This really hits the “something for nothing crowd” hard, however I like many others are here to tell you that no one in Nigeria wants to give you money, there is one thing they do want however. They want your money, this 419 scam has gone on with dates as early as 1920s that was known as “The Spanish Prisoner” con. These cons are now pilfering all over the Internet and even on Facebook they are also known as “Advance Fee Fraud”
These started off by letters being sent to your house but in the current days they are 99% emails being spammed to your address. First off never trust an email from someone you do not know its more than likely bullshit. These communications always promise riches for helping someone move money, save face, or legal issues. They always say they will let you keep the majority of the cash you are helping someone move. If you are one of the dedicated readers here you are screaming scam by now, and you should.
Once you agree to help you will notice something will always go wrong, and it will need money but they can not use the money they have because its tied up. So they will need a few dollars from you. Once you send that money you can wait for your transfer of funds, crap the phone just rang, we have to bribe an officials. Once you have no more money or start making threats they are gone and so is your money.
Why does this work?
The short and sweet of it is people want something for nothing and that’s what they thought they where going to get. So the victim is blinded by the amounts of money that should be coming our way. Everyone in their life has had something like this happen where they were promised something and that is all they saw till they got it. They will work you until they are happy that you are blinded then they need something from you. Since you are blinded and they have built a trust factor you will follow them down the slippery path.
Other known variants of the same scam
This one is targeted at church’s and religious organizations and they play off the bleeding hearts and claim that a wealthy benefactor wants to leave all the money they have to the church they lead with a back story that is also bullshit. The same things happen in this one as well, delays, problems, legal issues, bribes it all comes down to opening your check book.
Lottery scams are the same, except you never remember entering the lottery and that is because you did not. However the crooks are trying to enter into your check book.
And now Facebook, this one is so easy to avoid yet people never do, The crook will hijack one of your friends accounts and then contacts all the friends and claims that they are in trouble and need your help. This one is probably the most dangerous because you believe its your friend. However one question! If its your friend why did you not pick up the phone and call. I have one rule I will help any friend in need, provided I can talk to them on the phone, I can see them in person and I never send money I will hand money. Now I know your saying that this will not help if they are stuck in London, however I would know my friends are not in London because we stay in touch, anyone else is just an acquaintance and probably would not get my attention. This one has been labeled “The London Scam” because when it first came out that is what the scam was.
Here is a transcript of one of the scammers and well some people fall for it.
I can not do anything on any information from a 419 scam but the Secret Service can and they want anyone who has been victim of this or these scams to send appropriate written documentation (what ever they want basically) to them you can contact them atUnited States Secret Service, Financial Crimes Division
950 H Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20228
Or you can contact them via phone at 202-406-5850. They do not want any faxed copies however so you must do one of the two. If you contact by phone they will probably want you to send the written documentation but that way you can find out what they are needing.
If you get an email from these types of scams
I ask that you forward the email to the FTC at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to keep the headers intact