Some methods used in the swindling business Nigerian "419 scam" A few recommendations A few links What you experienced/Warnings

In view of the development of the Internet, with the rapid transmission of information and the bulk of information available, a very profitable business is florishing echoed by some sources and on which our attention has been brought : the swindling business. Under this new headings of the Site, we wish to contribute curbing the expansion in the Ohada Zone of these very damaging activities for the business environment.


The methods used are the same as the classic rules in the sale process, notably consisting of drawing and keeping the victim's attention, then araising her/his interest while at the same time developing trust, then raising the necessity of acting quickly to conclude " the business ", but once this is done, there is no more follow-up nor " after-sale ". The swindler disappears in the immensity of the Internet ...

The stage concerned
What will generally happen
Some examples
First draw your attention then ...
An " exclusive " and/or "extraordinary " information has been kept for you alone by the swindler who is the sole holder of the information which has been made available to you in a " strictly confidential " framework ...
- An invitation to tender for an enormous market about to be launched;

- the discovery or the excavation of funds (from overpricing of public markets, misappropriated funds, funds abandoned by such or such a prominent figure who flew away, is dead etc)... which may be recuperated ...

The amounts involved are always (very) important (millions of US dollars) but sometimes the sum may be first a " reasonable " one with a happy end, followed by much more important amounts ending up in a flop.
Keep it, araise your interest and build trust ...

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Some essential details are provided, enabling you to understand what the business is and to think that this is certainly a good, if not excellent business since the expected profits are so enormous in such a small time : you can't help start dreaming how you can get out of your present gloomy situation !

Trust-building : some relevant references are provided : the name of an official body (supposed to be so), the name of a known personality (whether alive or deceased), sometimes there is even a conventional address (whith the corresponding theoritical possibility of locating and tracing out your "business partner" etc...)....

- The prospects of striking an important bargain, if not the "one-time bargain in your life" through somedy who knows what he is talking about and took time to gather all relevant information for the business to succeed,

- the prospects of sharing the "idle" funds with someone who took the time " to study every detail" etc...
Then ... create an emergency situation

At this stage, the swindler starts unveiling his aims. If you want to make money you first have to spend it. Isn't that logical ? In business, who can dream of reaping some benefits without a minimum investment ? Besides, what is the small amount requested from you presently compared to the huge sums expected tomorrow?

Another essential point at this stage : you will be urged to take your decision quickly, otherwise you are going " to miss " the business !

- To be awarded the market, you must pay some amounts (tips " to make things easier", bid bonds etc...);

- or to have access to the "iddle funds ", it is necessary to incur a certain number of expenses to be shared among the partners of the "business". You'll often be the only one to make money available while believing that the other partners do the same ...

Emergency is, as stated before, the finishing touch ... : one or some of your powerful competitors are about to take advantage on you ! The signatory of an essential document for the success of the business is about to retire ! etc.
The business is concluded
You have finally agreed to conclude the business and sent the funds : for you it is just the beginning of the " business " since you are waiting for the next steps but for your swindler, it is the end since he got what he wanted.

In the best hypothesis, he will acknowledge receipt of the funds sent and promise a diligent follow-up before simply disappearing. The worst case will be that there is even no acknowledgment of receipt at all ...
No follow-up nor after-sale
This important stage in a standard new business relationship to be developed does not obviously exist here since your "partner" is no more interested at all in keeping in touch with you...
He will logically stop getting in touch with you and will very quickly make you lose his tracks : anything you could refer to before quickly disappears : the public body finally happen to have never existed in fact or the reliable official is already deceased etc., then there is no answer when you dial the usual phone number (often of a cellular phone) he gave you, it does not ring any more or it rings but there is no answer etc.


These mails flooding the web space, rank among the first types of "spams " in the Internet. Called " 419 scams " because these practices are infringement to Section 419 of the Nigerian Penal Code on swindling, they consist, under various forms adapted to circumstances, in asking you to send goods or equipment, or else in making you prefinance the so-called recuperation of important money transfers or tender business
to take place. According to the FBI Report on fraud on the Internet, in 2001, the number of victims in the United States of this leading industry in Nigeria was close to 2,600 among which 16 declared to have lost not less than US $ 345,000.

These swindles often end in a simple loss of money, but when the victim moves on the spot, the outcome can be much more dangerous (sequestration, blackmail and even murder : according to the US State Department, more than twenty murders or disappearances of American citizens abroad were likely to relate to 419 scams).

Since this reality is becoming more and more known, Nigerian swindlers operate from neighboring countries, or even from other countries.


To recall that making available huge sums of money or goods to a new person in your business environment, after exchanging just a few emails and telephone calls may appear useless because it is so obvious and "common sense", but even experienced persons in business sometimes ignore this. During the first term of 2003, a North American company which has been contacted in connection with the prospect of a very important supply of computers to take place in a country of the Ohada Zone lost several millions of dollars in a supposed bid bond, whereas the public body from where this information was supposed to originate had never existed !

. I you receive a business proposal from a person or body new to your usual business environment, never decide in a hurry (in any cases don't send any money or good). Try to gather the information from well-known companies usually providing this type of business information and if you cannot have any relevant information, just forget about this business.

. If you managed to have such information, send somebody on the spot to finalize the business and if this person is new there, appoint a "local assistant" (like a lawyer or any other professional with an official address, having some ethics and liable before a corporate body but not an individual who may disappear without any ado). If you cannot send anybody on the spot and you absolutely need to strike this bargain, entrust its finalization to a reliable representative (an attorney etc...) who will sign he documents for you before forwarding them. Incurring some expenses (sometimes considered as "useless") upwards with such representatives to have some insurance about what is done is better than lose several millions of dollars as some companies experienced it. If you wish to contact us in this connection in the Ohada Zone for assistance, don't hesitate. Click here.

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- Ambassade de France : http://www.ambafrance-zw.org/francais/actualit.html#escroquerie

- Afrik.com. Les Nigérians : Cyber-escrocs => http://www.afrik.com/journal/decouverte/?dec-669-7.htm

- Direction de la lutte contre l'escroquerie (Gvt de l'Ontario, Canada) : http://www.gov.on.ca/opp/antirackets/french/alerts2.htm

- Mbolo.com : http://www.mbolo.com/arnaque.asp


- The US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria : http://nigeria.usembassy.gov/wwwho419.html.

- Hoax Buster : http://www.hoaxbuster.com/dossiers/detail.php?idDossier=3595

- Scam o rama or the Lads from Lagos : http://www.scamorama.com/

- Nigeria. The 419 Coalition website : http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/ and the numerous links listed in this web site.

- WorldBizClub : Warnings : http://www.wbc.com/wbc/beware.asp.

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