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Frequently Asked Questions

1.What is 419 Nigerian scam?

The Nigerian 419 scam is named after the 4-1-9 penal code, the 419 scam is an ‘advance fee’ scam. The annual loss associated with the 419 Nigerian scams exceeds US $200 million per annum around the world. This is as per the statistics released by the FBI. Losses in South Africa alone are estimated to exceed R100 million per annum. The most common forms of these counterfeit business proposals fall into following categories: purchase of goods, conversion of real estate, transfer of funds from over invoiced contracts, sale of crude oil at below market price, payment of money from wills and contact fraud. The most common and successful cases of Advance Fee Fraud are the fund transfer scam. The chances of arresting the fraudsters are slight in most countries, since they are making use of false details to con victims, so aware of these fraudsters.

2.How the spam works?

If you receive a spam mail you may feel that it’s not dangerous to respond with a bank account that’s empty. But the problem starts here. In general a con artist builds confidence and learns all your details including your personal information and targets a businessman with credit. After gaining their trust he asks you to mail him notarized blank invoices and letterheads which you think it’s harmless and fraudster will tell you its for helping you launder the money.

The con artist takes the blank letterhead and writes a letter to a bank authorizing it to utilize for a loan. Then they take the blank invoice and make it emerge that a large corporation owes you a lot of money to help boost your money. The con artist makes a forged corporation so the bank can give him a loan. The con artist invents another problem and asks for more invoices, letterheads and bribery money. This process continues using different international banks and continues till the victims get tired of paying bribe money and sending documents and demands payment.

Sometimes victims have to travel to Nigeria with loads of cash to finalize deal. Bribe the hotel workers where you will meet so you can lure the victim away and burglarize the room for the cash and then you are in the situation to pretend the deal fell because you don’t have money. You go Nigerian Spam empty handed thinking it was because of a random theft. The scammers’ fake corporation defaults on the loans and disappears.

The banks get audited after some months and they start looking for you and they questions you. The authorities pressure you with bank fraud since your fingerprints are on the documents serves as a strong witness. Finally you come to know the truth. The banks get investigated and anyone not following guidelines is indicted. If you are a tainted bank CEO you move to Nigeria to escape indictment and to be close to the Nigerian Government so you can cry on their shoulder. You launder the stolen money into real corporations so you can skim it afterward.

3.How the fraudsters are making money by sending 419 letters?

If the victims show curiosity in dealing with the fraudsters, such a victim would soon receive a notice that he/she has to pay a certain amount of money so as to clear the funds to his/her account. Thus they make money from these fees. Once a victim pays the fees, the fraudsters will keep on asking for more money to be paid by the victim, until the victim is unable to pay any more money.

4.Why did I receive spam email?

For the purpose of making money spammers send spam.419 scammers send spam to defraud the people. To make as much money as possible, they hit as many email addresses as possible. If you are not using effective spam filter and your email address can be found on a website you may receive such e-mails. Once your address has become public knowledge, it's unfeasible to put the cat back into the bag.

5.How the fraudsters are getting e-mail address?

Fraudsters have many ways of getting your e-mail addresses. Firstly they make use of special software to extract e-mail addresses from websites. Special software is often made to extract e-mail addresses from accounts such as Yahoo, and other email providers etc. If your email address is published anywhere on the Internet it is possible for a scammer to 'harvest' it. Once a fraudster obtains a list of e-mail addresses, this list is circulated among the other fraudsters.

6.What for the fraudsters need our personal details or identification cards?

The fraudsters ask your personal details to facilitate them to falsify certain documents in order to influence the victim that she/he will receive the millions of dollars involved in the scam. Where a victim has to meet the fraudsters this information will be sent to the accomplice who will meet the victim.

7.Will my personal information be used for any other purposes?

If the fraudsters have personal information of victims they can use it for other purposes such as opening false accounts, etc, although this happens rarely. Fraudsters generally use the details to falsify documents to convince victims and make them believe that they will receive the money.

8.Will fraudsters come after my family or me?

This is unheard of. But there may be chance of doing so; generally they are too busy looking for new victims to go chasing unwilling victims who show no attention in paying their 'fees'.

9.Will the fraudsters stop mailing?

Probably it won’t stop. Once a fraudster has your e-mail address, the information will be shared with other fraudsters. You will keep receiving this type of mail. At the same time your mail remains published on the Internet it is available to more and more.

10.How 419 letters are distributed other than by email?

Nigerian 419 letters are occasionally posted and faxed to victims even though this form of contact is infrequently used these days.

11.Is there a possibility I will recover any money from the fraudsters?

Highly implausible or the chance is very small. Less than a day after parting with your money, these fraudsters have already shared it with their accomplices. The chance of recuperating any losses is almost 0%.

12.How can phishing attacks be avoided?

. try to stay off spam lists. Don't place your e-mail address on public sites. Create an e-mail address that is less likely to get included in spam lists. For instance, instead of, use

. if an e-mail looks sensible contact the company directly if you receive an e-mail asking you to verify information. Type the address of the company into the address bar directly rather than click on a link. Or call them, but don't use any phone number presented in the e-mail.

. Change passwords regularly. Don't use the same password on multiple sites.

. frequently log into online accounts to monitor the activity and check statements.

. Use antivirus, antispam, and firewall software and keep your operating system and applications up-to-date.

13.What is The 'Nigerian' Purchase Scam?

You get an email from someone wanting to buy something from you/your website; he wants to pay by check and typically wants you to ship the products to his address in Lagos, Nigeria.

The alternative on this scam often involve:

.A payment via check is made, but some days later is returned by the bank on which it's drawn because it was fake. The scammer counts on your willingness to ship the product after your bank has (temporarily) cleared the check, and before the check has cleared its way through the whole international banking system.

. An "accidental" overpayment by the consumer, who asks you to deposit the check and then refund the amount of the "overpayment" when you ship the goods. You're out both the cost of the goods, and whatever "overpayment" you refund, when you find that the original check is made of rubber.

14.What is International Sweepstakes Lottery Scam?

A difference on the Nigerian 419 scam, the "You've won the lottery!" scam is an advance fee fraud where the victim is asked to put up a cash advance It will be responsible for largely by Nigerian scammers claiming to be located in Amsterdam, London, Hong Kong, Cape Town, etc.

You receive an email normally marked "CONGRATULATIONS!" or "confidential" which tells you you've won a lottery ,but that due to a "mix-up of lottery numbers" you need to keep this fact "secret" for now.

The scammer also wants your bank details or requests you to pay a sum of money for "processing" or "security" or "insurance." Any victim who pays the fee will never see their money again, yet the scammers may continue to ask for more and more money for various fees.

15.How can I reduce spam?

The University's email directory on the web takes steps to reduce the risk of addresses being cropped. The addresses are not displayed unless you go to a exact page and press a exact button.

You should take similar steps. If at all possible, you should not have an email address visible on a web page. This means that the helpful 'Mailto: links are likely to consequence in an increase in spam. Do not reply to spam messages.

16.What is GroupWise Junk Mail handling?

It provides functionality to help manage junk emails. With the introduction of new spam measures, where spam is now automatically sent to the Junk Mail folder, this functionality is no longer required.

17.What is SpamBayes?

The SpamBayes project is working on developing a statistical anti-spam filter, originally based on the work of Paul Graham. The major difference between this and other, similar projects is the stress on testing newer approaches to scoring messages. While most anti-spam projects are still working with the unique graham algorithm, we found that a number of alternate methods give way a more useful response.

The SpamBayes team tinkered with new algorithms, tweaking existing algorithms, and, most significantly, did huge test runs, slamming tens of thousands of messages against each other, in an attempt to enumerate whether or not a change to the system was helpful.

18.Is this a money laundering scheme?

No, there is no real money involved. This is purely a scam. 100% guaranteed.

The gift, the donation, the inheritance, the hidden funds in metal containers, the millions deposited with (fake) security companies -- they are all rubbers. The only real money involved in this scam is the one that is currently sitting in your bank account.

International money laundering, of course, does happen. However, I can assure you, that those complicated in laundering money will not be doing it by approaching a total unfamiliar person through Yahoo Mail.

19.What is the danger of answering these letters?

Attracting the concentration of criminals is harmful, even if they are in Nigeria or SA or Russia. worldwide crime is on the increase. Answering the gang and giving them details of your address and so on will single you out as a "soft target" to scams.

Even if you change your mind afterwards your address will be "sold" to other mobs.

However, until you have sent details of your bank account or sent money there is slight they can do. If you are in Nigeria and are threatened, contact your local embassy or consulate and ask for help.

If you do contact Nigeria Police, contact their Headquarters --avoid calling local branches.

20.The scam E-mail arrived from Hong King, India or from a country outside Africa how is that possible?

Up until recently, the mobs have used free web-based E-mail accounts such as Hotmail and Yahoo. These services are now straight away recognized as free web-based E-mail accounts.
The mobs are now switching to lesser-known free E-mail services. There are several large sound US companies who offer free E-mail accounts. Anyone can open an account.

21.How can I help fight the gangs?

Tell your friends about these scams. Western Governments should also place more force on African Governments to act against these gangs.

Do write to your Government and insist that they offer an efficient service to help avoid these types of criminal activities, and also to offer support for victims.

22.Isn't spam secured by national Free Speech laws?

No. Free speech assurance you the right to say what you want, within reason; it does not promise you a platform to make yourself heard in.

23.Isn't blocking spam restriction?

No. restriction is blocking information based on its content. Spam-blocking just keeps the content in its proper place. My local public library has a statement board where people can post for-sale ads and business cards; they would be rightfully upset at someone who inserted an advertising flyer inside every book on the shelves, which is the alike of posting a notice to every Usenet group.

24.Trade is on Usenet and the Internet to stay. Aren't anti-spammers just anti-commerce in disguise?

No. Protecting users from spam makes the Internet more favorable to trade, not less. Employers are more likely to let their employees read Usenet at work if the newsgroups remain modern and functional. Using e-mail for commerce is much easier if mailboxes aren't clogged with irrelevant material. People are much likelier to take Net business seriously if they don't think of the Net as a cesspool of scams, questionable products, and pyramid schemes.

25.Isn't spam just the same as business paper advertising (third class or "junk" mail)?

No. Third-class mailers pay a fee to allocate their materials. Spam is the alike of third-class mail that arrives postage-due. Real people pay real money, in the form of disk space charges, connect time, or even long-distance net connections, to transmit and receive junk e-mail and newsgroup postings.

26.What is phishing?

Phishing is a crack, usually via e-mail, to trick people into enlightening sensitive information like usernames, passwords, and credit card data by pretending to be a bank or some other legal entity. The e-mails typically include a link to a Web site that appears to be legitimate and which prompts users to give information. Sometimes, the phishing e-mail will contain a form in an attachment to fill out.

27.What are other recent examples of phishing attacks?

. A modern e-mail scam asks PayPal customers to present additional information or risk getting their account deleted because of changes in the service agreement. Recipients are urged to click on a hyperlink that says "Get Verified!"

. E-mails that look like they come from the FDIC include a topic line that says "check your Bank Deposit Insurance Coverage" or "FDIC has officially named your bank a failed bank." The e-mails contain a link to a fake FDIC site where visitors are prompted to open forms to fill out. Clicking on the form links downloads the Zeus virus, which is planned to steal bank passwords and other information. is dedicated to all the hardworking people who have been scammed by the spammer or 419 scam frauds. Although our site concentrates on providing awareness of Nigerian 419 spam (scam), scam baiting, advance fee fraud, scam phising, also we deal with other types of fraud such as letter spam, e-mail scam, lottery spam as well. You can go through our scam baiting tips, it is just amazing way to deal with the spammer or scammer.

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