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    419 / Nigerian Letter Scam / Advance Fee Scams

    Advance Fee Scams, otherwise known as the 419 scam or the Nigerian Letter scam, (although it has long expanded way beyond Nigeria - much of Africa has now been involved and similiar concept scams have come from Asia), is probably the most famous internet scam in the world.

    Typically the scam starts by people receiving an anonymous e-mail letter requesting assistance to help someone get money out of Nigeria or South Africa. The concept is that so many millions of dollars are caught up in the country and the assistance is needed to get the money out.

    If the victim makes the mistake of resonding to the phoney offer, a request comes in asking for perhaps $20,000.00 in administration fees initially and then continually over a number of years. Victims never do see their promised money.

    Often the scam uses identity theft concepts and actually minics real people in high positions of banks and law offices.

    Lately Rainbow Investigations has noticed a decrease in the amount of these offers we have received. Today we have attached a link to a very voluminous 419 site which has carefully followed this scam on a daily basis.

    Note the trial of one of the accused in Nigeria now, and all the court procedural things they are doing (November 27th, 2003).

    Also note on November 13th, 2003 the Government of Nigeria developing a Financial Intelligence Unit to deal with this scam. Click here for the link.

    In the U.S. the primary enforcement unit charged with dealing with this scam remains the U.S. Secret Service. Here is a link (here) from their web site - albeit abit dated.

    Ron Reinhold

    Date of Story: Monday, December 01, 2003
    Story Posted By: Ron Reinhold
    Source: 419 / U.S. Secret Service

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