Nigeria - 419 Coalition 2015 News on Nigerian Scam / 419 Operations

17 DEC 2015
From The Star, a Malaysian newspaper and news media
company, sent in by Ultrascan AGI.  Most of the article
is not about 419 AFF per se, but it suggests involvement
in it, and also references a 419 modus operandi towards
the end.  So we thought it should be put up:

Police bust Nigerian scam syndicate

KUALA LUMPUR: Wangsa Maju police took down a Nigerian syndicate 
that intercepted RM1.8mil from a Saudi Arabian businessman who 
was buying cranes from a South Korean company.

The syndicate that consisted of 10 people is believed to have 
been operating from within Malaysia for as long as five years 
and may have targeted other high-value business transactions 
among foreigners.

"Their method of hijacking a deal was simple, yet hard to detect," 
said Wangsa Maju OCPD Supt Mohd Roy Suhaimi Sarif, who said the 
syndicate would create an e-mail account similar to their victim's 
business partner to intercept their online discussions.

"In this case, they made an e-mail account that was the same as 
the South Korean company, but they only had the .kr missing at the 
back of the address. The Saudi Arabian didn't even know he was 
talking to the syndicate. He didn't suspect anything."

The syndicate hijacked the e-mail thread in September and began 
arranging for the victim, an oil and gas chief executive officer, 
to purchase assets to the tune of RM1.8mil.

They then paid a Malaysian woman RM1,000 to register two shell 
companies with the Securities Commission and to open three bank 
accounts in the name of the companies. The Saudi Arabian businessman 
was then directed to wire the sum into these three accounts.

"The businessman only realised he had been tricked when the real 
South Korean company contacted him to ask why he had not responded 
to their e-mail. He came here to lodge a police report with us on 
Dec 9," Supt Mohd Roy said.

The police traced the Malaysian woman who opened the bank accounts 
and arrested her and a Nigerian man at a bank branch in Sentul on 
Dec 15.

The police then raided condominiums in Cyberjaya and Sri Putramas, 
where they arrested nine other foreigners, effectively crippling 
the international syndicate.

The syndicate members included seven Nigerian men, two Nigerian women 
and a Filipino woman. The Malaysian woman was freed and would be a 
witness in the court case, the police said.

"They are aged 30 to 35. They have been here between five and seven 
years, and may have been running several other scams at the same time," 
he said.

In another case, Supt Mohd Roy also issued a warning about gangs that 
prey on mostly expatriates with the promise of better gold and foreign 
currency exchange rates.

Since October, five people have lost a total of RM2mil to these gangs. 
They usually use Malaysian women to convince victims of the "special 
officer" on social media.

He said victims would be offered a special exchange rate for foreign 
currency or gold, and were asked to withdraw a huge sum of money before 
meeting the Malaysian women in a public area.

Then the gang members would rob the victim before escaping in rented cars.

Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good:

17 DEC 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime
Commission (EFCC) website:

EFCC Arraigns Businessman for N9.5m Oil Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, 
December 17, 2015 arraigned one Oghenemi Michael Morowei, Managing 
Director, Standard Allied Universal Concept, before Justice Valentine 
Ashi  of the High Court of the FCT, sitting in Apo, Abuja on a nine-count 
charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence.

The suspect is being prosecuted for allegedly conspiring with other 
members of an oil syndicate to sell a consignment of crude oil from 
the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to Bascom Energy 

One of the counts reads: "That you, Oghenemi Michael Morowei( a.k.a. 
Fubara Dan Jumbo, Boma Harry, Peterson Harry and Elder Dan Jumbo) trading 
under the name and style of Standard Allied Universal Concepts, George 
Olotu( at large), Bowoto Sunny Ola( at large) and Engr. Abiye Jumbo
( at large) between 7th March, 2014 and 19th March, 2014 at Abuja within 
the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did 
with intent to defraud obtain the sum of N8,000,000( Eight Million Naira 
only) from Bascom Energy Limited under the false pretence that same was 
payment for crude oil product which pretence you knew to be false."

Another count reads: "That you, Oghenemi Michael Morowei(a.k.a. Fubara 
Dan Jumbo, Boma Harry, Peterson Harry and Elder Dan Jumbo) trading under 
the name and style of Standard Allied Universal Concepts, George Olotu
( at large), Bowoto Sunny Ola( at large) and Engr. Abiye Jumbo( at large) 
on the 11th of February, 2014 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of the 
High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did with intent to defraud 
obtain the sum of N1,500,000( One Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira) 
from one Bascom Energy Limited under the false pretence that same was 
payment for crude oil product which pretence you knew to be false."

The accused person pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they 
were read to him.

Following his plea, the defence counsel, Alex Akunebu, moved the 
application for bail on behalf of his client and assured the court 
that he (the accused person) would not jump bail.

However, prosecution counsel, Cosmos Ugwo, urged the court to refuse 
the application.

Justice Ashi however granted the accused person bail in the sum of 
N50m with two sureties in like sum.

The sureties, who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court, 
must produce certified evidence of ownership of landed property and must 
always produce the accused person in court in subsequent proceedings, 
failing which they would be liable to pay the sum of N250m each.

The case has been adjourned to February 25, 2016 for commencement of trial.  

Here is the URL of the press release, which includes a photo,
for as long as it is good:

15 DEC 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime
Commission (EFCC) website:

Two Docked for Internet Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday 
December 15, 2015, arraigned Aigbe Joseph (alias Anthony Styler 
Malan) and Dennis Igbinoba (aka David Clark, Engr. Phil Anderson, 
Engr. Tim Hilton, Engr. Williams Clark) before Justice A. M Liman 
of the Federal High Court, sitting in Benin, Edo State on separate 
count charges bordering on Internet fraud and obtaining money by 
false pretence.

Joseph and Dennis were arrested in Benin City, Edo State following 
intelligence report on their involvement in internet scams. Laptop 
computers and phones were recovered from their homes during a search 
by EFCC operatives. 

In his confessional statement, Joseph said he had been involved in 
several internet fraud and collected the sum of ($50,000) Fifty Thousand 
United State Dollars from one Destiny, an America citizen. He stated 
further that he used part of the money to buy a Toyota Camry car, 
and also rented an apartment.

Dennis, the second defendant, revealed that he chats with foreign women 
on social media platforms (facebook/yahoo mail) while posing as a white 
Civil Engineer resident in London.

Joseph and Dennis pleaded not guilty to the two and four counts of 
fraud preferred against them, respectively.

One of the counts reads, "that you Aigbe A. Joseph, sometime between 
2014 and 2015 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this 
Honorable court did with intent to defraud attempt to obtain the sum 
of Twenty Thousand Dollars from Savita Shamsunder as Anthony Styler 
Malan, that the money is for your tax clearance for a construction 
job in France, facts which you knew or ought to know are false and 
thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (b) and read 
together with Section 9 (2) both of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other 
Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and Punishable under Section 1 (3) 
of the same Act:".  

Justice Liman, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N1million 
each and one surety in like sum.  Surety must have also have landed 
property within the jurisdiction of the honorable court.

The matter has adjourned to February 17 and 18, 2016 for the commencement 
of trial.

Here is the URL of the press release, which includes
a photo, for as long as it is good:

20 NOV 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime
Commission (EFCC) website:

$4m Fraud: Suspect's Arraignment Moved to November 30

The arraignment of suspected fraudster, Idowu Olarenwaju, alias 
Capt Anthony Abel Saramoh, has been adjourned to November 30, 2015. 
Olarenwaju and his accomplice, Joe Onwudimowei, were to be arraigned 
before a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State 
today but could not take their plea as their counsel A.Adedipe 
pleaded for time to study the twenty-two count information brought 
against the accused persons by the Economic and Financial Crimes 
Commission, EFCC.

Though prosecution counsel, Gabriel Edobor prayed the court to allow 
the accused person take their plea, contending that they may not be 
present to take their plea if allowed to go without sureties, Justice 
U.N Agomoh adjourned the matter to 30th November, 2015 for arraignment.
Olarenwaju was arrested by operatives of the EFCC for defrauding an 
American Citizen of the sum of Four Million dollar ($4,000,000) through 
his company, Total Intership Nigeria Limited.

The heist was earned through a phony crude oil contracts with the victim, 
wiring the said amount into the account of Total Intership Nigeria Limited 
ostensibly for the supply of crude oil. The bubble burst after the victim 
was left clutching the air, in an exasperating wait that ended with a 
petition to the EFCC.
Onwudimowei, who operates the account of Total Intership Nigeria Limited 
with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) where the proceeds of the said fake contract 
was deposited, was arrested on 18th June, 2015 and upon interrogation, 
fingered Idowu Olanrewaju and one Otunba Yemi Osho as the people he handed 
over all monies that passed through the account.

On the 19th of June, 2015, the duo of Idowu Olanrewaju and Yemi Osho were 
arrested following a dawn raid on their homes by operatives of the EFCC.

According to Onwudimowei, Olanrewaju sometime in 2010, instructed him to 
withdraw the sum of Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N3, 500,000.00)  
for Chief Yemi Osho. Osho, he claimed, in turn handed over the money to two 
people sent to him by Olarenwaju.

This singular involvement of Osho was what made Olanrewaju confess to the 
fraud as he had initially denied knowing Onwudimowei. When Olanrewaju was 
confronted with the testimony of Osho, sources at the EFCC disclosed that 
he was speechless and began to plead for mercy.

Here is the URL of the press release, which includes photos,
for as long as it is good:

419 Coalition comment:  A promising ending for Director Lamorde's 
tenure and a good start for that of Director Magu.

However, we'd like to know where the stolen $4 million and/or assets
purchased with it are, and how soon significant amounts of monies will 
be recovered and repatriated to the victim.

While arresting, convicting, and incarcerating 419ers is good, stripping
them of their assets, liquidating them, and repatriating monies to their
victims is also a requirement of effective counter-419 operations.  It is
necessary to convince current and potential 419ers that Crime Does Not Pay.

15 NOV 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) website:

Internet Fraudster Bags Two Years Jail Term

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on November 
15, 2015 secured  the conviction of an internet fraudster, Egbeniyi 
Oluwafemi( a.k.a Raymond Morrison, Mavis Mar and Markus Fred), who 
was sentenced to two years imprisonment by Justice A.M Liman of 
the Federal High Court, Benin, Edo State.

The convict who was first arraigned on February 5, 2013 for offences 
bordering on internet scam and obtaining money by false pretense to 
the tune of 200 Euros from one Rita, a German citizen, was pronounced 
guilty on counts 1 and 3 of the 3-count charge  and sentenced to one 
year imprisonment each on both counts.

Oluwafemi was arrested on January 18, 2013 by  officers of the 4 
Brigade/ Sector 1, OP PULO SHIELD, Nigeria Army, and handed over to 
the EFCC on January 23, 2013 for further investigation and prosecution.

One of the counts reads, “that you, Egbeniyi Oluwafemi (alias Raymond 
Morrison, Mavis Mar and Markus Fred) on or about the 10th of June 2012 
in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable 
Court did conspire to commit felony to wit: Obtaining Money by False 
Pretense and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) of 
the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and 
punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.

Here is the URL of the press release for as long
as it is good:

12 NOV 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime
Commission (EFCC) website:

EFCC Arraigns Man for 1500USD Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on 
November 12, 2015 arraigned one Emmanuel Eromosele (alias 
Bryan Perry) before Justice P.I. Ajoku of the Federal 
High Court sitting in Benin on a 3-Count charge bordering 
on fraud to the tune of One Thousand, Five Hundred United 
States Dollars (1500 USD).

Eromosele allegedly defrauded one James Sindelar in the 
United Kingdom through Western Union Money Transfer of the 
said sum while answering the name Bryan Perry and parading 
himself as a barrister, waiting to be conferred with a 
Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.
The accused person, allegedly sent fraudulent messages to inbox 
folder of the victim, "I Need Your Help" and to other unsuspecting 
foreign nationals seeking help and promising unfulfilled agreement 
for personal benefits before the law caught up with him.
Count one reads:
"That you Emmanuel Eromosele and others at large on or before the 
20th of July 2015 in Benin City, Edo State within the Jurisdiction 
of this Honourable Court, with intent did conspired to commit felony 
to wit: Obtain Money by False Pretence and Thereby committed an 
Offence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and 
Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) 
of the same Act".
Another count reads:
"That you Emmanuel Eromosele Akhalu ( alias Bryan Perry ) and 
others now at large on or about the 20th of July 2015 in Benin 
City, Edo State within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, 
did obtained the sum of 1500 U.S Dollars from James Sindelar 'm' 
in the United Kingdom through Western Union Money Transfer under 
the false pretence that you are a Barrister soon to be conferred 
Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), a pretext you knew to be false 
and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1) (a) 
of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 
2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act".
In view of his plea, counsel to EFCC, Ramiah Ikhanaede asked the 
court to fix a date for trial to commence and urged the court to 
remand the accused in prison custody.
However, the defense counsel, Charity Mguobarueghian prayed the court 
to admit the accused person to bail adding that, the alleged offence 
is bail able.
Justice Ajoku adjourned to January 27, 2016 for the hearing of bail 
application and ordered the accused person to be remanded in prison 

Here is the URL of the article, which includes a photo,
for as long as it is good:

10 NOV 2015
From an excellent online Nigerian
news and commentary site:

Meet the new EFCC Chairman, the man Ibrahim Magu 

Ibrahim Magu, an assistant commissioner of police, was one 
of the early recruits into the anti-graft agency by its pioneer 
chairman Malam Nuhu Ribadu. 

His most recent assignment was as member of the committee set 
up by the Buhari administration to probe the procurement of arms 
in the Armed Forces from 2007 to date.

Because of his perceived incorruptible posture, he was made the 
head of the sensitive Economic Governance Unit (EGU), which handles 
investigations of senior public officials. 

As head of the EGU, some of the investigations he spearheaded 
included the alleged involvement of Senate President Bukola Saraki 
in the collapse of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria.

He also played a role in the investigation and eventual jailing 
of former managing director, the Bank of the North, Shettima Mohammed
Bulama, said to be his own brother-in-law

His other role involved James Ibori, former Governor of Delta State, 
who is serving jail term in United Kingdom for money laundering. 

He also played a role in the investigation and eventual jailing 
of former managing director of the Bank of the North, Shettima 
Mohammed Bulama, said to be his own brother-in-law.

After Ribadu was removed in controversial circumstance by former 
President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, Magu was also targeted for redeployment.  

Farida Waziri, who took over in 2008, was said to be uncomfortable 
with his presence over issues surrounding loyalty.

Magu's troubles peaked when he was accused of illegally keeping 
case files of top politicians being investigated by the commission 
in August 2008.

His house in Abuja was searched and his property, including a laptop 
computer with sensitive files, was carted away by officials of the EFCC 
at the behest of Mrs. Waziri. 

Redeployed to the police after days of detention with nothing incriminating 
found against him, Magu was later suspended from the force, without salaries 
for several months.

But Magu was brought back to EFCC by Lamorde after he was confirmed as 
substantive EFCC boss in 2012.

Here is the URL of the article, which also includes a photo
of Ibrahim Magu, for as long as it is good:

419 Coalition Note:  419 Coalition would like to thank Mr. Lamorde,
the outgoing Director of the EFCC for his many years of service.  He
worked with us on several cases, including the famous Ghasemi case,
and we appreciated his assistance in those, and other, matters.

We would also appreciate it if the incoming Director, Mr. Magu, redoubles 
EFCC counter-419 efforts, especially in the area of recovery and repatriation
of 419ed funds to the victims of the crime.

22 OCT 2015
From 680 NEWS, a Toronto, Canada radio station,
sent in by Ultrascan AGI:

Toronto widow out $600K in romance scam, police charge

A 63-year-old Toronto widow was involved in a "romance scam" 
in 2014 where she was allegedly defrauded of $609,000, police 
said on Thursday.

Toronto police said their investigation centres around the woman, 
who believed she was in a relationship with someone she met on a 
dating website.

"She was informed there was an emergency in some form and assistance 
was needed," said Toronto Detective Constable Mike Kelly. "In general 
there is some form of difficulty in being together ... a form of crisis."

She was encouraged to pass along money on a false pretence, police 

The woman met the man face-to-face, gave him money in the form of 
cash and also wired money to him from March to June 2014.

Police said she was in a vulnerable state and that most people 
targeted are lonely.

"[The] woman was involved with a fictional character who doesn't 
exist," said police.

The man identified himself under the alias of Martin Acker or Martins 
Acker Jr., and claimed to be a representative of the United Nations. 
He had had a forged UN identification that dated as far back as 2011.
Akohomen Ighedoise, 41, forged United Nations identification. Police 
believe there may be other victims.

Police said that the woman went to police with the assistance of 
her family.

"The net effect of this was economically devastating to her," Kelly 
said. "We visited her shortly in the wintertime at her home and the 
heat was barely on, she was wearing mittens and a hat inside her home."

Kelly said that when someone asks to "send money but keep it real 
quiet," that it should be a sign that something is wrong.

"These situations ... they are occurring in the city on a regular 
occurrence," he said.

Toronto investigators are working with the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation and United States Postal Inspection Service on 
this investigation.

Kelly said there is not one specific plotline, but that the point 
is always the same: to get the victim to pass them money. And it 
can be done through a romance scam or lottery scam.

Police have linked the accused to a group called the Neo Black 
movement and believe others are involved.

The Neo Black movement, also known as The Black Axe, have intimidated 
and exerted influence on Nigerian people within the Greater Toronto Area.

"This is a very secretive organization," said Detective Constable 
Tim Tortter.

He added that the group is involved in a wide breadth of crimes 
including street-level violence and fraud, and that "beating" and 
"weapons" were used for intimidation in Toronto.

Akohomen Ighedoise, 41, of Toronto has been charged with laundering 
the proceeds of crime, fraud over $5,000 and participating in a criminal 
organization. Police said he is a member of the Neo-Black Movement 
and he was known as the bookkeeper.

Ikechukwu Amadi, 34, of Mississauga and Lineo Molefe, 31 of Toronto 
were arrested and charged in relation to the romance scam with laundering 
the proceeds of crime and fraud over $5,000.

The FBI indicted six people involved in wire fraud and money laundering 
conspiracy, of those six was Ighedoise and Amadi.

Detective Sgt. Ian Nichol said these offences are committed over the 
internet and because of this, borders are meaningless to law enforcements.

Police are asking people to stay in close contact with loved ones, 
especially if they are lonely or vulnerable.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact police.

Here is the URL of the article, which contains
a photo and a video clip, for as long as it is good:

Here are additional URLs covering this story,
courtesy of Ultrascan AGI:

16 OCT 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission website:

$330,000 Scam: Court Resumes Trial of Maurice Ibekwe's Accomplice

Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja,  
has begun proceedings into the trial of Chief Augunos Okoro, an 
accomplice of  late Morris Ibekwe, implicated in a $330,000( Three 
Hundred And Thirty Thousand United States Dollars) and DM75,000
(Seventy Five Thousand Deutschmark) scam.

Okoro, owner of Yolk Hotel in Ire-Akari Estate, Isolo, Lagos, 
allegedly connived with late Ibekwe to defraud a German, Mr Klaus
Munch, in 1992. Pretending to be an official of the Central Bank 
of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Finance, Transport and Aviation, 
he lured Munch into a fictitious contract of supply of hard and 
software equipment for a phony Abuja International Airport.

Okoro put the value of the contract at $300 million and demanded 
for a percentage of the contract amounting to $330,000, which was 
paid by Munch. Trial of the case commenced in 2003 before Justice 
J.O Oyewole of the Lagos High Court, but suffered several adjournments 
till the recent elevation  of justice Oyewole  to the Court of Appeal. 
The case was thereafter reassigned to Justice Ipaye who has now 
resumed sitting over it.

At the resumed trial of the matter on Thursday, October 15, prosecution 
counsel,  Adeniyi Adebisi told the court that he was ready with his 
witnesses but Justice Ipaye adjourned proceedings to November 24 and 26, 

Okoro is facing a 38- count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining 
money  by false presence; forgery and uttering.

Here is the URL of the press release, which includes a photo,
for as long as it is good:

14 OCT 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) website:

EFCC Arraigns Impostor for N10m Scam

A suspected fraudster and member of a syndicate, Edward Abiodun,  
was on Wednesday, October  14, 2015 arraigned by the Economic and 
Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  before Justice Beatrice Iliya 
of Gombe State High Court, Gombe, Gombe on a two-count charge 
bordering on conspiracy, impersonation and obtaining money by 
false pretense.

The accused person and his accomplices, Murtala Bello and Esther 
Momoh( who are now at large), had allegedly claimed to be staff 
members of the EFCC, Abuja office, in order to dupe one Umar Bello.

The complainant alleged that Bello had, on March 13, 2015, phoned him, 
assuring him that the syndicate could 'kill' the purported petition 
written against him, if he could pay the sum of  N10 million( Ten 
Million Naira).

Consequently, Bello was said to have sent the phone number of Momoh 
who claimed to be a Principal Detective Superintendent, PDS, with EFCC 
to the victim for further discussion on how the money could be paid 
to them.

The complainant also alleged that the suspects offered to collect 
N300,000(Three Hundred Thousand Naira) from him when he could not raise 
the initial N10million (Ten Million Naira).

He further said that one 'Laolu Adegbite', who claimed to be the 
officer handling his purported case, sent an SMS to him on March 
19, 2015, summoning him to appear before the Commission on March 
23, 2015.

According to him, owing to the persistent threat by members of the 
syndicate, he paid the sum of N50,000(Fifty Thousand Naira) into 
Abiodun's Diamond bank account number: 0044213102, which was sent 
to him by Momoh on March 25, 2015.

Worried by the persistent threat from the syndicate over the balance 
of N250,000(Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira), the victim petitioned 
the EFCC, which swung into action and eventually arrested the accused person.  

Count two of the charge reads: "That you, Edward Abiodun and Murtala Bello, 
Esther Momoh, (now at large) sometimes in March, 2015 at Gombe, Gombe State 
which is within jurisdiction of this Honorable Court with the intent to 
defraud did fraudulently obtained the sum of Fifty Thousand Naira (N50000.00) 
only from one Umar Bello through your Diamond bank Account number 0044213102 
which sum you collected under a false pretence. The said sum is to be used 
to facilitate his investigation at Economic and Financial Crimes Commission 
(EFCC), Abuja and you never did, thereby  you committed an offence contrary 
to section 1(1) and (b) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance 
Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006."

The accused person pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.

In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Zarami Muhammad, asked 
for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the accused person 
in prison custody.

The defense counsel, Micheal Ofoma, did not oppose the prayer for 
a trial date by the prosecution counsel.

After listening to both counsel, Justice Iliya adjourned the matter 
to October  26, 2015 for hearing of bail application and ordered 
that the accused person be remanded in prison custody.

Here is the URL of the article, which includes a photo,
for as long as it is good:

12 OCT 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) website:

EFCC to Arraign Suspected Fraudster for $267,000 Scam

A suspected internet fraudster, Akintunde Vincent Abiodun, has 
been quizzed by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes 
Commission, EFCC, for allegedly defrauding a New Zealand woman 
the sum of $267,000 (Two Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand New 
Zealand Dollars Only).

Akintunde, a 37-year-old HND holder from Federal Polytechnic Auchi, 
Edo State, is said to have defrauded the victim of the said amount 
by claiming to be Christopher Williams from  United Kingdom.

According to the complainant, she met Akintunde in a dating site on 
the internet and allegedly fell in love with him. She said Akintunde 
started collecting money from her after he claimed to be in possession 
of gemstone worth $18,050,000 (Eighteen Million and Fifty Thousand 
Dollars ), which he purportedly inherited from his father.

She further said, Akintunde hoodwinked her into believing that he 
was coming to New Zealand to settle down with her.

She alleged that the money she sent to the suspect were received 
in Malaysia and Nigeria by persons bearing Norisha, Jalan Klan, 
and Mohammed Haizam Bin Fauzin.  All of them claimed to be friends 
of Akintunde.

The suspect will be arraigned in court as soon as investigation 
is completed.

Here is the URL of the new release, which includes a photo,
for as long as it is good:

8 OCT 2015
From the Premium Times, a Nigerian newspaper:

U.S. indicts 9 Nigerians Over Online Romance Fraud

by Adebayo Hassan	

A United States federal grand jury in the district of Maryland 
has indicted nine Nigerians over allegations that they conspired
to defraud elderly victims of millions of dollars.

The Nigerians are accused of engaging in fraudulent online 
romantic relationships and risk 20 years in jail, a statement 
by the U.S. Department of Justice said.

According to the statement, the accused are Gbenga Ogundele, Mukhtar 
Haruna, Victor Oloyede, Olusegun Ogunseye, Babatunde Popoola, Adeyinka 
Awolaja, Mojisola Popoola, Olusola Ola, Victor Oloyede and Olufemi 

Except Mr. Haruna who is based in Lagos, Nigeria, others live in 
the US are all aged over 40, apart from Mr. William who is 26.

While the statement said only Mr. Haruna was yet to be arrested, 
it confirmed the arrests of the remaining alleged internet fraudsters 
on September 30, same day they appeared before a federal court in 
Greenbelt and Illinois.

Their indictment, announced by United States Attorney for the 
District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge 
Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has 10-count 
charges of crimes, allegedly committed between January 2011 and 
May 18, 2015.

They were accused of searching "online dating websites to initiate 
romantic relationships with elderly male and female individuals."

"They phoned, emailed, texted and used internet chat messenger 
services to form romantic relationships with the victims, who 
lived in Maryland and around the country," the Department of 
Justice said.

The indictment further alleged that the accused used a number 
of false stories and promises to convince the victims to provide 
money to the conspirators, including fake hospital bills, plane 
trips to visit the victims, problems with overseas businesses 
and foreign taxes.

The conspirators allegedly opened bank accounts in order to 
receive millions of dollars from the victims.

The indictment also alleged numerous deposits from several victims 
into bank accounts controlled by the defendants, or checks received 
from the victims, ranging in individual amounts from $1,720 to $30,000.

"All of the defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison 
for conspiring to commit wire fraud, and for conspiring to commit money 
laundering," the Justice Department said.

Additionally, it said that, "all of the defendants except for Mojisola 
Popoola face a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison to be 
served consecutive to any other sentence for aggravated identity theft, 
arising from the alleged use of a victim's name, bank account number 
or driver's license in furtherance of the fraud scheme."

"An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by 
indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at 
some later criminal proceedings."

The indictment and arraignment of Nigerians, the Justice Department 
said, "is part of the efforts undertaken in connection with the 
President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force".

With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices, and 
state and local partners, the task force was established to "wage an 
aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and 
prosecute financial crimes".

Here is the URL of the article for as long as
it is good:

29 SEP 2015
We happened to catch a new episode of the Dr. Phil
Show (a US talk/help show) today, that concerned
Romance 419 at a high level, which was quite good.  
It was titled "My Mom is Worth Millions - is her 
Husband a Catch or "Catfish?""  An online seach 
should turn up info on the show, and it will likely 
also be available on services like Hulu, Netflix, etc.

23 SEP 2015
From the Nigerian government Economic and
Financial Crime Commission site (EFCC):

EFCC Arraigns Man for N4.5m Love Scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on September 21, 
2015 arraigned one Amadi Jude before Justice Emmanuel Obile of the 
Federal High Court Calabar, Cross River State on a 12-count charge 
bordering on obtaining money by false pretence.

Amadi who goes by different pseudo names – Richard Smith, Mike Anderson, 
Richard Darwin, Jackson Miller, and Morgan Abela, is alleged to have 
collected N4,544,000 from a Swedish national,  and promised to marry her.

Count one reads: "That  you, Amadi Jude Junior (alias Richard Smith, 
Mike Anderson, Richard Darwin, Jackson Miller, Morgan  Abela)  'm', John 
Ikechukwu Efughi (at large), and Farouk (at large), between May 2014 and 
January 2015 in Calabar, Cross River State, within the jurisdiction of 
this honourable court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony 
with it: obtaining money by false pretence and thereby committed an 
offence contrary to section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other 
Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) 
of the same act."

The accused person pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Justice Obile, adjourned till October 12, 2015 and ordered the 
accused person be remanded in prison custody.

Here is the URL of the news release, which contains
a photo, for as long as it is good:

14 SEP 2015
From, a Nigerian oriented website.
While this is not a strictly 419 new item, we feel
that this will affect the 419ers as well as the
grafters, embezzlers, etc. Therefore we decided
that the article should be posted here, as anything
that makes things more difficult for the 419ers is
fine by 419 Coalition, of course.  Here is the article:

BellaNaija can confirm that banks around the world have 
commenced closing accounts held by Nigerians.

If you may recall, in May 2015, news filtered through social 
media that accounts of Nigerians in the UAE specifically in 
Dubai had been closed.

At the time, no official reason was given, however sources 
at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) disclosed 
that this was as a result of Dubai’s efforts to curb money 

A growing Nigerians with accounts in the United Kingdom, United 
States and Canada have reported their accounts being closed without 
any clear explanation from the banks. Many have received letters 
stating that the banks have decided to close their accounts as 
they reserve the right to do so based on bank/client agreements. 
Letter packages have included cheques amounting to the closing 
balance and/or instructions on how to retrieve their cash.

While there is no clear and official reason for this exercise, 
sources have revealed that this is as a result of ongoing anti-money 
laundering discussions between the Nigeria’s Buhari-led government 
and their international counterparts.

In addition, countries around the world are clamping down on banks 
which aid money laundering by imposing huge fines and penalties. 
Therefore, the banks are working overtime to "clean up their acts". 
In June 2015, it was revealed that HSBC paid over $43million in 
Geneva to settle a money laundering case.

Please note that based on information received so far, while no 
clear pattern for account closing selection has been revealed; 
Affected parties have excluded those who have a clear and defined 
source of the funds in the account. For example, work permit holders 
with salaries remitted into their accounts or  current students with 
fees and reasonable pocket money paid into their accounts have not 
been affected so far.

However, Nigerians who transfer money from their Nigerian accounts 
to foreign accounts, students with unexplained large balances and 
Nigerians who made cash deposits into their accounts abroad have 
been affected so far.

BN will keep you updated on developments. If you have a foreign account, 
we encourage you to check the status as soon as possible and continue 
to monitor your accounts as this is an ongoing exercise.

Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good:

3 SEP 2015
From the Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper:

How Nigerian conmen lived large in London

Two London-based Nigerian conmen, Godwin Nwaofor and Frank 
Onyechonam involved in defrauding mainly American pensioners, 
informing them they had won the Australian Lottery, through 
bogus letters, have met their waterloo.

Daily Mail reports that Nwaofor who had cheated pensioners 
out of £5m life savings had a 'suckers list' of target victims 
to send his bogus letters to. The letters were sent by a 'lottery 
agent' targeting mainly American pensioners, informing them they 
had won a life-changing prize and demanding 'activation fees' 
to release their cash.

He received around UK pounds 1 million from the scam and blew 
the money on luxury cars, gold jewellery and expensive champagne 
at top nightclubs in London.

However, Nwaofor helped Onyechonam, who was nicknamed 'Fizzy' 
for his love of vintage champagne and jailed for eight years 
last year, after he was exposed as the chief player in the scam.

Judge Richard Hone QC however, today, had little sympathy for 
Nwaofor, who broke down in tears at Central Criminal Court as 
he was jailed for seven years.

The Judge said the evidence in the case, at Central Criminal 
Court, against Nwaofor was 'overwhelming' and showed him to be 
a proven liar.

"You have a tendency to be dishonest in your dealings with landlords, 
agencies, the police, HMRC, and car hire firms. You also moved addresses 
regularly to ensure your whereabouts remained a mystery," he said.

Nwaofor moved to the UK in January 2006 from Nigeria and soon married 
a German citizen. He has two children with her, aged six and six-months-old.  
Nwaofor lived in Camberell Green, South London.

One victim, a 76-year-old woman, who believed she had won $1.85m, tried 
to track down Nwaofor after the FBI told her she had fallen victim to 
a scam.

She flew to the UK and went to the address she had for Nwaofor, but 
found that he had already moved on to another address.

Nwaofor, found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, converting criminal 
property, and acquisition of criminal property, will serve half his 
sentence in prison and the remaining part on licence. He will also 
now face confiscation proceeds.

Onyeachonam's opulence

However, Police identified 406 victims from two notebooks found at 
Onyeachonam's Canary Wharf penthouse, in London when he was arrested.

They seized Louis Vuitton shoes, Gucci handbags, a collection of 
expensive watches and dozens of designer shoes, as well as 5,000 
pictures of Onyeachonam flaunting his wealth at exclusive upmarket 
venues including the Guvnor Bar in Docklands, east London.

Onyeachonam, of Canning Town, east London, was found guilty of 
conspiracy to defraud between January 2005 and December 2012.

There was also evidence of extensive communication with Lagos 
resident, Ese Orogun, nicknamed the 'chairman', who is thought 
to be the global mastermind of the fraud.

Orogun reportedly lives in a private gated community, and is 
a 'celebrity' in the Nigerian capital and drives multiple supercars, 
including a Maserati and a Porsche.

Detectives fear the scale of the fraud could even mushroom to 
UK Pounds 30 million if all the details discovered in notebooks 
and emails can be traced to victims.

Here is the URL of the article, which includes several
photos, for as long as it is good:

2 SEP 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime
Commission (EFCC) website:

EFCC Returns 10,540 Euros to Polish Victim of Love Scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has recovered 
and returned the sum of 10,540 Euros to a polish victim of Internet 
love scam.The victim, simply identified as Jamina, was allegedly 
duped 40,000 Euros by the suspect, Gabriel Oseremen Xavi who 
operates a fake Facebook account with the name, Collins Page.

The suspect was traced to Benin City, Edo State, where he was arrested 
by EFCC operatives following a petition by the victim.

Speaking on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at the Belgium Embassy, Abuja 
during the presentation of the sum of 10,540 Euro recovered from the 
suspected Internet fraudster, Ibrahim Lamorde, Chairman of EFCC, charged 
Western diplomats to sensitize their citizens against Internet love scam.

Lamorde, who also urged them to focus more on lonely elderly people 
who have been found to be easy prey, added that "All the assets acquired 
by the suspect from the proceeds of the crime will be disposed off at 
the conclusion of trial, and the money returned to the victim."

The high point of the occasion was the presentation of the money to 
the Belgian Ambassador, Mr. Stephane De Loecker and his Polish 
counterpart, Mr. Andrzej Dycha, by Lamorde.

Expressing his gratitude, De Loecker, thanked the Nigerian government 
as well as the EFCC for what he described as 'its commitment to curbing 
Internet scams' He remarked that it was his first time of witnessing 
the restitution of a victim of scam by any law enforcement agency and 
urged the EFCC not to rest on her oars.

The envoy assured that the Belgian government would carry out rigorous 
campaigns to sensitize its citizens on the dangers of love scam.

In his remarks, Dycha, who also expressed his gratitude, extended 
invitation to the EFCC to be part of the meeting of association of  
EU Consuls to further “advise and sensitize them on Internet scam.”

The presentation was witnessed by the Deputy Head of Mission, Belgian 
Consulate, Veronique Bernad; Polish Consul, Jakub Budohoski, and 
EFCC officials.

Here is the URL of the press release. for as long
as it is good:

419 Coalition comment:  This is the kind of news that we love
to report.  However, we wonder where the remaining 30,000 Euros
are, and when they will be recovered and repatriated to the victim.
If EFCC wants to make a believer out of us in terms of its effectiveness
in recovery and repatriation of 419ed monies, a good first step would
be to recover and repatriate the roughly $2 million in restitution ordered 
by the Court in the famous, decade old, Odiawa case.  That will get our
attention - and that of the counter-419 community as a whole - for sure.

1 SEP 2015
From the Times of India:

3 Nigerians among six held in Hyderabad for cheating 2 men

HYDERABAD: Central Crime Station (CCS) sleuths have arrested six persons, 
including three Nigerians, who duped two city-based businessmen to the 
tune of Rs 3.6 lakh by luring them with an offer to invest $ 1 lakh in 
hotel business in the city.

Police have arrested Samadan Laxman Mali, 21, Rahul Dilip Kharde, 25, 
from Dombivli, Thane, Mahesh Damodar Rajput, 36, of Thane East, three 
Nigerians from Mumbai, Onuoha Nnanna Francis, 34, Valentine O Anumaka, 
28, and Eze Victor, 35.

On August 28, one Raju Jembiya, 24, a businessman from Parsigutta, 
lodged a complaint with the CCS sleuths alleging that he and his 
friend C Sadashiva were duped by one Terry Joseph of Nigeria along 
with his associates to the tune of Rs 3.6 lakh. 

"Terry Joseph, who by posing as a restaurant owner in Nigeria, befriended 
Sadashiva six months ago over Facebook and then expressed his willingness 
to invest Rs 1 lakh US dollars in restaurant business in India. When Sadashiva 
agreed to join the business venture of Terry, the latter responded saying 
that he had sent a box to India with 1 lakh US dollars and told Sadashiva 
to collect it in June, 2015," CCS joint commissioner T Prabhakar Rao said.

Later, one Daniel called Sadashiva introducing himself as the custodian 
of the cash parcel in Mumbai and asked him to deposit Rs 1.6 lakh as 
customs clearance charges in various bank accounts given by him. After 
making the payment, Sadashiva went to Mumbai to receive the box and, 
on the directions of Terry, he met one agent Mahesh Damodar Rajput, 
who collected Rs 2 lakh cash from him to hand over the box and then 
switched off his phone. Subsequently, the victims lodged a complaint 
with police and a special team of the CCS went to Thane by tracking 
beneficiary bank account details and cell phone details of the culprits.

With the help of the Thane police, the CCS team arrested the six accused 
from various places in Mumbai on Tuesday and brought them to the city on 
a PT warrant on Monday. The arrested were remanded in judicial custody, 
but the main accused Terry was yet to be nabbed.

Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good

15 AUG 2015

From the Washington Post blog section, sent in by Ultrascan AGI,
and with some comments by 419 Coalition folowing the article:

Wow! This Nigerian prince would like to wire you 75 million dollars!!

By Timothy S. Rich

You've received these e-mails. Someone (Nigerian, British, South 
African, Libyan) wants to wire you an absurd sum of money. The writer, 
who is almost illiterate, urges you to please get in touch immediately.

The security world knows this as the advanced fee fraud (AFF) e-mail 
scam. It goes by many names but may be most commonly known as the Nigerian 
or 419 scam; the number refers to an item in Nigeria's penal code. E-mails 
of this type offer riches that are purportedly parked in foreign banks, if 
you will just help the author get that money out of his or her country. 
If you reply, the scammer will demand various fees; the scam ends only when 
you are unwilling to pay any more.

Hard though it may be to believe, as much as $10 billion is lost annually 
to this scam. Over the past four years, I have researched the phenomenon 
and uncovered six things that few people know about it.

1. The scam predates the Internet.

Although similar scams appear as early as the 16th century, the modern 
AFF scam has its roots in the late 1970s and early 1980s when its 
perpetrators utilized physical mail. Nigerian scammers used stolen or 
counterfeit letterhead to target mainly American and British businesses.

2. This isn't small-time crime. It's big business.

The e-mails may suggest small-time scammers, but Nigeria's Interpol believes 
that those who write them are more likely to be professionals working as part 
of an organized hierarchy, not unlike other forms of organized crime. Many 
scam networks are organized along ethnic or linguistic lines, especially in 
Nigeria. That makes it easier to coordinate efforts and harder to operate 
these scams solo.

Furthermore, while the basic contours of the e-mails seldom change, evidence 
suggests that scammers are increasingly testing variations to identify which 
receive a higher response rate. For example, appeals to religion and references 
to recent religious conversions are often deliberately included.

3. The e-mails may be intentionally unbelievable.

These e-mails become profitable at an incredibly low response rate: Most 
estimates suggest that the scam needs a response rate of less than one-tenth 
of 1 percent to be profitable.

You have probably read the offers and wondered who could possibly fall for 
the stories they peddle. The scammers themselves likely know this, too. 
Cormac Herley of Microsoft Research suggests that these are not blanket 
appeals. Rather, they are attempts to quickly identify the gullible. Similarly, 
the poorly constructed English narrative attempts to encourage pity and a sense 
of adventure.

The large monetary offers are also a way to target the naïve. I collected 
more than a half-million AFF e-mails from, a site dedicated 
to online-scam prevention. Through content analysis software, I found that 
nearly two-thirds (64.2 percent) made offers in the millions and 1.8 percent 
in the billions.

4. It’s not just in Nigeria.

Although the scam is primarily associated with Nigeria, perpetrators have been 
found throughout West Africa, Hong Kong and Western Europe. Early letters were 
almost exclusively in English, but increasingly scammers have been sending e-mails 
in Spanish, Portuguese and French, among other languages.

Nor do most of the e-mails claim to be from Nigeria. After analyzing more than 
a half-million of them, I found that only 12.6 percent mentioned Nigeria. Another 
43.6 percent mentioned other African countries, and 36.2 percent mentioned European 
countries. Even if most AFF scams originate in West Africa, which is debatable, 
scammers appear to be diversifying their stated country of origin.

5. The scam intentionally uses trust language.

The scam e-mails commonly appeal to both trust and greed, which separates them 
from spam that tries to lure the unwary through a misleading Web design. The AFF 
email narrative, rather, works to build a sense of a mutual relationship, including 
references to trusting the recipient and  suggesting that the sender is taking a 
significant risk.

In my analysis, a clear majority of e-mails (60.9 percent) included references 
to trust, using such words as “trust,” “trusting,” “confide.” Interestingly, 
the higher the monetary offer, the more trust language is used. “Trust” words 
were in 68.1 percent of those e-mails that mentioned thousands of dollars; trust 
language appeared in fully 85.3 percent of the billion-dollar offers. Meanwhile, 
60.6 percent of e-mails with lower or no monetary offers did not include a single 
reference to trust.

6. Variation in the e-mails influences perceptions.

I designed an experimental Web survey to identify whether variations in the text 
of scam e-mails influenced perceptions. Within this survey, American respondents 
were randomly assigned one of four scam letter templates that differed in one 
of two ways: the monetary offer of the scammer ($3 million vs. $30 million) and 
the use of trust language (no references vs. eight references to trust).

Using trust language did not increase the number of respondents who said they 
believed the author could be trusted. However, those who received trust-laden 
e-mails were slightly more likely to say that they would respond to such an 
offer and that they saw no harm in responding to such an e-mail.

Using trust language also meant that those who read the e-mails were less 
likely to remember how much money was offered, as I found using statistical 
models. In other words, trust language seemed to distract the recipients from 
paying attention to the monetary offer.

Overall, scammers may be better off with generic blanket appeals without the 
trust language and attempting to nab only the most gullible.

How can we prevent those gullible people from sending money and bank account 
information to strangers? Public education does not appear to be a useful 
approach. Here’s what will probably be more fruitful: using content analysis 
software to construct better spam filters, filters that pay less attention 
not just to what country the e-mail came from and instead focus on the many 
references to trust.

Timothy S. Rich is an assistant professor of political science at Western 
Kentucky University. 

Here is the URL of the article, which includes several live links,
for as long as it is good:

419 Coalition comments:  We want to remind readers that 419 Advance
Fee Fraud is a Subset of Advance Fee Fraud in General.  419 Advance
Fee Fraud is defined as Advance Fee Fraud with a West African connection.
This connection can be the origination point of the fraud attempt, or it
can be the origination place of the 419er.  Thus, an Advance Fee Fraud
attempt originating, for example, from Outer Mongolia, would be 419 AFF
if the fraudster(s)themself were of West African origin or were locals
operating at the behest of a West African based 419 syndicate.

Also, this article appears to deap primarily with what is classed as
Classic 419.  As the reader of this site knows very well there are many,
many types of 419, such as Lottery 419 and Romance 419 to mention just
a couple of them.

Regarding Mr. Hurley's study, which maintains that 419ers deliberately
mention Nigeria in their solicitations in order to weed out the wary,
419 Coalition would like to mention that we, and many other experts in
the field like Ultrascan AGI, have found that in our experience quite
the opposite is the case -  ie. most 419ers go to great lengths to NOT
mention Nigeria, or Nigerians in their solicitations; and that in 
general 419ers who Do mention Nigeria or Nigerians tend to do so primarily
for logistical reasons required by their local or main office operational

13 AUG 2015
From the Daily Post, a Nigerian newspaper, sent in
by Ultrascan AGI:

EFCC arrest Nigerian who defrauded American of $4M, 
exhibits cars, houses

By Seun Opejobi

A suspected fraudster, Idowu Olarenwaju also known as Captain Anthony 
Abel Saramoh has been apprehended by the Economic and Financial Crimes 
Commission, EFCC for allegedly using his company, Total Internship Nigeria 
Limited to defraud an American Citizen to the tune of $4million.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Anti-Graft agency, 
stressing that the suspect lured his victim into paying the money 
into his company’s account with the promise of supplying him crude 
oil from Nigeria.

According to the statement by the Commission, the American however 
petitioned the agency following Olarenwaju’s silence after the monetary 
transaction was done.

Investigations carried out by the anti-graft agency led to the arrest 
of one Joe Onwudimowei on June 18th who was discovered to be an accomplice 
of the suspect who operates the account of Total Internship Nigeria Limited 
with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) where the money was deposited.

Joe who confessed to be working for Olanrewaju and one Otunba Yemi 
Osho disclosed that the proceeds from the transaction have been given 
to both men.

EFCC in the course of its investigation discovered that Olanrewaju has 
several properties in Port Harcourt, Rivers and a 44room hotel in Ado 
Ekiti, Ekiti State despite not having any reasonable source of income.

The ant-graft agency further recovered a number of cars including, 
a 2014 Range Rover, 2013 Honda Crosstour, 2013 Range Evogue and 
Honda CRV from Olarenwaju.

Olarenwaju, according to the EFCC would be charged to court soon.

Here is the URL of the article, which includes photos,
for as long as it is good:

5 JUL 2015
From Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper, sent in by
Ultrascan AGI:

Five Nigerian students detained in Malaysia over alleged 
N125.2m Internet Scam

by Favour Nnabugwu with agency report

Five Nigerian students have been arrested and detained in Malaysia 
over their alleged involvement in an internet fraud amounting to 
N125.2million (RM2.4 million) in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. 

The five students, aged between 20 and 30, and pursuing Information 
Technology courses in a leading private college in Kuala Lumpur, 
were arrested on June 30, 2015 at different areas in that country 
including Petaling Jaya, Cyberjaya, Damansara and Kuala Lumpur.

Following the arrest of the five students, police also detained 
the two local women, aged 40 and 55, who are the owners of the 
accounts used by the syndicate said Penang Commercial Crimes 
chief ACP Azmi Adam.

ACP Azmi said police also seized five laptops, 20 hand phones, 
ATM cards, SIM cards and documents believed to have been used 
to con their victims.

He said police launched 'Ops Merpati' after receiving a report 
from the owner of an ice producing factory owner in George Town 
who claimed he had been cheated by the syndicate. 

The 62-year-old victim said he had received an e-mail from the 
syndicate in March,  informing him that he was among 50 recipients 
selected to receive RM15.9 million from the government of the 
United States.

"The e-mail requested the victim to follow certain procedures 
to ensure he did not miss the opportunity. Convinced by the 
contents of the e-mail, the victim carried out 51 transactions 
involving money, to accounts numbers given by the syndicate before 
realising it was a scam. He later lodged a police report," he said.

Azmi said initial investigations revealed that the syndicate had 
conned several victims to a tune of RM2.4 million. Police have 
also found transactions involving up to RM1 million that were 
banked in from a neighbouring country.

For some reason there appears to be two URL's given for this
article, so here are both for as long as they are good:
as it is good: 

419 Coalition thanks ACP Azmi Adam and his team for their efforts,
Great Job!  The Coordinator of 419 Coalition lived in KL for several
years as a young man and takes it personally when 419ers operate out
of Malaysia....  as they routinely do..... so, as the Nigerian saying
goes -  "More grease to ACP Azmi's elbow"  :)

1 JUL 2015
From Metro Watch Online, a Nigerian news website, 
sent in by Ultrascan AGI:

EFCC Arraigns 2 for $64,000 Romance Scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday 
July 1, 2015, arraigned the duo of Osaze Akhigbe and Ndekwu Jindu 
before Justice Lawal Akapo of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja 
on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain goods and 
money by false pretence.

The defendants, Akhigbe and Jindu were arrested by the EFCC sometime 
in 2013 based on a petition from one Jolanta K, an American.

Jolanta alleged that she met Jindu, who introduced himself as a 
self-employed Caucasian pharmacist, online in June 2012. Impressed 
by his profile she "fell in love" with him, and both agreed to get 

She further alleged that in the course of the relationship, the 
defendant at different times hoodwinked her into parting with over 
Sixty Four Thousand United States Dollars ($64,000 USD).

Count 2 of the charge reads; "That you, Osaze Akhigbe on or about 
the 6th of September 2012 at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division 
with the intent to defraud obtained a total sum of $1,900 (One Thousand 
Nine Hundred United States Dollars) from one Jolanta K. through Western 
Union money transfer under the false pretence that the money represent 
payment for marriage engagement processes between you and her in Nigeria 
and which pretence you knew was false".

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.

In view of the plea of the defendants the prosecution counsel, A. A Akujo 
asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand them in prison custody.

Justice Akapo adjourned the case till September 21, 2015 for hearing 
of the bail application and ordered that the defendants be remanded 
in Kirikiri Maximum Prison.

Here the the URL of the article, which includes photos,
for as long as it is good:

15 JUN 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) website:

EFCC Arraigns Internet Fraudster for UK Pounds 
54,324 Romance Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday 
June 15, 2015, arraigned Ebiechina Chikeluba (aka Lisa T. Jackson) 
before Justice O. A Ipaye of the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja 
on a 17-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, 
personation, forgery and using false document.

Chikeluba who met his victim on Facebook using the false identity of, 
Lisa T. Jackson, a United States citizen, has been making monetary 
demands of his victims, using varies guises. In one such instance 
in March 2013, he obtained a total sum of (UK Pounds) 54,324.59 (Fifty 
Four Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty Four Pounds, Fifty Nine Pence) 
from one K. Oaks through Western Union on the pretext that he was an 
American woman dealing in Gold in Nigeria and needed money to increase 
her capital. The unsuspecting victim paid, having already agreed 
to marry the conman.

When the charges were read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty.

In view of the plea of the accused, prosecution counsel, Andrew Akoja 
asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the defendant 
in prison custody.

The defence counsel, Chijioke Agu, informed the court that he has already 
filed an application for bail and asked to be allowed to move his application.

However, Justice Ipaye adjourned the matter to July 20, 2015 for hearing 
of bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in custody.
Chikeluba, 21, a student of Federal Science and Technical College Yaba, 
Lagos was arrested by the operatives of the EFCC on February 24, 2015 
for allegedly swindling Oaks, a UK citizen, of the sum of UK Pounds 
54,000 (equivalent of N20m).

Here is the URL of the press release for as long 
as it is good:
12 JUN 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) website:

EFCC Re-Arraigns Suspected Fraudster For $127, 000 Scam…
Docks Another for Forgery

A suspected fraudster, Emeofa Michael Ikechukwu, alias Michael 
Briggs, was on Thursday, June 11, 2015, re-arraigned before 
Justice I.E Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, 
Rivers State by the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, 

The suspect, who had earlier been arraigned on March 10, 2015 
before Justice H.A. Nganjiwa, is being prosecuted on a nine-count 
charge bordering on impersonation, forgery and obtaining money 
by false pretence to the tune of over $127,000
Ikechukwu had allegedly obtained the money from his Swiss girlfriend,  
Misepasi, whom he met on a dating site in February 2013, after tricking 
her to invest in a phony timber business.
One of the counts reads: "That you Emeofa Michael Ikechukwu (Alias 
Michael Briggs) sometime in April, 2013 in Port Harcourt and within 
the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud did 
obtain the sum of $77,003.95 (Seventy-Seven Thousand, Three Dollars, 
Ninety-Five Cents) from one Misepasi and which you purportedly claimed 
to be a business partner dealing with timber which pretext you knew 
to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (b) 
of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and 
punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act."
However, the suspect pleaded not guilty when the charges were read 
to him.
In view of his plea, counsel to EFCC, D. Ademu Eteh, prayed the court 
to open his case.

The defence counsel, O.J. Atolagbe, told the court that there was a 
pending application for bail.
Justice Ekwo adjourned the case to June 15, 2015 for hearing on the 
motion for bail and ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody.

In a related development, one Emmanuel Ikechukwu was also docked before 
Justice Ekwo by the EFCC on an amended one count charge bordering on forgery.

The accused allegedly hacked into his victim's email and later contact 
their friends or associates for money. One of the victims, Innocent after 
receiving a mail from the accused, disguising to be a friend, deposited 
the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Five Thousand Naira (N155,000.00) into 
his account with a new generation bank.

The accused however entered a not guilty plea, when the charge was read 
to him.

In view of the plea of the accused, the prosecution counsel, Ramiah O.E. 
Ikhanaede prayed for a date for trial.

Justice Ekwo ordered that the accused be remanded in EFCC's custody 
and adjourned the matter to 18th June, 2015 for hearing of bail 
application and commencement of trial.

Here is the URL of the press release, which contains a photo, for 
as long as it is good:

12 JUN 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) website:

Internet Fraudster Bags Four Years For Hacking NASA E-mail

Justice S. S. Ogunsanya of the Lagos State High Court on Thursday 
June 11, 2015, sentenced one Osarenwinda Idahor (a.k.a Osas Idahor) 
to two years imprisonment on each of the two count charge bordering 
on possession of document containing false pretence.

The convict was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes 
Commission sequel to a petition from NASA OIG Computer Crimes 
Division Goddard Space Flight Centre, United States, alleging 
that the suspect hacked into NASA e-mail account to send scam 
messages for advance fee fraud.
Further investigation by the EFCC revealed that the convict disguised 
himself to be one Mrs Carlow Charles, a cancer patient who wanted to 
donate the sum of $10,500,000 (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars 
Only) to the motherless, widows and less privileged.
The convict upon arraignment on 25th day of May 2015 pleaded guilty 
to the charge. Consequently,  Justice Ogunsanya adjourned the case 
to June 11, 2015 for ruling and sentencing.
When the matter was called June 11,  Justice Ogunsanya sentenced the 
convict to two years imprisonment without any option of fine on each 
of the count charges. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Here is the URL of the press release, which includes a photo,
for as long as it is good:

3 JUN 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission website:

EFCC Arraigns One for Internet Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on June 2, 2015 
arraigned Friday Isodje before Justice U.N Agomoh of the Federal High 
Court, Port Harcourt on a 3-count charge bordering on conspiracy, 
Impersonation, Internet fraud and obtaining money by false pretence.

The accused was arrested sometime in 2013 alongside one Eloho Akarah 
following intelligence report on their lifestyles. The suspect was 
with a laptop computer containing scam mails.

One of the counts read, "That you Friday Isodje, on or about the 10th 
day of July, 2013, at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this 
Honorable Court did conspired with one Eloho Akarah to commit felony 
to wit: obtaining by false pretence contrary to Section 8(a) of the 
Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related offences Act, 2006 and 
punishable under Section 1 (3) of the said Act".   

Another count reads, "That you, Friday Isodje, on or about the 10th 
day of July, 2013, at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this 
Honorable Court did possess a document containing false representation 
to wit: a letter of introduction as Alexandra Wallace sent to one 
Regina Adu, which said representation you made in a bid to obtain 
by false pretense, and there by committed an offence contrary to 
Section 6 and 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related 
Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the said Act".   

When the charge was read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Usman Shehu, thus urged 
he court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.

Justice Agomoh adjourned the case till June 15, 2015 for trial and 
ordered the accused person to be remanded in prison custody.

Here is the URL of the press release, which contains
a photo, for as long as it is good:

18 MAY 2015
From the Daily Mail (Australia) sent in by Ultrascan AGI:

Lonely heart, 61, gave her $350,000 life savings to a man she 
met on dating site Plenty Of Fish - only to find out her urbane 
Englishman 'Eamon Donegal Dubhlainn' was a Nigerian fraudster

Jan Marshall lost $350,000 to Nigerian dating scam and is still 
paying for it 

She signed up for online dating website Plenty of Fish and found 
a match

She soon accepted a marriage proposal and sent money to a 
'British man'

Her match, 'Eamon Donegal Dubhlainn', was an Englishman working 
as an engineer in the United States, according to his dating profile

Ms Marshall has been told the money ended up in Nigerian accounts 

Australians lost almost $30million in online romance fraud in the 
past year 

By Frank Coletta for Daily Mail Australia

Jan Marshall thought she'd finally found love, but not only has she 
had her heart broken, her life savings of $350,000 have been ripped 

The Melbourne woman is just another victim of the online dating scams 
which have cost Australians almost $30million in the past year alone.

Ms Marshall, 61, signed up to dating website Plenty of Fish in the hope 
of finding love after moving to Melbourne from Brisbane in 2012, and matched 
with one 'Eamon Donegal Dubhlainn'. 

According to his dating profile, Mr Dubhlainn was from Manchester, England, 
but working in the United States as a civil engineer.

Within a matter of months, she had accepted his marriage proposal, arranged 
to meet him and started sending money to his bank account. 

Little did she know that Eamon Donegal Dubhlainn didn't exist, and his 
profile was invented and managed by a group of fraudsters in Nigeria 
that specifically targeted Ms Marshall. 

Ms Marshall works in change management for large corporations, she had the
successful career and hoped to find love. Soon after leaving Brisbane for 
Melbourne in August 2012, she signed onto the dating site, Plenty Of Fish.

Putting those details on the internet was the start of her problems, as 
the information was quickly snapped up by the scammers, who deemed her 
the perfect target.

'I hadn’t had a lot of relationships before and I quickly got approached 
by someone who claimed to be an engineer in America, and he said "I would 
be happy to go anywhere for the right person", that’s apparently what they 
say,' Ms Marshall told Daily Mail Australia.

'We continued to communicate and very quickly he got me on email and phone 
and then instant messenger.'

But there was always a technical problem when they were supposed to video chat. 
The fraudsters provided her two photos, naming 'the man' as 'Eamon Donegal 

'He then said he was moving back to England and said "we will be together very 
shortly, you are a special person and I want to communicate just with you".

'Within a month it got very serious and he asked me to marry him, and I accepted, 
I was fully drawn into his love and attention.'

But for those closest to Jan, the alarm bells were ringing.

'Several friends tried to warn me, when you were in these things they cut you 
off from your friends, encourage you to disassociate with them,' she admitted.

'They (the scammers) tell you that no one understands what we have, afterwards 
I had to go back to family and friends – your initial reaction is of shock shame 
and embarrassment.'

But the tactics were as effective as they were exhausting. 

'They talk to you morning, noon and night, they are professional and manipulative 
fraudsters, that’s the truth of the matter, just calling them "scammers" trivialises 
what they do,' she added.

'We are not stupid, we are manipulated, we are groomed just the same as child 
abuse victims are, in a sense we are caught in a honeymoon stage and then you 
are not really acting normally.'

Groomed, ahead of the inevitable requests for money. 

'He'd returned to England and then supposedly took a short-term contract in Dubai 
and promised he'd come onto Australia six to eight weeks after that,' Ms Marshall 

'Once he said he was in Dubai, the money requests started, initially he said he 
had to pay some taxes he hadn’t allowed for.

'It all happened over six weeks, and I only paid out to him expecting to get it back.

'And then it was money for business materials, and it got worse, he supposedly got 
robbed on the way to pay those taxes,' she added.

More excuses and elaborate stories began to build, as did Jan Marshall's expenses. 

'It was always amounts like $40,000, which I gave to him twice, then he said he 
was in trouble with those he'd contracted work to and had to buy out the contract 
for $77,000,' she said.

'The larger amounts went to bank accounts, those of $40,000 and $30,000 went through 
Western Union, even thought there is a limit of $10,000 and I was doing it in multiples 
of 10.

'Then, when he was apparently on his way to the airport (to come to Australia) 
he had a car crash and was in hospital, they had other people like nurses and 
doctors contact you, a document showing the expenses and others playing other 
roles,' she said.

'I didn’t realise it was a scam until he got on a plane to England, he said 
“I’m on my way now, thanks for everything", it wasn’t until then that I realised.

'He would always say "I am a wealthy man but I can’t access my funds".

'I would pay over $270,000 to them, that included savings, additional credit 
and ultimately I took money out of a self-managed super fund, which I wasn't 
supposed to do and which now has me in strife with the the tax office.

'I have a $76,000 tax bill on the super and that is at 46 per cent interest.

'I am a professional person, in a well paid job, and my friends say that 
if they lined up 10 people in a line to see who would be caught out that 
I wouldn’t have been the last one to have been duped by a scam like this.' 

For Jan Marshall, the heartbreak and financial ruin caused by the online 
scam won't end any time soon

Now Ms Marshall is fighting the Australian Taxation Office, which is pursuing 
her for $76,000 after she accessed her superannuation for the 'man'.

Victoria Police investigated, passing on details to Western Union 'so the names 
used could be stopped, as only they can do this'.

'The only follow up I received is that the money was collected in Nigeria, 
though I had sent it to Dubai,' Ms Marshall said.

Online dating fraud remains the number one scam for financial losses, with 
close to $30 million reported lost by Australians, despite it making up only 
three per cent of all scam reports.

Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 
(ACCC), said: 'Scammers are stealing not only your money but also your data, which 
they then use to commit identity theft or to sell to other scammers.

'Personal data is a valued commodity and one that you cannot put too high a 
price on when it comes to protecting it.

'Unfortunately, scammers also recognise the value of your personal information 
and will go to great lengths to steal it.

'Increasingly, scammers are using personal information gleaned from social 
media profiles to target victims for a fraudulent relationship or investment.'

Nationally, the amount lost to dating and romance scammers jumped by 10 per cent 
in the past 12 months, cementing the category as the most lucrative for fraudsters.

'Don't think it's just through dating websites, we found 33 per cent of these 
relationships started on Facebook and other social media,' she said.

'And men are victims as much as women, it's basically 50-50.'

For Jan Marshall, the heartbreak and financial ruin caused by the scam won't end 
any time soon. 

'It left me in a lot of strife, I gave him money from my pay, I had to borrow 
money to get through that first month, I closed down a lot of discretionary 
spending and I am still in strife in credit card and tax office debt,' she warned.

'I have been scared off (relationships), I have come to terms with it but haven’t 
wanted to go out there, quite honestly it has had a lasting affect.'

Here is the URL of the article, which includes related 
photos and videos, for as long as it is good:

419 Coalition Comment:  This cautionary case is nearly as egregious as the UK 
Ms. Hill case of over a decade ago, in which the 419er, Tony Egbowon, remains 
unarrested, unconvicted, and unpunished to this day..... see our 6 APR 1999 News
for details....  he has recently been reported to be in the Chicago, Illiois area
by the victim.

14 MAY 2015
From the Premium Times, a Nigerian newspaper, a press
release by the EFCC, sent in by Ultrascan AGI:

FCC strategic to Nigeria's rebirth - Lamorde

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, 
Ibrahim Lamorde, has described the establishment of the Commission 
in 2003 by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo 
as one of the major steps towards the rebirth of the nation.

Mr. Lamorde said prior to the establishment of the EFCC, Nigeria’s 
image in the international community had been dented owing to economic 
and financial crimes perpetrated by some individuals and organizations.

He further said Nigeria was synonymous with money laundering, weak 
law enforcement and '419' before the creation of EFCC, adding that 
the citizens were harassed at international ports of entry.

Mr. Lamorde, who spoke Thursday through the Deputy Director, Public 
Affairs, Osita Nwajah, at the Induction Certificate Course of newly 
elected legislators, organized by the National Institute for Legislative 
Studies, also noted that before the establishment of the EFCC, Nigeria 
was blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force, FATF, isolated 
and dishonoured from international businesses.

He, however, stated that the war against corruption and other economic 
crimes by the EFCC contributed to the de-listing of Nigeria from the FATF 
blacklist of Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCTs).

Mr. Lamorde further highlighted the successes so far recorded by the 
Commission to include "Robust enforcement of economic and financial 
crimes, anti-money laundering law, routing of notorious '419' and 
engendering renewed inflow of Foreign Direct Investments."

While stating that the EFCC’s mandate is not limited or influenced 
by tribe, creed, status or affiliations, he said the Commission had 
been actualising its mandate of nation-building through a number of 
activities, including enforcement, receipt of complaints, investigation, 
prevention, enlightenment and advocacy training.

He added that as an anti-graft agency, the EFCC has also ensured 
restitution for victims of economic and financial crimes, locally 
and internationally.

While answering questions on the issue of plea bargaining, Mr. Lamorde, 
who lamented lack of insurance for staff of the Commission in spite 
of the dangers associated with the job, described it purely as a matter 
of judicial function.

According to him, most suspects often resort to plea bargaining when 
confronted with volume of evidences against them.

"Most suspects don’t want to go the whole hog. They change their pleas 
of not guilty to being guilty. It is done all over the world. Therefore, 
if a suspect does not waste the time of the court or waste tax payers' money, 
it makes it possible for him or her to resort to plea bargaining."

Mr. Lamorde added that contrary to the impression in some quarters, the 
EFCC does not have the power to dispose of properties recovered from suspects 
until final forfeiture is granted by the court.

The induction course was organized by the NILS to train and equip new 
legislators with the necessary knowledge and skills to be effective 
in the discharge of their responsibilities as law makers.

Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good -
it includes a very nice pic of Ibrahim Lamorde, EFCC Chairman:

This press release is also posted on the EFCC website,

419 Coalition Comment:  We've always liked Mr. Lamorde, from well before
he became Chairman of the EFCC, but must admit we are very disappointed
with some of the claims he apparently made in this press release.  To hit
just the main high (or low) points: 1.  The claim that 419 has been "routed"
is patently absurd, as to anyone even remotely familiar with 419er operations
is is overwhelmingly obvious that it is as prevalent as ever; 2.  To claim
that EFCC deserves kudos for its record on "ensuring restitution for victims
of economic and financial crimes, both locally and internationally", is also
absurd.  Anyone even remotely familiar with the scale of 419er operations,
recovered percentages of monies lost by victims, and the miniscule portion
of that miniscule portion actually repatriated to victims, knows the claim
of EFCC performance in this area is utterly, unequivocally false.  And blaming
the Courts for the failures of EFCC in the area of restitition is not going
to wash either.  EFCC has got to Press the Courts in these areas, and Enforce
Vigorously the relevant Court Orders, neither of which it does.

Just ask the victim in the famous Odiawa case, in which the 419er was
actually convicted (rare) and sent to jail (rarer) and in which around
two million dollars restitution was ordered, how effective the EFCC has
been in regard to recovery and court-ordered restitution and repatriation
of 419ed monies and assets.  He'll tell you that in the roughly a decade
since the 419er was jailed, and restitition ordered, the 419er has already
been out of jail for Years now, and not one cent --  not a penny of
restitution has been made and repatriated to him, despite years and 
years of pressing the EFCC to honor the Court order, get restitition,
and repatriate it.  419 Coalition says to Mr. Lamorde - if you want to
talk restitution and and repatration successes, Show Us (actually show
the Victim) restitution and repatriation of 419ed monies as ordered by
the Court in the Odiawa case.  Until you can do that sir, you and the
EFCC are just blowing smoke claiming success concerning EFCC performance
in the area of recovery and restitution of 419ed assets - despite any
ill-advised claims you, or your your Agency, make to the contrary.  

Repatriate monies to victims, Mr. Lamorde.  Do it routinely.  Do it 
in something  even remotely approaching the huge sums that are actually 
stolen - and Especially when a Court has Ordered restitution.  Then
sir, you will be able to arguably claim success in the area of recovery
and restitution of 419ed monies.  Until that time, it might be better
to simply.....  just.....   shut up......  on recovery and repatriation
matters.  Just sayin'

13 MAY 2015
From, the IT Security section of 
US based, sent in by Ultrascan AGI:

Oil & Gas Firms Hit By Cyberattacks That Forgo Malware

New spin on the 'Nigerian scam' scams crude oil buyers 
out of money with bait-and-switch.

By Kelly Jackson Higgins

An unusual type of targeted attack underway for two years uses legitimate 
Windows file functions and a few homemade scripts -- but no malware -- to 
infiltrate companies in the oil and gas maritime transportation industry.

Researchers at Panda Labs first discovered the attack campaign early last 
year, which had slipped by antivirus software and hit around 10 companies 
since it launched in August of 2013. The attackers are stealing information 
from oil cargo organizations and then using that information to pose as 
legitimate firms in scams against oil brokers.

"This is an innovative targeted attack" but not an APT (advance persistent 
threat) or cyberespionage, says Luis Corrons, technical director of Panda 
Labs. "They use no malware; I'm not sure if they're not using malware 
because they don't know how to … They were stealing credentials without 

The attack campaign, dubbed Phantom Menace by Panda, was first spotted 
by the security team at an oil and gas transportation company in the U.K.  
It began with a convincing-looking spearphishing email with a phony PDF 
file that when opened by the victim user, was empty. "It has a self-destructor 
file, and it creates a folder where it puts files inside. It runs one of the 
batch files and that's it. There are no malicious" code tools, he says.

Panda was able to root out the stolen files from an FTP server used by the 
attackers, and drill down into the attack itself, which turns out to be a 
new spin on the Nigerian scam. It works like this: the scammer contacts an 
oil broker and offers them anywhere from 1- 2 million barrels of Bonny Light 
Crude Oil (BLCO) -- at a bargain price -- from a town in Nigeria called Bonny 
that's well-known for oil with low sulfur content, which makes it a low-corrosive 
grade product.

"They have to show proof the product, quantity and quality of the oil, and 
they ask for $50- 100,000 in payment to close the agreement," Corrons says. 
"They [the broker] goes there, and there is nothing," no oil or supplier, 
he says.

"Our guess here is that they were interested in [oil cargo transportation 
company] user credentials so they can steal and copy real certificates from 
those companies" that they can use in the scam to pose as legitimate oil firms, 
he says.

Most of the victim organizations were in Europe, including Spain, Germany, 
and Belgium. There also were victims in Asia, he says.

The initial infiltration of the victim systems once the phony PDF is opened 
works like this: an executable file using an Adobe Acrobat Reader icon self-extracts, 
creates the folder, and moves six files into that folder. It runs a series of files 
it planted, and ultimately uses a .bat file to modify the Windows registry such 
that each time the computer starts, it runs its .bat file to grab usernames 
and passwords from the mail client and browser, and then save them in a text file.

There are additional steps to mask the folders, including disabling the Windows 
firewall. The last step is using FTP to upload the stolen files to the attackers' 
own FTP server.

"Why would you bother to buy or build a Trojan," which could be detected, Corrons 
says. The legit files fly under the radar.

Corrons and his team found some 865 unique files of stolen information in the 
FTP server, all of which were from the oil and gas maritime transportation sector.

Unmasking An Attacker

The researchers also have been able to identify one of the likely attackers 
involved. But in the end, that may not matter: none of the victims will report 
the attack to law enforcement. Panda's theory is that's because they don't see 
it as a pure breach: none of the information and credentials stolen from the 
victims was actually used against them, but instead was used against other 
companies. They don't want to report that they were duped for fear of negative 
publicity, according to Panda. "They prefer to keep a low profile, change their 
credentials, and continue to operate just as if nothing had happened."

And if law enforcement has no official complaints filed, there's no investigation, 
Corrons notes. "The broker who lost the money was unofficially buying the oil … 
from the underground," he says.

"The guy [attacker] leaves free," he says.

Panda began tracking the attackers by following the FTP connection used to send 
the stolen credentials. That took them to a free FTP service, where one of the 
attackers had registered for it. While his name and location information was fake, 
it appears the city was not -- the village of Ikeja in Nigeria, which is also 
known as "computer village" in the country, due to its large concentration 
of technology vendors.

They also traced his address, and they were able to decipher his 
name: "We took the 9 characters that made up the email address and started 
combining them to see if we could form an alias, a first name, a last name 
or similar. And we got it," Panda says in a report on the campaign.

The suspected attacker is a Nigerian national, and they found his Twitter, 
Facebook and LinkedIn accounts as well. He's a resident of Ikeja who owns 
a goods transport company. "Too many coincidences. So, even though all the 
evidence seems to indicate that this is the person responsible for the attack, 
there is no way for us to prove it. It would require the police to launch 
an investigation and obtain information about the FTP connections, etc., 
in order to get the IP address of the person who signed up to the service 
and find the culprit," Panda said.
Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good:

419 Coalition Comments:  We'd like to mention that Oil Scam 419
is one of the original, oldest, and longest running forms of 419.
The 419ers have always used oil industry information, wherever they
can obtain it, to buttress the believability and checkability of
their "tale" - to include industry journals and publications, company
contact lists, news articles, press releases, stockholder publcations,
etc.  What is new(ish) here is that the 419ers are using phishing
techniques to get into company servers directly in order to support 
the "tale" that they are telling to others, in addition to culling 
such materials from other sources.

12 MAY 2015
From The Guardian, a Nigerian newspaper:

Two Nigerians sent to 12 years in prison in Vietnam for email fraud

By Deola Adebiyi

A Vietnamese court has sentenced two Nigerian men, Christian Nnadike, 34, 
and Collins Deke, 37, to 12 years each in a Vietnam prison for hacking 
into emails of local companies, contact the company’s foreign partners 
and swindle them of their money.

The men along with a Vietnamese female accomplice, Le Thi Kim Quyen, was 
sentenced to 15 years in prison and another Nigerian, de facto husband 
of the Vietnamese lady, Mark Mamado Abdallah, 39, who is currently at 
large, ran a scamming syndicate in Vietnam.

At the court hearing which took place in April, the men and their accomplice 
were also found guilty of another fraud scheme in which they pretended to be 
a British friend of two Vietnamese women on Facebook and asked them to send 
money as shipping fees to receive gifts.

According to prosecutors, the group defrauded many unsuspecting victims 
of over VND3.3 billion (US$150,000) between April and August 2013. Most 
of this came from the email hacking scheme.

Prosecutors said over the four months, the Vietnamese woman, Quyen and her 
Nigerian husband, Abdallah hacked into the emails of several Vietnamese 
companies doing business with foreign companies. They gave the information 
to Nnadikwe and then Deke, who would later transfer it to another Nigerian 
man living in Malaysia. The unknown man in Malaysia then used the compromised 
email accounts to contact the victims’ foreign partners, asking them to send 
payments to a bank account opened by Quyen and Abdallah.

Here is the URL of the article, which includes a photo,
for as long as it is good:

10 MAY 2015
From BBC News:

Inside the world of Ghana's internet fraudsters

By Sammy Darko 
BBC Africa, Accra

Internet fraudsters in Ghana are easy to spot. The young men 
in fast cars have become such a conspicuous group that they 
even have their own nickname. Meet the Sakawa boys.

David is 25 years old. He's been defrauding people on the internet 
for the last two years.

"I know it's wrong but it gives me a lot of money," he says.

He used to sleep on the streets. Then he saw his friends in internet 
cafes earning money defrauding people online.

A typical con is pretending to be a woman romantically interested 
in men from Europe, America or Asia.

He learnt the trade and, with little formal education, earned enough 
money to rent an apartment, buy a car and have money left over to spend.

But he insists the money isn't earned easily.

"Some say this work is easy but it is not."

"You have to be patient, smart, fast and cultivate trust between you 
and the white person".  Fraudsters in Ghana say they are the women 
in pictures and videos to draw in victims

Fraudsters like David (not his real name) pretend to be beautiful women. 
They play clips of the women saying hello. They then tell their targets 
that their microphone or speakers aren't working so they can't speak, 
they can only communicate via messages.

Over time they build up a romantic relationship with them before 
convincing them to send them money.

Others pretend to have a concession in gold, timber, securities or oil 
to persuade people to hand over money for their fake business arrangements.

The group of fraudsters have come to be known as the Sakawa boys in Ghana, 
a term which means "putting inside" in the Hausa language.

It's not just a living, but a lifestyle.

Sakawa boys are so renowned in Ghana that a primary school pupil can 
point one out - their lavish lifestyle gives them away.

They can be spotted on a Saturday night in Santa Marie, a suburb 
of Ghana's capital Accra.  Sakawa boys are known for driving around 
playing loud music.

The streets are filled with unlicensed Range Rovers and Toyota Camrys.

Young men in tight jeans, baseball caps and flashes of gold sit with 
their car windows wound down and play loud music.

A decade ago the term Sakawa was not even used in Ghana. Instead internet 
fraudsters were called Yahoo boys - a term mostly used for conmen in Nigeria.

The Nigerian singer Olu Maintain released the song Yahooze in 2007. In the 
song he says "it's all about the Benjamins baby", referring to hundred dollar 
bills. And at gigs he started spraying money at fans.

He said in an interview with Modern Ghana at the time "nobody is interested 
in how you got to where you are. Everybody is interested in results".

Although he said in the same interview "the song has nothing to do with yahoo".

Now the term Sakawa boy has taken over in Ghana. There is even a collection 
of Sakawa boy films, whose storylines often reference the use of black magic.
Ghanaian films have storylines about Sakawa Boys

One reason they have taken off in Ghana is that it has one of the highest 
internet penetration rates in Africa.

Sakawa boys are not just conspicuous consumers.

Some claim they also wield considerable influence.

The Ghanaian Times reports that a government minister complained that chiefs
"condone and connive with such criminals" - referring to Sakawa boys.

Northern Region Minister Alhaji Limuna Mohammed Muniru said he had received 
a death threat after issuing a directive to arrest some Sakawa boys.

The same minister also claimed some of the conmen had bribed a chief 
to rename his town either Galaxy City or La Palmas.

The negative effect of Sakawa boys' cons is felt across the country.

Cybercrime contributed to Ghana being blacklisted for money-laundering 
by the international watchdog the global Financial Action Task Force 
in 2012. This dented the country's international reputation as an 
investment destination.

The government says those who have been victims of Ghana's conmen should 
lodge formal complaints but so far, there have been few convictions - partly 
because of the difficulty prosecuting this type of crime, with the victims 
living abroad.

David recognises that being a conman doesn't help his own reputation either. 
But the money is too much of a lure for him to make a career change any time 

Here is the URL of the article, which includes photos,
for as long as it is good:

5 MAY 2015
From the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission 
(EFCC) website:

Suspected Internet Scammer Arraigned By EFCC

A 19-year-old suspected internet fraudster Ojosipe Adebayo, has been arraigned 
by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  before Justice A.O Ipaye 
of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja on a two- count -charge bordering on possession 
of a document containing false pretences and forgery.

The defendant is allegedly a member of a syndicate of internet fraudsters that 
specialize in using fake cheques and scam mails to defraud unsuspecting victims.

When the charges were read to the accused person, he pleaded not guilty.

One of the charges read: “That you Ojosipe Adebayo (a.k.a. "Marty Jason" and 
"Candice") on or about the 8th day of May, 2014 at Lagos,  within the Ikeja 
Judicial Division had in your possession a document in which you represented 
yourself to be a single lady called Candice from Trenton, New Jersey, United 
States who helps the needy to organise Charity concerts and also helps the 
homeless to get funds for Motherless Babies Homes which representations you 
knew or ought to have known to be false having regard to be circumstances 
of this case”.

In view of the plea of the defendant, the prosecution counsel, Ayokunle Fayanju 
prayed the court for a trial date and also for the defendant to be remanded in 
prison custody.

However, defence counsel, Michael Asai asked for a short adjournment in order 
to file an application for bail.

Justice Ipaye subsequently remanded the defendant in Kirikiri Maximum Prison 
and adjourned the matter to May 21, 2015, for hearing of the bail application 
and commencement of trial.

Here is the URL of the accouncement, which contains a photo,
for as long as it is good:

12 APR 2015
From the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, sent in by
Ultrascan AGI:

Public duped of $2m through Internet fraud
FIU now target for scammers

by Rhondor Dowlat

In two years, people living in T&T lost over $2 million to lottery scams.

A lottery scam is a type of advance fee fraud, a rising type of crime 
targetting Internet users around the world.

T&T's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has published advisories on 
several such financial scams, namely "e-mail hijacking," advance fee 
fraud and "conference scams," in order to assist the public in identifying 
the activity so as to reduce monetary loss and emotional harm, which the 
victims suffer.

In fact, just recently the FIU issued a warning to be on the lookout 
for false and misleading information being circulated by people claiming 
to be FIU agents, after it was brought to the body's attention by people 
who had been contacted by the con artists. According to the FIU, these 
people may present bogus letters, e-mails, text messages or faxed documents 
purporting to be issued by the FIU.

"The FIU wishes to make it clear that it does not charge fees for services, 
issue clearance certificates or seize assets of any kind; does not communicate 
via text messages or social media e.g. Facebook and Twitter and requests no 
fees. Clearance certificates or similar invoices made in the name of or on 
behalf of the FIU are false," a release stated.

While financial scams take many forms, the focus here, according to FIU 
public affairs officer Heather Baldwin-McDowell, is on the advance fee 
fraud, otherwise called the "419" or "Nigerian scam." 

"The common theme is a notification or invitation to take up an offer with 
the promise of significant sums of money or other reward. The intention is 
to persuade the intended victim to part with his money in the expectation 
of receiving a large future monetary gain or other benefit," Baldwin-McDowell 
told the Sunday Guardian.

She said although the vast majority of recipients do not respond to the 
communication, a small percentage do, but as many millions of messages can 
be sent daily using technology it makes the scam worthwhile.

"As well, often persons are too embarrassed or too ashamed to admit that 
they were gullible, so they fail to report the fraud," she said.

In the past two years, during the period October 2012 to Sept 2014, the 
FIU received 17 reports of advance fee fraud. Baldwin-McDowell explained, 
"These scams have induced citizens of T&T to wire/mail/transfer thousands 
of dollars of their savings to persons they do not know to claim 'large 
fortunes,' 'lottery winnings,' or 'inheritance.'"

The reports reflect that scammers/fraudsters have requested sums as low 
as $5,000 to as much as $400,000 (TT dollars) at a time.

"Anyone can be a target," she added.

Wide tentacles

The scam usually begins with a letter, e-mail, fax, text, phone call 
or on social network sites seeking contact with the potential victims. 
The fraudster may impersonate a known person or organisation which exists, 
or may create a fictitious person or organisation.

The intended victim is made to believe they were a selected recipient 
although the same communication is sent to thousands of intended victims. 
The subject line of an e-mail or message may read, "You are a winner;" 
"Dear conference invitee;" "Attention (your name) Beneficiary;" "My dear 
friend;" "From the desk of Barrister (name)" or "Your assistance is needed."

Asked by the Sunday Guardian if the T&T Police Service had launched an 
official investigation and if there were any people of interest thus far, 
Baldwin-McDowell replied, "By law the FIU is not allowed to disclose this 
information or make any comment on this question. Refer to section 22 (1) 
of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago Act Chap 72:01." 

In Another example is a fraudulent conference e-mail invitation or Conference Scam.

In this scam, Baldwin-McDowell said, "The intended victim receives an e-mail 
invitation to a conference, seminar or other academic or professional event. 
The e-mail appears to come from an international or professional organisation 
such as the United Nations, various human rights organisations, non-governmental 
organisations, foundations, sporting foundations or key personnel in these 
organisations. The scammers may also use the names of organisations that do 
not exist, but closely resemble well-known organisations."

These invitations are usually sent to a person's e-mail address or through 
their professional networks such as LinkedIn.

These invitations, she added, frequently appeal to a benevolent humanitarian 
cause such as human rights, global peace, human trafficking, child abuse, 
racism or HIV/Aids awareness.

"The e-mail usually states that conference costs, flight and accommodation 
will be borne by the organising committee and that only a registration or 
processing fee is required," she said.

"The conference is usually held in an exotic or international location and 
the names of bonafide hotels and conference facilities are often used. Visa 
assistance is offered at the time of registration. False e-tickets may be 

More Info

The Financial Intelligence Unit of T&T (“the FIU”) is a specialised 
intelligence-gathering unit. It receives reports of suspicious transactions 
and activities from financial institutions and certain business sectors. 
It analyses this information with other information from various sources 
and produces intelligence, which it sends to law enforcement agencies 
to investigate. The FIU’s intelligence-gathering functions are therefore 
separate and distinct from investigative functions, which are carried out 
by law enforcement agencies.

Side Bar

Common types of advance fee scam are:

* Lottery winner

* Inheritance and its variant "unclaimed money" 

* Employment or job offer

* Distressed relative/friend

* Romance

* Online sales

Common Elements - Be on the alert for:

* Requests to send money using wire transfer services such as Western Union 
and Money Gram. An international wire transfer is equivalent to sending cash; 
the transaction is fast and cannot be reversed.

* Non-face-to-face communication where you cannot determine the person's 
true identity

* Delays or monetary hurdles which prevent the deal from occurring as planned, 
e.g. unexpected taxes; insurance or licence fees; clearance certificates; legal 

* Psychological pressure, e.g. the offer will expire after a stipulated time 
or the money must be received to pay certain costs

* False documents, e.g. use of fake letters from international organisations 
or government offices to gain victim’s trust

* Fake cheques, e.g. where payment to the victim is required to solidify 
the victim’s confidence in the validity of the scheme

You may seek additional information on FIU Advisories by clicking on the FIU 
website link:

Here is the URL of the article for as long as 
it is good:

31 MAR 2015
From the Nigerian website The Eagle Online sent 
in by Ultrascan AGI:

Man, 22 attempts to bribe EFCC N6m

By Anurika Onyelemelam

**The suspect, who has been discovered to be the owner 
of a tastefully furnished four-bedroom bungalow, was 
further alleged to have duped one Stephanie, an American 
lady, of $75,000, with which he acquired some of his 
seized properties**

Dumi Osayemi A 22-year-old man was shocked out of his wits when 
operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission slammed 
handcuffs on him for allegedly offering them N6.9 million bribe. 
The suspect, Dumi Osayemi, alias Larry, was said to have compounded 
his problem when he offered the stern faced agents the money. Osayemi 
offered the bribe, hoping that they would let him off the hook as they 
investigated him for suspected internet fraud. 

The suspect, who has been discovered to be the owner of a tastefully 
furnished four-bedroom bungalow, was further alleged to have duped 
one Stephanie, an American lady, of $75,000, with which he acquired 
some of his seized properties. 

The suspect allegedly indulged and pampered his girlfriend, Dorcas, 
and her mother, Rose, with his ill-gotten wealth. The EFCC spokesman, 
Wilson Uwujaren, said: "A suspected internet fraudster, Dumi Osayemi, 
a.k.a Larry, is currently ruing his attempt to compromise operatives 
of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC."

"The 22-year-old, who was arrested following a tip-off about his suspicious 
flamboyant lifestyle, allegedly offered a N6,900,000.00 bribe to EFCC 
operatives so he could be let off the hook." 

Uwujaren said at the time of Osayemi's arrest, the following items were 
recovered from him: a 2011 C350 Mercedes Benz car and a Toyota Venza. 

The suspect will soon be arraigned in court.

Here is the URL of the article, which includes a photo
of Osayemi, for as long as it is good:

4 FEB 2015
From (New York) sent in by Ulatrascan AGI:

EFCC Arraigns Youth Corps Member, Two Others For Cybercrime

The suspects, who were living at 4, Coal City University Close, 
Independence Layout, Enugu, were arrested by operatives of the EFCC 
following intelligence report over their alleged involvement in 
Internet crime.

by Wilson Uwujaren

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, 
February 3, 2015 arraigned the trio of Solomon Uchendu, Ndubisi 
Agu and Uchendo Chikwadu before Justice  D. V.Agishir of the Federal 
High Court sitting in Enugu, Enugu State for offences bordering on 
obtaining by false pretence and Advanced Fee Fraud.   

The suspects, who were living at 4, Coal City University Close, 
Independence Layout, Enugu, were arrested by operatives of the EFCC 
following intelligence report over their alleged involvement in 
Internet crime.  

One of the suspects, Solomon, who is currently undergoing the mandatory 
National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, in Akoko, Ondo State, confessed that 
he had about seven different email accounts registered with different names.
Solomon, who is facing a seven-count charge, further disclosed that most 
of his victims were from the U.S., Canada and Germany.

According to him, "One Patricia from Canada gave me $1200USD; Larisa from 
Germany gave him $300USD; Ethel from the U.S. also gave me $300USD. All of 
them know me as Lincoln, but they don't know that I live in Nigeria."

One of the charges read:  "That you Solomon Uchendu on or about 3rd day 
of May 2014 in Enugu, Enugu State within the jurisdiction of the Federal 
High Court of Nigeria was found in possession of a document containing 
a false pretence titled "Hello. I am Mark; sorry for stumbling into your 
profile" and thereby committed an offence, contrary to section 6 and 
section 8 sub-section( b ) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related 
Offence Act 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act."

The second suspect, Agu, who hails from Umuelem in Ihitte Uboma LGA of 
Imo State, also told the court that he had numerous email accounts.

Agu, a final year student of the Enugu State University of Science and 
Technology, Enugu further told the court that he realized $13000USD between 
2013 and February, 2014 from some of his victims across the world.

The third suspect, 22-year-old Chikwadu, a native of Imezi LGA Enugu State, 
confessed that he had three fake drivers' licences, which were procured in 
the names of John Omoaroijake, Gary Harry and Chikwadu Uchendu at a cyber 
cafe on Airport Road and at the licensing office at Jakpa Road in Warri, 
Delta State.

Chikwadu, who is currently seeking admission into the Delta State University, 
said he met one 32 year-old nurse, Grace Talves of Blackpool, United Kingdom 
on a dating site named "Tagged".

The suspect, who claimed to be Harry Phillp, 42, thereafter, began to send 
love scam mails and pictures to Talves, a British divorcee and mother of one, 
who is currently in Nigeria for an engineering job.

He stated that he duped her 500 UK Pounds, an Ipad and a Mac Air laptop.

One of the charges read: "That you Uchendu Chinonso on or about 3rd day 
of May 2014 in Enugu, Enugu State within the jurisdiction of the Federal 
High Court of Nigeria was found in possession of a document containing 
a picture in which you presented yourself as a white man by name Gary 
Harry Philip a pretence you knew to be false  and thereby committed an 
offence contrary to section 6 and section 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud 
and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) 
of the same Act."

The prosecuting counsel, Barrister Innocent, applied orally for a trial date 
and pleaded that the suspects be remanded in prison custody.

But the defence counsel, Barrister Aneke, prayed the court to grant the 
suspects bail, which the prosecuting counsel kicked against.

Justice Agishir adjourned the case to February 10, 2015, while ordering 
that the suspects be remanded in prison custody.
Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good:

24 JAN 2015
From the Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper, an excellent
long article on 419:

419: The world of the Nigerian fraudster


Their modus operandi is unique. It could be that man in your neighbourhood
who  doesn't seem to have any visible means of livelihood but lives big and 
drives the best cars. He might even have a business front but lives larger 
than the business that you begin to wonder if his lifestyle is strictly 
derived from that business you know.

Or, it could be that man you see around everyday when workers and businessmen 
are leaving their homes in the early morning who does not go anywhere but 
lives like a prince in your neighbourhood.

They also come in other forms. Suddenly, you realise that somebody is using 
your email account to solicit funds from your facebook friends, your colleagues 
or other contacts in your email.

Or maybe, you are worshipping in a church but you are not sure if the man 
on the pulpit is called by God or whether the church is just another business 
enterprise where people are milked dry and dumped. It happens.

Perhaps, you have been receiving text messages from unknown sources informing 
you of an inheritance you don't know about being paid into your bank account 
and leaving a number for you to contact for details that could lead to maximizing 
the benefits of that inheritance and before you know it, you are duped!

It could also be a text message informing you about winning a lottery you never 
entered into or using things they think you are familiar with to hoodwink you!

Sometimes too, it could be a rich married woman being lured into a love web 
with the motive to dupe her of her resources or that of her husband via blackmail 
whether the love scene is real or make-believe.

The stories and the experiences are endless. All over the world, Nigerians are 
dreaded due to a few bad eggs that have mastered the scam game.

Overseas, it is believed that scamming is the country's third largest export 
industry, the 'sweetheart swindle' being the most devastating. Not only are 
women taken for thousands of dollars, but their families are torn apart, their 
hearts broken and their ability to trust damaged.

Whether they call it 419, Obtaining By Trick, OBT or Yahoo-Yahoo, it is the 
same story. People are using the internet to perpetrate scams that deprive 
many of their hard earned money, destroy businesses and make nonsense of 
their lives.

In the newspapers and the internet everyday, stories are read of Nigerians 
of all ages who wreak the life of other Nigerians and foreigners through the 
advance fee fraud running into millions of Naira, Dollars, Pounds Sterling 
and Euros.

Scammers have developed new ways to try to convince people that their 
money-grubbing cons are really genuine.  Nigerians are duped everyday through 
business and love scams. Foreigners are the worse victims.

On weekly, nay daily basis, new variations of the so-called Nigerian 419 scam 
(named for the section of the Nigerian constitution that deals with this crime) 

Some scammers are pretty clever but with healthy skepticism, one can still see 
through them.

One thing is very clear though. Every swindle is driven by a desire for easy 
money; it's the one thing the swindler and the swindled have in common. Advance-fee 
fraud is an especially durable con. In an early variation, the Spanish Prisoner 
Letter, which dates to the sixteenth century, scammers wrote to English gentry 
and pleaded for help in freeing a fictitious wealthy countryman who was imprisoned 
in Spain. 

Today, the con usually relies on e-mail and is often called a 419 scheme, after 
the anti-fraud section of the criminal code in Nigeria, because it flourishes here.

Sometime ago, a Nigerian comedian, Nkem Owoh released a song which was the title 
track in a film he played a lead role. He taunted Westerners with the lyrics "I 
go chop your dollar. I go take your money and disappear. Four-one-nine is just 
a game. You are the loser and I am the winner."

Most 419 letters and emails originate from or are traced back to Nigeria but 
some originate from other nations, mostly also West African nations such as Ghana, 
Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast ( Cote D'Ivoire ) etc. 

In most cases 419  emails from other nations, even European nations like the UK, 
the Netherlands, Spain etc. are also Nigerian in that the “Home Office” of the 
419ers involved is  Nigeria regardless of the apparent source of the contact 
materials. But there are occasionally some "local" copycats trying to emulate 
the success of the Nigerians, generally not very successfully.
In a desperate effort to contain the embarrassment of internet scammers, the 
Nigerian government established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, 

Monies stolen by 419 operations are very rarely recovered from Nigeria, although 
the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when led by Nuhu Ribadu 
and Ibrahim Lamorde made some welcome progress in that regard for several years prior 
to 2008.

Ribadu and Lamorde were, however, replaced by Mrs. Farida Waziri as head of the 
EFCC in early 2008. Under her leadership, the EFCC was not as active in counter-419 
matters as it was under Ribadu and Lamorde.  The performance of EFCC in the area 
of recovery and repatriation of 419ed monies had waned.  Mrs. Waziri was replaced 
in November 2011.

Ibrahim Lamorde returned to the EFCC as Director of Operations in December 2010, 
and replaced Waziri as Director of the EFCC in November 2011.
Advance fee fraud is still thriving
On April 16 2012, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission claimed it secured 
the conviction of over 288 persons due to internet fraud. The EFCC also said four 
fugitives were extradited to the United States while another 234 cases were still 
being prosecuted. 

Lamorde put the counterfeit financial instruments seized by the EFCC in collaboration 
with the Nigeria Postal Service, at $24m, 858,937 pounds and euro 1,195, 218,214 

The anti-graft body boss said, "We must collaborate to, at least, survive the 
onslaught and then fight back from the position of strength conferred by pooled 
resources, shared intelligence, joint operations and other efforts such as this."

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello 
Adoke, also said Nigeria was leading the fight against cyber crime and other 
economic and financial crimes in West Africa and across the world.

Adoke said, "While we cannot deny the involvement of some Nigerians in these 
unwholesome practices, we vehemently reject the tendency on the part of nationals 
of some countries even within ECOWAS sub-region to label Nigeria a 419 nation."

"Our law enforcement agencies have recorded giant strides in the enforcement 
of these laws as evidenced by the increased arrest, prosecution and conviction 
of internet fraud related offences recorded monthly."

Nigeria has continued to live under the continual embarrassment of the activities 
of fraudsters and internet scammers.

A statement posted on the Internet by the U.S. State Department, states that 419 
schemes began to proliferate in the mid-nineteen-eighties, when a collapse in oil 
prices caused severe economic upheaval in Nigeria. The people who are literate, 
English-speaking, and living with widespread government corruption, faced poverty 
and rising unemployment. These conditions created a culture of scammers, some of 
them violent.  Victims are often encouraged to travel to Nigeria or to other 
countries, where they fall victim to kidnapping, extortion, and, in rare cases, 

In the nineteen-nineties, at least fifteen foreign businessmen, including one 
American, were killed after being lured to Nigeria by 419 scammers according 
to the US State Department.

But Nigerian officials tended to blame the victims.  "There would be no 419 scam 
if there are no greedy, credulous and criminally-minded victims ready to reap where 
they did not sow," the Nigerian Embassy in Washington was quoted to have said in a 
2003 statement. 

The following year, Nuhu Ribadu, the then chairman of Nigeria's Economic & 
Financial Crimes Commission, noted that not one scammer was behind bars. 

That year also, Ribadu's commission convicted two crime bosses who had enticed 
a Brazilian banker to spend two hundred and forty-two million dollars of his 
employer’s money on a fictitious airport-development deal.

One of the most common, longest-standing Nigerian scams is the invitation to share 
in some ill-gotten gains. To get your hands, supposedly, on the dough, you have to 
either supply personal bank account details (for ID theft) or make a money-wire or 
credit card payment to get the money released (which, of course, doesn't exist). 

To deal with the inevitable skepticism, the scammers often supply a link to a true 
story, usually about someone (the benefactor) being killed in a road accident.

Every week, there are scores of reports about Nigerian scams. They come in several 
variation which include: Hacking into Facebook accounts, then sending messages to 
all the listed friends claiming the account owner is in trouble and asking for cash 
to be wired for their rescue; collecting names and email addresses of people who 
leave messages on obituary site guest books and contacting them with a request for 
money, supposedly on behalf of the bereaved person; sending complimentary messages 
to bloggers and article authors (both online and in print) as a way of establishing 
a friendship that, sooner or later, results in a cash-call attached to a tale of woe; 
offering to buy your Internet domain name, then asking you to visit a site (their site) 
where you have to pay to have it valued; and using Microsoft Word documents as attachments. 
These contain details of the scam story but, because they are not in the main body of the 
email, they often don’t get picked up by scam detectors in your security software.

The one thing you can be sure of with Nigerian scams is that they may not be worded 
well, but they are big-time sneaky in the way they try to fool people.

And you can be sure Nigerian scammers will find even more new tricks to test your gullibility.
The many stories of the Nigerian con artistes

In the United Kingdom, a conman who posed as a Nigerian prince in high society while 
masterminding massive immigration scam was jailed for seven years. The story written 
by Chris Greenwood and published in Daily Mail of UK told the story of the Nigerian-born 
fake prince, Dr Yilkyes Bala who lived the high life and was chauffeur-driven in a Bentley. 
But the 'businessman' was a criminal running an  immigration racket.

Posing as a member of the Nigerian Royal family, he mingled with diplomats, captains 
of industry and senior police officers. Dr Yilkyes Bala was chauffeur-driven in a black 
Bentley and hosted sumptuous dinners at the Dorchester to mix with society's elite. But 
the supposedly flourishing businessman was an ordinary scammer responsible for an ambitious 
immigration racket.

Investigators believe he helped more than 100 of his countrymen, including most of his 
extended family, to enter the UK illegally under false and stolen identities.  At the centre 
of the scam was a corrupt Home Office worker who sold him genuine, but improperly issued, 
refugee passports for 1,500 pounds each.  Bala then used his network of security companies 
to give the illegal immigrants references and jobs.

They could then "hit the jackpot" and obtain a National Insurance number, giving them 
full citizen's rights and access to State benefits.

But the racket, which continued for up to 16 years, unravelled when the Home Office 
employee was caught.

Bala, 55, was sentenced to a seven year jail term from August 1st, after a jury convicted 
him of conspiring to breach immigration laws.

An Australian named Jill got ensnared in the 419 scam in September 2005 when she was 
contacted by someone pretending to be the Commissioner of Health in Nigeria, who was 
apparently looking for Australian companies to renovate some hospitals in Lagos. The 
potential profit in the deal was a cool $1 million.

Jill was already running a successful interior decorating business, she saw this as 
a great opportunity. She said her scam started in September 2005 when she was contacted 
by someone pretending to be the Commissioner of Health in Nigeria, who was apparently 
looking for Australian companies to renovate some hospitals in Lagos. The potential 
profit in the deal was a cool $1 million.

"I have been in business all my life and feel I'm fairly savvy. One of the things they 
tell you at a very early stage is that you won’t have to part with any money, and like a 
fool, you believe them," said Jill.

After communicating with the scammers over a long period of time, Jill began to trust 
her contact.  "I really believed they were my friends, how wrong was I," she said.

The scammers cost Jill her business and then led to her marriage break up.  "In 2011, 
my husband and I split because I went public with my experience. He said he didn't want 
me to expose him and myself to the public, but I felt I had to do it," Jill said.

Brian Hay, who heads up the Queensland Police's Fraud and Corporate Crime Group, 
said most victims were "smart business people" who were over 45 and held professional 
qualifications.  "We are not talking about stupid people. It’s not because they are 
greedy. They saw an opportunity and got excited".

Also in 2005, Janella Spears, an Oregon woman lost a whooping $400,000 to a Nigerian 
scammer. Janella Spears, a registered nurse from Sweet Home, Oregon, said she started 
sending money to the scammers in 2005 after she received an email promising her several 
million dollars from a long-lost relative. The fraudsters randomly contacted Spears over 
the internet, claiming they would offer her a substantial cut of $20.5m fortune in return 
for the cash injection which would help move it out of the country.

For Spears, it started, as it almost always does, with an e-mail. It promised $20 million 
and in this case, the money was supposedly left behind by her grandfather (J.B. Spears), 
with whom the family had lost contact over the years. "So that's what got me to believe it," 
she said.

Spears didn’t know how the sender knew J.B. Spears' name and her relationship with him, 
but her curiosity was peaked. It turned out to be a lot of money up front, but it started 
with just $100.The scammers ran Spears through the whole programme. They said President 
Bush and FBI Director "Robert Muller" (their spelling) were in on the deal and needed her 
help.  They sent official-looking documents and certificates from the Bank of Nigeria 
and even from the United Nations. Her payment was "guaranteed."  Then the amount she 
would get jumped up to $26.6 million – if she would just send $8,300.  Spears sent the 

More promises and teases of multi-millions followed, with each one dependent on her 
sending yet more money. Most of the missives were rife with mis-spellings.  When Spears 
began to doubt them, she got letters from the President of Nigeria, FBI Director Mueller, 
and President Bush. Terrorists could get the money if she did not help, Bush's letter said. 

Spears continued to send funds. All the letters were fake, of course, and she continued 
to wipe out  her husband’s retirement account, mortgaged the house and took a loan out 
on the family car. Both were already paid for.

For more than two years, Spears sent tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Everyone 
she knew, including law enforcement officials, her family and bank officials, told her 
to stop, that it was all a scam. She persisted.

An undercover investigator who worked on the case said greed helped blind Spears to the 
reality of the situation, which he called the worst example of the scam he’s ever seen.
He also said he has seen people become obsessed with the scam before. They are so desperate 
to recoup their losses with the big payout that they descend into a vicious cycle of sending 
money in hopes the false promises will turn out to be real.

Spears said it would take her at least three to four years to dig out of the debt she ran 
up in pursuit of the non-existent pot of Nigerian gold.
A Canadian story

In 2009, a Canadian man in a well celebrated scam lost $150,000 to Nigerian Lottery 
Scam. John Rempel of Leamington, Ontario, got an email way back in July, 2007 from 
someone claiming to be a lawyer with a client named David Rempel who died in a 2005 
bomb attack in London, England, and left behind $12.8 million dollars. The scammer 
said it was a long-lost relative of the victim, or the deceased millionaire had no 
relatives so they sought someone who shared the same last name.

The unidentified lawyer said his client had no family but wanted to leave the money 
to a Rempel. It was John’s lucky day.

"It sounded all good so I called him," said John. "He sounded very happy and said 
God bless you. But, then the Advance Fee Fraud came in."

The man told him he had to pay $2,500 to transfer the money into his name.  He then had 
to stump for several more documents some of which cost $5,000. The scammer told Rempel 
he had to open a bank account in London, with a minimum $5,000 deposit. He said some of 
the money had been transferred into the account for "safe keeping".

The scammers then upped the ante, sending an email from a "government department" 
claiming he owed $250,000 tax on his inheritance. Rempel’s contact assured him he'd 
"negotiated the fee down to $25,000".

Rempel decided to travel to London to check that the deal was legit. He made his 
way to Mexico, where his uncle who owned a farm gave him cash and money for a plane 
ticket. He said: "I had $10,000 in cash in my pocket and my uncle sent another $25,000 
when I was over there."

Once in London, Rempel met "some people" and handed over the $10k. The next day, 
the 419ers showed their target a suitcase they said contained $10.6m in shrink-wrapped 
US bills. Rempel demanded further proof, at which point one scammer extracted a bill 
and "cleansed" it with a liquid "formula" which "washed off some kind of stamp". The 
process converted the cash into "legal tender", Rempel was told.  Rempel said: "I was 
like holy crap, is that mine? They said ‘yes sir, it's yours.' It all sounded legit."

Rempel went back to his hotel room with the magic formula to wait for the 419ers 
"so they could cleanse all his money". They, of course, disappeared, later claiming 
they’d "been held up".

The victim then managed to drop the bottle containing the formula, breaking it. He rang 
his contact who said he’d get further supplies. Rempel flew back to Leamington and waited
several weeks until a call which confirmed more formula was available for $120,000. 

Rempel said: "I thought, 'let's work on it, nothing is impossible'"  The 419ers told 
Rempel they "were willing to meet associates in different countries to get cash for the 
formula", but that they'd need several plane tickets, at $6,000 a person.

The scammers subsequently confirmed they'd collected $100,000, but were still $20,000 
short. Apparently, there was "a guy in Nigeria who had it, but another plane ticket was 
required". The contact then insisted he could only get $15,000 of the balance and "begged" 
Rempel for the remaining $5,000.  Rempel obliged, borrowing the money and defaulting on 
his credit card and car payments.

A week later, Rempel got the call he'd been waiting for – the cash was ready to go 
if he could just find an extra $6,900 for "travel costs and to rent trunks to ship 
the money".

The final contact between Rempel and the scammers was when they called to say they'd 
arrived at the airport in New York. However, there was a slight snag – security had 
stopped them and they needed $12,500 for a bribe.

Rempel, still none the wiser but substantially lighter in the wallet, told them: "No way, 
I'm cleaned out."

In one last desperate act, Rempel drove to the airport with his parents and 10-year-old 
brother, but found no trace of his friends or the money. They then went home and called 
the police.

The final cost of Rempel's mix of greed and remarkable stupidity was $55,000 from his 
uncle in Mexico, $60,000 from his parents to "cover fees for transferring $12.8 million 
into his name", plus the money he personally lost – a total of $150,000.

He said: "They’re in it now because of me. If it wasn’t for me, nobody would be in 
this mess. You think things will work out, but it doesn't. It's a very bad feeling. 
I had lots of friends. I never get calls anymore from my friends. You know, a bad 
reputation. I really thought in my heart this was true."
A scam too big

But what was described to be the biggest scam ever by the former chairman of 
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu 
involved Banco Noroeste S.A. a Brazilian bank which recorded the "single biggest 
advanced fee fraud case in the whole world". 

Between May 1995 and February 1998, a total of US$242 million was reportedly stolen 
from the Banco Noroeste S. A. through offshore banks in the Cayman islands. The money 
was allegedly remitted by swift transfers through various banks to accounts controlled 
by Nigerian nationals. 

The authorisation for all the transfers was done by Nelson Tetsuo Sakaguchi, a senior 
official at the bank. The Nigerians, in a 419 plan, came up with a fake contract to 
build an airport in Abuja. They promised Nelson Tetsuo Sakaguchi a big commission in 
exchange for funding the contract.

The fraud was detected in February 1998 while Sakaguchi was on vacation, in the process 
of auditing carried out in readiness for the intended sale of the Bank Noroeste to Spanish 
banking group Banco Santander. Inquiry revealed discrepancies in the bank’s books, with 
at least US$242 million missing. Of this sum, US$190 million had been transferred directly 
to accounts controlled by the Nigerians or through unlawful money changing operations 
conducted by Naresh Asnani (a British subject of Indian descent resident in Nigeria) 
and another Nigerian businessman resident in Enugu.

Following the discoveries, civil actions aimed at recovering the money were commenced 
in Brazil, Switzerland, Hong Kong, the United States of America and in Nigeria. In addition 
to the civil actions, criminal complaints were laid in Brazil, Switzerland, USA, Hong Kong 
and Nigeria.

The accused persons and companies were charged with obtaining by false pretence $190 
million from one of the directors of Banco Noroeste Bank.  In prosecution, the Nigerian 
nationals pleaded guilty to numerous crimes and forfeited $121.5 million dollars in assets. 
The woman amongst them too pleaded guilty and received a two and half-year sentence after 
agreeing to give back $48.5 million.

Investigators acting for the bank’s shareholders persuaded Sakaguchi to visit New York, 
ostensibly for a meeting with the shareholders, where he was arrested on an international 
warrant issued by the Swiss government and extradited to Switzerland to answer money 
laundering charges. He admitted involvement in the fraud. In December 2002, Naresh Asnani 
was arrested in Miami, while en route to a meeting with lawyers acting for the shareholders, 
on an international warrant issued by the Swiss Government. He was extradited to Switzerland 
to answer similar charges of money-laundering. On October 31 2003, he too admitted involvement 
in the fraud.
The love scam

Besides the strictly business fraud, there were also many reported love scams. The 
sweetheart swindle scam, also known as the Nigerian romance scam is the worst.  This one 
focuses on manipulating the emotions of a person who is seeking love online. These scam 
artists meet unsuspecting women (and also men) on dating sites. They know exactly what 
to say to make the victim fall in love with them and trust them completely. Once the scammer 
has caught his victim in his trap, he begins to ask for small amounts of money to assist 
him on daily expenses. Over time, these amounts become more. He needs money to pay his 
medical bills after falling ill, he needs help because he was mugged, he needs your help 
buying a plane ticket so the two of you can finally be joined together.

There was a story of one particular scammer who conned countless women since 2007. He was 
Roy Innocent Moore and he is a professional Nigerian Romance Scammer. Roy Innocent Moore 
concocted a persona that was complex and varied slightly from victim to victim. Certain 
things always remained the same however. His mother was from the UK and he was born in Jamaica. 
After the death of his father, his family relocated back to the UK and he attended Bradford 
University for Art. He eventually moved to New York City, married and had a daughter. Depending 
on which of his victims you speak to, Moore was either a widower or recently divorced. 

A victim’s relative told a US tabloid:  "I first came to hear of his name three years ago 
when he met a family member of mine on a popular dating website. They were in love almost 
instantly. Each day, he sent her poetry, and romantic emails filled with promises of their 
future together. He was staying in Nigeria at the time because he had a contract with the 
"National Museum" in Lagos."

"As time went by and her love for him deepened, he began to have financial troubles. She 
was more than willing to assist him, knowing that any money she sent him would be returned 
to her when he came home to America. He still has not shown up on her doorstep though she 
has sent him thousands in order to bring him here."

"Though he swears his devotion, she is not his only "love." Several women also came 
forward and shared their stories. The love they feel for him is real, however he is not. 
Nigerian romance scammers steal personal photos of people that they claim to be them. 
They are more than happy to send these to their victims. This results in damage not only 
to the victim but to the individual who truly is in the photographs.

"The problem with this particular scam is that it is so prevalent. When I reported him 
to my local FBI headquarters, they expressed sympathy but also said that with this scam 
it is extremely hard for them to catch the criminal. All information that the scammer 
provides the victim was fake and therefore difficult to track. These women have lost 
thousands of dollars to this man, and been manipulated into theft and fraud, and they 
may never truly know justice, and they will never see that money again."

"I know "Roy Innocent Moore" will more than likely never be caught and prosecuted for 
his many crimes, but that does not stop me from telling my story. It is my hope, not that 
he gets thrown in jail, but that by putting out information about him on the internet, 
it will stop any future victims from falling prey to this criminal."

In another scam, a Nigerian tabloid reported on November 19 2012, how a Nigerian gospel 
artiste was jailed for defrauding online lovers of 120,000 UK Pounds.

The gospel singer, Oluwamayowa Ajayi, reportedly fleeced four American women he met 
on the internet dating site of over 120,000 dollars and was jailed for six and a half 
years at Snakesbrook Crown Court in East London.

Ajayi, 31, who performed under the stage name "Malo Joe" pretended to be an American 
fighter pilot, a grieving widower and an oil executive to the women he fleeced before 
the long arms of the law caught up with him.

The crown prosecutor summed up his argument stating how Ajayi lived off the women 
by lying among others. In one instance, he claimed that he had been held hostage 
by Niger Delta militants and therefore, his captors needed some ransom before he 
could be released,otherwise, they would kill him.

Despite the pleas for mercy, it was inevitable that he would be caged. The Judge 
detailing the seven- count charge ruled that Ajayi had been found guilty by the jury 
who had found him guilty four days earlier.

In one instance,he tricked and lied to one of his victims who parted with 
over $100,000 that he was a businessman who was short of cash and therefore, 
needed a loan. The woman used some of the money on her credit card and also 
borrowed from family members to raise the funds.

In another, Ajayi claimed he was in the hands of Niger Delta militants and they 
would kill him within 20 hours if the woman didn’t do anything about the ransom 
they asked her to pay. She hurriedly sent $500 through Moneygram to Nigeria, where 
he then cashed the money.

Just recently, Kudirat Jose of a Lagos High Court convicted and sentenced Promise 
Ntuen Ekemini to one year imprisonment for hijacking the e-mail of a lawful owner 
of a property, located in Western Australia valued at $800,000( Eight Hundred Thousand 
United States Dollars), and attempting to sell the property. Ntuen Ekemini was arraigned 
in April, 2014 on a 5-count charge bordering on conspiracy to defraud, attempt to obtain 
money by false pretences and forgery. Justice Jose found him guilty of all the charges 
and convicted him.

Ekemini got into trouble by impersonating Brian Roderick Daniel, owner of a property 
located at No. 143, Sprinaway Parade, Falcon, Western Australia and offering his property 
to buyers on the internet without the consent of the owner. The Australian Police alerted 
the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to monitor a controlled delivery 
of some documents related to the transactions to Ekemini. He was arrested at the point 
of collection of the documents.

Even students are in it

The scam stories are not the prerequisite of just a few. Even university undergraduates 
are into it. In 2007, for instance, a final year student of the Department of Survey and 
Geo-Informatics Engineering, University of Lagos, Lawal Adekunle Nurudeen, was sentenced 
to 19 years imprisonment for obtaining $27,900.91 from an Australian woman, Pee Loo 
Rosalind Summer.

The convict was arraigned before Justice M.O Obadina of Ikeja High Court on 19-count 
charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and forgery.

He was found guilty on all the counts and consequently sentenced to 12 months imprisonment 
on each count. The convict was also ordered to pay the sums of $5,900, N526, 117.15 and 
any interest standing to his credit in his savings account with the Ikorodu Branch of a 
new generation bank, to the victim.

In addition, the convict was asked to pay $250 monthly to the victim until the total 
sum fraudulently obtained by him was liquidated. His two plots of land lying and 
situated at Mowo Kekere Ikorodu bought from the proceeds of the crime, were sold 
and the money realised remitted to the victim.

The Honda prelude car recovered by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) 
from the convict was also sold and its proceeds remitted to the victim.

A statement signed by the then EFCC's Head of Media and Publicity, Femi Babafemi, said 
the convict who was an undergraduate of UNILAG met the victim on the internet and introduced 
himself as Engineer Benson Lawson, a Briton working with a multi-national company in Nigeria.
"Along the line the victim, a 56- year old woman from Australia told the convict that she 
wanted a husband and all the men she had met always disappointed her. The convict, who is 
married with three children instantly applied and told the victim that she had met her Mr. Right."

"To convince his prey, he told the woman that he was a 57 -year old widower and that few 
years back, his wife and their only child died in a ghastly motor accident in Lagos. He 
sent the picture of a white man to the victim to foreclose any suspicions. The victim 
accepted his proposal and that gave room for the next stage of the 419 heist." Few weeks 
later, he called the woman to introduce himself as Dr. Saheed Bakare and informed her that 
her 'fiance' Benson Lawson had an accident and needed money for his treatment. The love-struck 
woman sent some money.  "Two weeks after the convict called the victim and thanked her profusely 
for her kindness. He now told her that he would like to visit her in Australia so that they 
could consummate their relationship. He demanded for money for air ticket, police and customs 
clearances and all sorts. "At the end of the day he duped the woman to the tuned of $47,000 
before his arrest and arraignment by EFCC."

A prevailing problem

Despite Nigeria’s efforts, the schemes have reached “epidemic proportions. A publication 
by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said the agency received more than fifty-five thousand 
complaints about them last year, nearly six times as many as in 2001. The increase is due 
in part to the Internet, which makes it easy for scammers to reach potential marks in 
wealthier countries. "If we educate the public to the point where nobody falls for it, then 
they’ll go out of business," Eric Zahren, a spokesman for the Secret Service, the lead U.S. 
agency in investigating advance-fee frauds, says.

The agency estimates that 419 swindlers gross hundreds of millions of dollars a year, noting 
losses by victims too embarrassed to complain.

Robert B. Reich, the former Labor Secretary, who has studied the psychology of market 
behaviour, says, "American culture is uniquely prone to the 'too good to mis'’ fallacy. 
'Opportunity' is our favourite word. What may seem reckless and feckless and hapless 
to people in many parts of the world seems a justifiable risk to Americans."

The mind-set was best explained by the linguist David W. Maurer in his classic 1940 book, 
"The Big Con": "As the lust for large and easy profits is fanned into a hot flame, the mark 
puts all his scruples behind him. He closes out his bank account, liquidates his property, 
borrows from his friends, embezzles from his employer or his clients. In the mad frenzy 
of cheating someone else, he is unaware of the fact that he is the real victim, carefully 
selected and fatted for the kill. Thus arises the trite but none the less sage maxim: 'You 
can't cheat an honest man' " [419 Coalition note: But of course one can, the 419ers do it 
all the time, as several of the accounts above demonstrate]

- See more at:

This URL also works for the article for as long as it is good:

18 JAN 2015
From the Punch, a Nigerian newspaper, sent in by
Ultrascan AGI:

EFCC arrests man for duping Dane 'love' $100,000

by Fidelis Soriwei
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested 
a suspected internet fraudster, Ikechukwu (surname name 
withheld), for obtaining $100,000 from a Dane, Hengamesh 
Misepasi, in a love scam.
The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, 
said, in a statement on Saturday that the suspected fraudster was 
arrested by operatives of the commission at Port Harcourt, Rivers 
State, in response to a petition from the Nigerian Embassy in 
Stockholm, Sweden.
Uwujaren said the suspect, who met the Dane online, had conned 
his unsuspecting victim by posing as an American business executive 
on a business trip to Nigeria.
The arrested fraudster was said to have proposed marriage to the lady 
after which he started making monetary demands from her.
The EFCC spokesman said the fraudster, who told his victim that he 
was having some problems with government officials, requested a loan 
from her.
Ikechukwu was also said to have convinced her to partner with him 
in a non-existing timber business.
Uwujaren said, "The suspect allegedly met the victim online in February 
2013 and falsely represented himself as  an American business executive 
on business visit to Nigeria."
"In the course of the internet affair, Ikechukwu promised his victim 
marriage and later began to make monetary demands from her, using 
various excuses."
"Once, he told her that he had problems with government officials and 
requested a loan. He later cajoled her into partnering with him on a 
phantom timber business."
Uwujaren said Ikechukwu made demanded $100,000 from the Dane, ostensibly 
to enable him to travel to Denmark to meet her but was arrested while 
trying to withdraw money he received from the victim through Western Union.
He said the suspect would be arraigned in court on completion of the 

Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good:

18 JAN 2015
From the Brisbane/Queensland (Austrailia) Courier Mail,
sent in by Ultrascan AGI:

Australian victims of online romance scams could be funding 
deadly Nigerian terror group

by Neil Doorley
The Sunday Mail (Qld)

THOUSANDS of Queenslanders being ripped-off by lucrative 
online "romance" scams could inadvertently be funding Nigeria's 
deadly al-Qa'ida affiliated terror group, Boko Haram.

Overseas intelligence has revealed links between the scams 
and the Islamic extremist group, who this week massacred 2000 
people near the Nigeria-Chad border.

Boko Haram also attracted international condemnation when its 
fighters kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from a boarding school last 

Research by the Holland-based financial information agency, 
Ultrascan AGI, found groups including Boko Haram were tapping 
into the cyber scams for much-needed funds.

Officer in charge of the state's fraud and cyber crime group, 
Detective Superintendent Brian Hay, said Queensland police had 
held long-term "suspicions" about links between the scammers 
and Boko Haram.

"Terrorist financing had been researched and discussed over 
long periods of time, and enforcement strategies have been put 
in place since 9/11 because authorities recognise the necessity 
and value of focusing on such funding," he said.

"If you are talking about money from Nigerian scams, or advance 
fee frauds, the general belief is that it is going into the pockets 
of criminals to maybe fund drug trafficking, firearms, and pornography 

"We are aware that terrorists have used financial crime as a method 
of funding operations in the past."

"We do know that Nigerian scammers have a global base and that 
some overseas agencies have touted about certain links (with 
terror groups),"he said.

"But have we established a nexus? We have our suspicions."

Det Supt Hay said Australians lose about $90 million a year to 
West African frauds, mainly run by Nigerians, who are believed 
to be behind about 90 per cent of online "romance" scams in 
this country.

"Just this week, I’ve spoken to an elderly gentleman who came 
forward after sending over about $900,000 through a number 
of their scams," he said.

Det Supt Hay said it was imperative law enforcement agencies 
collaborated on measures to stem the flow of money to the kingpins 
behind the Nigerian scams, who were rarely ever caught.

"So much cyber crime is being perpetrated at a global level, and 
we’ve got to improve our communications, our pathways and our 
co-operative spirit to work more effectively," he said.

"Queensland officers have worked with Nigerian authorities, the 
FBI, and US Secret Service while we've passed on information to 
the UK, New Zealand and Spain to combat the scammers, who have 
developed a high level of expertise."

Here is the UR: of the article for as long as it is good:

15 JAN 2015
Press release from the Nigerian EFCC:

Love Scam: American Victim Lauds EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been commended
for helping to recover $2000 for an American victim of love scam, 
Margaret Sanders, just as the agency announces the recovery of $23,886 
for another victim.

Sanders who lives in Sherman, Texas, made the commendation after she 
was presented with a cheque for the sum by agents of the Federal Bureau 
of Investigation, FBI.

She expressed delight at the professionalism demonstrated by the Nigerian 
agency in helping to recover the money which she thought she had lost to 
the scammer.

The FBI agent who made the presentation lauded the cooperation with the 
EFCC, while explaining that the FBI only facilitated the repatriation 
of the money after it was recovered by the EFCC.

Sanders met a suspected Nigerian fraudster, Benjamin Akugbe, online and 
fell in love with him. The scammer who claimed to be Benny Brown from Warri, 
Delta State, promised her marriage, and requested for the sum of $2000.00USD 
to enable him join her in United States of America.

The money was wired to him through Western Union, into an account with the 
name, Gladys Ikpoba domiciled with a new generation bank.

After an endless wait for the fiance, Sanders came to the sad realisation 
that she had been duped. But her efforts to recover the money were unsuccessful 
until she petitioned the EFCC.

The latest recovery of $23,886 by the Commission was made in similar circumstances, 
for Jolanta Kasza, an American based in New York. She was fleeced of $64,000 by a 
suspected Nigerian Fraudster, Ndekwu Jindu  (aka Dr. Daniel Coffman ) in a romance 

Kasza allegedly met Coffman online in June 2012, and the fraudster introduced 
himself as self employed Caucasian  pharmacist.

Impressed by the profile, Kasza "fell in love" with both agreeing to get married.

According to her, in the course of the affair, the suspect at different times 
requested for money under various guise. Before she realised that she was dealing 
with a con artist, she had  lost $64,000 USD to the fraudster.

She consequently petitioned the EFCC, which through discreet investigation 
recovered $23,886 USD. The agency is in the process of repatriating the fund 
to the victim.  

419 Coalition Note:  We are very happy that the EFCC was able to recover
and repatriate at least past of the losses of these 419 victims. However,
it is also fair to note that given both the historical and current billions
of dollars lost to the 419ers, only a relatively miniscule amount has been
recovered by the Nigerian government and repatriated to victims of 419.  Even
in the relatively rare cases where 419ers are actually convicted and restitution
ordered, the overall performance of the Nigerian Government is dismal.  A famous
case in point is the Odiawa case of about a decade ago, in which the 419er was
convicted, but in which no recovery was ever made, and no restitution ever paid,
though Odiawa stole Millions of dollars from he victim and was ordered to pay
a million plus in restitution - and the victim to this day has not received
one cent in restitution money through the EFCC or from Odiawa himself (who is
now out of jail and living happily ever after).

Here is the URL of the Press Release for as long as it is good:

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