Nigerian Scams

Nigerian letters are a form of fraud called Advance Fee Fraud (AFF). In most cases you first receive an e–mail, fax or letter from a supposed "official", representing a foreign government or agency (see sample below). These letters, while extremely fake, have unfortunately been quite succesful..

Sample of Nigerian Letter:

Efax: 1–206–222–1604

I am Barrister David Mbuso, a Solicitor at Law. I was the Personal Attorney to late Mr. Mark Johnson whom I shall refer to as my client, who used to be an independent Contractor/Marketer with Ocean Diamond Mining (ODM) in South Africa.

On the 21st of April 1999, my client, his wife and their two children were involved in a car accident along Cape Town Express road. Unfortunately they all lost their lives in the event of the accident. Since then we have made several enquiries to locate any of my client's extended relatives, but up till now, all our efforts have proved fruitless and abortive. After these several unsuccessful attempts, we decided to trace his relatives over the Internet to locate any member of his family but of no avail, hence I contacted you.

I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where his savings are deposited. Recently, the bank where the deceased had an account valued at about US$12,500,000(Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand United States dollars only)issued me a notice to provide the next–of–kin or have the account confisticated within the next twenty official working days.

Since we have been unsuccessful in locating his relative for over 2 years, I seek your consent to present you as the next–of–kin to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$12,500,000(Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand United States dollars)can be credited into your account as the next–of–kin. For your assistance we have collectively agreed to compensate you with 20% of the total sum.

I have all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make. All that is required is your honest co–operation to enable us succeed. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and I from any breach of law.

To enable us to discuss this further get in touch with me through my secure e–mail address OR EFAX: Efax: 1–206–222–1604

Kindly send your phone and fax number for easy communication.

Best regards,
David Mbuso(Esq)

If you're tempted to respond to such an offer, the FTC suggests you stop and ask yourself two important questions: Why would a perfect stranger pick you to share a fortune with, and why would you share your personal or business information—including your bank account numbers or company letterhead—with someone you don't know?

The U.S. Department of State also cautions against traveling to destinations mentioned in such letters. Unwary respondents to "advance–fee" solicitations have been beaten, subjected to threats and extortion, and in some cases, murdered.

If you receive an email offer soliciting your help in getting money out of Nigeria or any other country—forward it to the FTC at

If you have lost money to one of these schemes, call your local Secret Service field office. Local field offices are listed in the Blue Pages of your telephone directory.

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