Nigerian or “419” fraud is a scam where victims receive emails from Nigeria offering them a large payout if they help the author illegally transfer money out of the country. The author promises to send the victim a check or wire payment and asks for personal information, such as bank account numbers. The victim is then asked to deposit the amount and mail the author a percentage, often claiming it is for taxes. Since banks hold checks to verify funds, victims actually send their own money without realizing it, only to find out that they’ve been duped when the check bounces days later. more…

Here’s what a typical message looks like:

Sample Email 1

Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 08:58:18 -0700 (PDT)
From: Moses Odiaka [****]
To: ****

My name is Mr.Moses Odiaka.I work in the credit and accounts department of Union Bank of NigeriaPlc,Lagos, Nigeria. I write you in respect of a foreign customer with a Domicilliary account. His name is Engineer Manfred Becker. He was among those who died in a plane crash here in Nigeria during the reign of late General Sani Abacha.

Since the demise of this our customer, Engineer Manfred Becker, who was an oil merchant/contractor, I have kept a close watch of the deposit records and accounts and since then nobody has come to claim the money in this a/c as next of kin to the late Engineer. He had only $18.5mllion in his a/c and the a/c is coded. It is only an insider that could produce the code or password of the deposit particulars. As it stands now,there is nobody in that position to produce the needed information other than my very self considering my position in the bank.

Based on the reason that nobody has come forward to claim the deposit as next of kin, I hereby ask for your co operation in using your name as the next of kin to the deceased to send these funds out to a foreign offshore bank a/c for mutual sharing between myself and you. At this point I am the only one with the nformation because I have removed the deposit file from the safe.By so doing, what is required is to send an aplication laying claims of the deposit on your name as next of kin to the late Engineer. I will need your full name and address telephone/fax number,company or residential, also your bank name and account,where the money will be transfer into.

Finally i want you to understand that the request for a foreigner as the next of kin is occassioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and for that reason alone a local cannot represent as next of kin. When you contact me, then we shall discuss on how the money will be split between us and others we shall also speak in details.I am currently in europe for a six months course,you can reach me on this number for further discussion 0031 ***** 723.Kindly send your reply to my private email address stated below **** or ****

Trusting to hear from you,
I remain Respectfully yours,
Mr Moses Odiaka.
**** or ****
(0031 ***** 723)

Sample Email 2

Attn:- Beneficiary,

I am an US citizen, I am one of those that executed a contract in Nigeria years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $26,000 trying to get my payment all to no avail. So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents, And I was directed to meet Mr. mark wailers, who is the member of COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE, and I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails are fake.

He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I am the most happiest woman on earth because I have received my compensation funds of $1,500,000.00 Moreover, Mr. mark wailers, showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your name as one of the eneficiaries, and your email address, that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you. I will advise you to contact Mr. mark wailers H You have to contact him directly on this information below.

Name : Mr. mark wailers
Email: w*****
Phone: +234 *****

You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing. The only money I paid after I met Mr. mark wailers was just $255 for the paper works, take note of that.

Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact Mr Joakin Mendez so that he can help you to Deliver your fund instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.

Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Mary Susan Derrick.

Sample Email 3

Type Advance Fee/419
Terms 15% Commission
Amount 500 Million (USD) , 14.8 Billion (USD)
Entites Prince Fayed W. Bolkiah , Prince Fayed W. Bolkiah, Sheik Muda Hassanal Bolkiah, Amedeo Development Company
Country Brunei/Borneo
Excuse False Accusations/Imprisonment of owner
Email p*** , pri***

Received 21 June 2010
Relays [] (Germany)
Notes Unusual Country but fairly standard situation. Use of the word ‘in-castration’ is quite funny (I assume he means Incarceration!). Nice crop of spelling mistakes and archaisms which indicate either a desire to appear formal or just the result of a translation service.
The Letter
Dear friend,

Based on the further explicit investment information about your country from my research i wish to invest in your country under your supervision.

I am Prince Fayed W. Bolkiah, the eldest son of Prince Jeffrey Bolkiah former finance minister of Brunei, the tiny oil-rich sultanate on the Gulf Island of Borneo. I save your time by not amplifying my extended royal family history, which has already been disseminated by the international media during the controversial dispute that erupted between my father and his tepbrother, the sultan of Brunei Sheik Muda Hassanal Bolkiah.

As you may know from the international media,The sultan had accused my father of financial mismanagement and impropriety of us$14.8 billion dollars this was as a result of the Asian Financial crisis that made my father company Amedeo Development Company and government owned Brunei investment company to be declared bankrupt during his tenure in the office. However my father was kept under house arrest, his bank account and private properties including a crude oil export refinery were later confiscated by the sultanate to avoid further prosecution from the sultan and his security operatives, but before I could do that I was placed under house arrest by the sultan and not have access to phone but I have a palm V hand -held computer from which I am sending you this mail. Some of the guard here are still loyal to me, so they would be my contact with you if there is any documents I need to send to you to enable you have access to this funds and invest it for me.

Before my in-castration, I went ahead to dispatch the sum of five undred million United States Dollars {USD$500,000,000.00} in cash under special arrangement into the custody of different private Banks and trust company’s for safe keeping abroad. The money where splited and kept in the following countries, : in Canada, France, Spain, Holland andin London. Firstly, you will be required to travel to London to claim the money there before prceeding to other countries.

I seek your good assistance to invest these funds into a profitable investment in your country to facilitate future survival for my family abroad. After due deliberation with my aids we decides to offer a certain percentage to you as compensation for your co-operation and kind sincerity to carry out this assignment.

Since there will be an expenditure from your side, I will advice you not to worry about it because you will be reimburse any amount you may spend as to enable this transaction get to it’s final dream, for both local and international expenses will be given to you back while you will be part of the beneficiary of any investment made with this cash, to add to that, I will like to let to your understand that all this is not part of your financial compensation that will be given to you.

During this dispensation Please I count on your absolute confidentiality, transparency and trust while looking forward to your prompt reply towards a swift conclusion of this transaction. Many thanks and blessing remains with you.

Finally, your financial compensation will be the 15% of the total cash. That is 15% of ( u.s $500,000,000.00 ).

Prince Fayed.W. Bolkiah.
Please reply here: p***

Ever received a mail from a Nigerian official or diplomat which claimed to make you richer by a million bucks or more? Have you been a victim of the notorious Nigerian or 419 fraud and ended up in a complete fiasco? Share your story with us at iYogi and we will publish your story to ensure that innocent people do not get defrauded anymore by the Nigerian fraud.