Fee Scams are exactly as the name implies - a fraud in which
the victim is persuaded to voluntarily remit some sort of
fee in anticipation of receiving something of value. Once
Freddy the fraud feasor gets their money, he will continue
to persuade them to send more money until the victim cannot,
or will not, send more.
with so many swindles, these tend to follow the, "load,
reload, recovery" format. The victim pays money, then
they pay more money and continue until they get suspicious.
Questions result in excuses, concern brings out indignance,
contact is usually broken off, phones are disconnected or
unanswered, messages are not returned, weeks go by (or months),
desperation begins to set in and then their phone rings -
Mr. Smith, I am Joe Blow, Chief of Internal Operations,
International Security Division in Belize. We are currently
investigating Fraudmeister Inc and we have reason to believe
that you have been victimized . . ."
the next few weeks, Joe Blow calls your Client, asks for information,
may request copies of documents, provides information, encourages
them to believe that their life savings will be recovered,
and ultimately persuades them to remit funds in furtherance
of the recovery action.
it's the "You have won . . ." scam, the "Make
money from home" scam, or the "419" scam, advanced
fee swindles are all based upon persuading the victim to remit
money "up front." Sometimes, it's as simple as a
phone call - call 1 (900) ITS-SCAM to claim your prize. After
talking to various operators, waiting on hold listening to
musak, and drumming their fingers on the table (at $3.98 per
minute) they find that they won some silly trinket.
Nigerian Scam is a classic advanced fee fraud estimated to
have netted billions of dollars since it began in the 1980's.
The Nigerian government vociferously condemns the evil criminals
who mastermind these scams, but I recently read that there
has never been a single successful prosecution in Nigeria.
scams are commonly referred to as 419 Fraud because that is
the section of the Nigerian Penal Code that applies to fraud.
The fraud is promoted by unsolicited e-mails and faxes - rather
than attempt to outline them, I have included a collection
of them for your review. As you will note, whether the solicitation
comes from Nepal, Nigeria or Sierra Leon, the game always
are some links to "real world" examples:
by a Client who has been bilked by the 419 folks, do them
a favor and encourage them to refrain from throwing money
away on a lost cause. There is no Mareva Injunction in Nigeria
and I'd not be trying to execute a Piller Order even if there
was a way to get one - this scam is a Nigerian industry. Sometimes,
the best thing you can do for a potential Client is tell them
when there is nothing anyone can do.
welcome your comments,
questions and suggestions.