You will receive an upfront payment of $400 ( Four hundred dollars) for accepting to carry this advert on your car and other weekly payments.
The competing beneficiary
Fraudsters often try to create a sense of urgency by indicating that another person has intervened and is attempting to obtain the funds.
In the said letter of change of beneficiary/ownership, representatives of Janet Wlliams states that you are dead and as such your fund should be paid to her as the next of kin to you. Because of the elaborate global scam, we decided to contact you for confirmation. If after seven working days, no responce is received from you,it will be assumed that you are dead and as such authorization and approval will be granted on behalf of Janet Wlliams to claim/receive your fund. Confirm this pictures and reconfirm your Information and how you want your fund paid to you without further delay if you are still alive.
Perpetrators may also attempt to take over victims who are in the process of being defrauded by competing criminal organisations. This can be done through spamming messages introducing the sender as an auditor or government official who has detected funds that the victim should already have received. The sender may also impersonate a co-victim.
We have arrested all the fraud people that has been cheating you and collecting your money here in Nigeria we are the new ATM CARD office with EFCC office here in Nigeria now your ATM CARD will reach your hand today or tomorrow it will cost you nothing but only $100usd that is all once this fees is paid we will give you delivery tracking number to enable you know when it reach your home. This is the Name where you can make the payment. Receiver Name: MORDI JOSEPH. Address Lagos Nigeria
Please be inform that any email correspondence you are involved in regarding money transfer or on-line lottery winnings from over sea is now being handled by us. The person or company you were dealing with has gone into bankruptcy and has been put into receivership since they are in serious financial difficulty due to world wide credit situation and blatant incompetence on their part. They are no longer in any honest or trustworthy position to deal with your claim. The insolvency agent has handed over all responsibility for this matter to us at SerVo RISK FEE TRANSFER INC® It is important for our records and the smooth completion of this business that henceforth you cease all further communication with them and only reply to this one mail address.
If your outstanding fund you’re expecting from the Nigerian government has exceed a year and half which is eighteen months; there is no office, bank or commission that will help you get it without asking you to pay fees upon fees which might result to thousands of dollars. Some of them might keep on demanding for unending fees from you until you get frustrated. I will introduce you to someone who I believe can help you out. He’s a God fearing and straight forward Christian. He’s works directly with the CBN and I have directed up to seven foreign beneficiaries to him this month and they all received their fund successfully. He will help you deal with the CBN governor directly and make sure all other fees are been waived off completely until you get the fund in your bank account and this will take him just thirty six hrs to execute it depending on how much you trust him.
As an attempt to improve credibility, the message may include a list of individuals suspected of misappropriating the victim’s funds. Such a list would consist of names known to the hijacker as having been used by competing fraudsters. The victim may therefore recognise on the list the name of his or her initial contact person.
The hijacker advises the victim to cease communicating with the original perpetrator. Later, the fraudsters that have taken over the victim advise him or her that problems have arisen and that further payments are necessary. They may also request an advance reward.
Even after the victim has realised that they have been swindled, the perpetrators may contact him or her again, this time under the name of a prosecutor, lawyer, law enforcement agency or private investigator. The victim is told that the fraudsters have been apprehended and that they can obtain compensation for the advance fees previously lost. In a variant, the fraudsters impersonate an authority or organisation that allegedly reimburses fraud losses.
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of $850,000.00 (Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars)This includes every foriegn contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.
If the victim expresses an interest, the perpetrators get back to requesting money from him or her under the pretext that various administrative, investigative, legal etc. expenses must be paid before the claim can succeed.
Some variants of follow-up fraud focus on recipients who have seen through a previous scam attempt:
This is Barr.Smith Onyema,I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner. Presently i'm in Paris France for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. meanwhile, i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how. Now contact our pastor in Benin Republic his name is Rev. Pastor Stanley James,on his private e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) ask him to send you the total of $750,000.00 (Seven Hundred And Fifty Thousand United State Dollars) which i kept for your compensation for all the past desire and attempts to assist me in that matter.