This scam has been used for over ten years and is sent out to victims via letter, e-mail, and fax. It consists of a message stating the sender has a large sum of money, usually something like 20 or 40 million dollars, and needs help transferring it out of Nigeria, or some other country. As a reward for your help, the sender promises to pay you a third of the money. Nice!
Once you respond stating your willingness to help, the sender explains that there are transfer fees for the transaction, and that you’ll need to pay them. Surprise!! You get deeper and deeper into the scam as the money supposedly gets closer and closer to your bank account, but can’t seem to quite get there without an increasing amount of money from you.
Advanced Fee Resources
- “Nigerian Scam Perp Gets 376 Year Jail Sentence”
- “Advanced Fee” Sample Letters
- Nigeria’s EFCC (Economic & Financial Crimes Commission)
Here’s what a typical message looks like:
URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL
I AM MARIAM ABACHA, WIDOW OF THE LATE NIGERIAN HEAD OF STATE, GEN. SANI ABACHA. AFTER HE DEATH OF MY HUSBAND WHO DIED MYSTERIOUSLY AS A RESULT OF CARDIAC ARREST, I WAS INFORMED BY OUR LAWYER, BELLO GAMBARI THAT, MY HUSBAND WHO AT THAT TIME WAS THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA, CALLED HIM AND CONDUCTED HIM ROUND HIS APARTMENT AND SHOWED HIM FOUR METAL BOXES CONTAINING MONEY ALL IN FOREIGN EXCHANGE AND HE EQUALLY MADE HIM BELIEVE THAT THOSE BOXES ARE FOR ONWARD TRANSFER TO HIS OVERSEAS COUNTERPART FOR PERSONAL INVESTMENT.
ALONG THE LINE, MY HUSBAND DIED AND SINCE THEN THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN AFTER US, MOLESTING, POLICING AND FREEZING OUR BANK ACCOUNTS AND EVEN MY ELDEST SON RIGHT NOW IS IN DETENTION. MY FAMILY ACCOUNT IN SWITZERLAND WORTH US$22,000,000.00 AND 120,000,000.00 DUTCH MARK HAS BEEN CONFISCATED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THE GOVERNMENT IS INTERROGATING HIM (MY SON MOHAMMED) ABOUT OUR ASSET AND SOME VITAL DOCUMENTS. IT WAS IN THE COURSE OF THESE, AFTER THE BURIAL RITE AND CUSTOMS, THAT OUR LAWYER SAW YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS FROM THE PUBLICATION OF THE NIGERIAN BUSINESS PROMOTION AGENCY. THIS IS WHY I AM USING THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SOLICIT FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION AND ASSISTANCE TO HELP ME AS A VERY SINCERE RESPONSIBLE PERSON. I HAVE ALL THE TRUST IN YOU AND I KNOW THAT YOU WILL NOT SIT ON THIS MONEY.
I HAVE SUCCEEDED IN CARRYING THE FOUR METAL BOXES OUT OF THE COUNTRY, WITH THE AID OF SOME TOP GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, WHO STILL SHOW SYMPATHY TO MY FAMILY, TO A NEIGHBOURING COUNTRY (ACCRA-GHANA) TO BE PRECISE. I PRAY YOU WOULD HELP US IN GETTING THIS MONEY TRANSFERRED OVER TO YOUR COUNTRY. EACH OF THESE METAL BOXES CONTAINS US$5,000,000.00 (FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY) AND TOGETHER THESE FOUR BOXES CONTAIN US20,000,000.00(TWENTY MILLION UNITED STATESDOLLARS ONLY). THIS IS ACTUALLY WHAT WE HAVE MOVED TO GHANA.
THEREFORE, I NEED AN URGENT HELP FROM YOU AS A MAN OF GOD TO HELP GET THIS MONEY IN ACCRA GHANA TO YOUR COUNTRY. THIS MONEY, AFTER GETTING TO YOUR COUNTRY, WOULD BE SHARED ACCORDING TO THE PERCENTAGE AGREED BY BOTH OF US.PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MATTER IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL AS THE GOVERNMENT WHICH MY LATE HUSBAND WAS PART OF IS STILL UNDER SURVAILLANCE TO PROBE US.
YOU CAN CONTACT ME THROUGH MY FAMILY LAWYER AS INDICATED ABOVE AND ALSO TO LIAISE WITH HIM TOWARDS THE EFFECTIVE COMPLETION OF THIS TRANSACTION ON TEL/FAX N0:xxx-x-xxxxxxx AS HE HAS THE MANDATE OF THE FAMILY TO HANDLE THIS TRANSACTION.
THANKS AND BEST REGARD
MRS. MARIAM ABACHA