Talk:419 scams

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High traffic

On 2009, 419 scams was linked from Yahoo Help, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)

A sub-type of "419" letters[edit]

Quite often, if a person is _known_ to be male (e.q. has an account in a social network), "official's daughter" scheme can come in. This scheme often incorporates a photo of an attractive woman, who is a daughter of a rich person (sometimes the person is said to be dead). When an attractive woman wants your help in migrating to your country and promises a huge amount of cash, it's certainly an Advance-Fee Fraud. Just search the Internet for the email username (part before the @ symbol - e.q. in email 1@2.3, 1 is what you must search for). Yura87 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:32, 10 December 2010 (UTC).

Smart enough people will have already learned to treat any proposal made by a person they've never heard of before as a 419 scam. JIP | Talk 19:08, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

419 scam spelling mistakes are deliberate?[edit]

What proof or references are there to justify the article's assertion that the typical 419 emails' grammatical/spelling mistakes are deliberate? I see no logical reason to conclude this.

This is an analytical exposition, and from the way the author sounded it seems he had once been a victim of scam or he got his information first hand from a victim of fraudulent transactions involving Nigerian scammers. The word ‘419’ used by the author to explain the nature of the scam examined originally referred to section 419 of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with obtaining goods by false pretences. Although section 419 appeared in the footnote of the article the section was not properly examined to show that the word is used in reference to a section prohibiting the offence of obtaining by false pretences.

The author did not highlight the fact that due to the prominence of the offence which became an index with which Nigeria’s personality was defined globally constrained the Nigerian Legislature to enact an Act – Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act, 2006 which prohibits both the offences of obtaining property by false pretences and money laundering which enhanced the punishment to a term not more than 20 years and not less than 7 years without option of fine, as against the 3 years and 7 years imprisonment depending on the amount involved in the scam under the Criminal Code. This would have brought to the fore the efforts of the Nigerian government to curtail the menace of the offence.

The above would have led the author to examine the nexus between the offence of obtaining by false pretences and money laundering because those who obtain funds through such scams tend to disguise the nature, source and the origin of such funds by investing them in seemingly legitimate businesses. This would have had the effect of educating victims that they can trace their funds to such businesses.

The author also talked about ‘alert officials’ when it dawns on any victim that he has been duped. But he failed to mention the officials. These are the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA); and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). These are bodies charged with the responsibilities of monitoring all financial transactions in order to put any account under surveillance so as to trace the owners of any lodgment in a bank account. In fact section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1995 empowers the Nigerian Customs Service to report any transactions to or from a foreign country made pursuant to this law when the funds or securities involves a sum greater than $10, 000.00. This is useful piece of information so that victims know where to run to in distressed periods.

The author should have used the appropriate words used for obtaining by false pretences in South Africa in the case of one Mr Osamai Hiromi, a Japanese business man lured to Johannesburg, South Africa by scammers instead of using 419scam a term popularly used in to Nigeria to refer to the offence of obtaining goods by false pretences under section 419 of the Criminal Code and now under Part 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act, 2006.

The author examined the offence of kidnapping and, it is submitted that that did not derail the focus of the offence because in some cases the con men do lure their victims to their home countries who are eventually kidnapped and killed. On the whole the article is informative and educative as, it is a wake up call to users of the Internet and mobile phones to be wary of the email messages and text massages which offers them mouth watering deals.

Ikpe 00:00, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Dr Suleiman Oji, Esq — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ikpe (talkcontribs) 00:00, 28 October 2011 (UTC)


WhisperToMe (talk) 17:45, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Interesting quote, but I'm not really sure how that fits into the article nor would I say that the source really meets WP:RS. WTF? (talk) 19:44, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Renaming per WP:COMMONNAME[edit]

The old name ("Advance-fee fraud") was in no way adequate to describe the variety of techniques used for fraud and only marginally known at best. As far as I can see Nigeria scam is the most widely used name. 419 fraud would another possible name however it seems less recognizable and although it may appear more "politically correct" at first glance it is still strongly linked to Nigeria. Richiez (talk) 23:02, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Actually, based on most of the content in the article (which is very poorly organized), I would say that "advanced fee fraud" is the better term for this, as it is more all-encompassing. Referring to this specifically as "Nigerian 419" (or variants thereof) is somewhat misleading because the scam really didn't originate in Nigeria nor are a majority of the scammers actually in Nigeria. However, the name seems to have stuck because the country has developed a reputation for this type of thing, and a lot of scammers do come from there. Plus, it's a convenient label because 419 is their criminal code for fraud. But many examples cited in this article go way beyond "Nigerian 419", which is why I think the article would be better if moved to "advanced fee fraud". WTF? (talk) 19:43, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
There are many other internet fraud articles, perhaps too many. This article should be limitted to frauds that are commonly tied to that term, the rest moved to other fraud articles. However "advance fee fraud" is a really poor name and neither all-encompassing - varoius "romance scams" can have wildly different exploitation patterns. Regardless, the name should not be all-encompassing but instead content that does not fit Nigerian scam pattern moved to one of the dozens of other fraud articles. Richiez (talk) 17:17, 24 June 2012 (UTC)


I was gathering some material on this, however the sources that I found deal with all kinds of internet fraud (such as ebay nondelivery). It seems that most scammers operate from US and UK, while countries with disproportionately huge populations of scammers include Nigeria, Romania and Netherlands.

looking for more before I try to incorporate it into the article. Richiez (talk) 15:50, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

The article you give as a sources deals predominantly with scams other than advance fee fraud. Only relatively small numbers of advance feed fraudsters are based in the US (there are far more in Canada, Malaysia and other Commonwealth countries). This is evidenced for example by the distribution of phone numbers seen in advance fee fraud emails, where US numbers are relatively rare. Joewein (talk) 13:43, 18 March 2013 (UTC)


How do I convence tht he is being taken  ?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:49, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

This is a talk page for the article on Nigerian 419 scams, for discussion about improving the article itself. It is not a discussion board for advice on dealing with actual fraud cases. If you suspect that you or a loved one is about to become involved in a complicated and illegal fraud, I would recommend contacting local law enforcement or the Better Business Bureau, or other authorities. If they don't have the resources available to help you, they will know who to contact. WTF? (talk) 19:37, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

American Dialect Society[edit]

I have removed the following information from the lead of the article:

The American Dialect Society has traced the term "419 fraud" back to 1992.[1]

I don't think that the statement is really backed up with what is provided in the link, which goes to an email mailing list posting by John Baker in 2005, citing an AFP article from 1992. The only time 1992 is mentioned in the link is at "The term dates back at least to this 2/21/1992 Agence France-Presse article:" and "A Business America article on 1/13/1992 described these scams in some detail." There is no information in the link suggesting that there is an American Dialect Society study tracing the origins of "419" to 1992, and there is no information suggesting who John Baker is or that he is a member or researcher in the organization (other than the fact that he's subscribed to the ADS-L listserv, which isn't confirmation of membership in the organization). There is also no information in the link that the ADS organized any such study (or paid for one) to trace "419" back to any particular date. It's not even clear the John Baker did this -- all he did was copy the contents of an AFP article (probably in violation of copyright law) from 1992, and send it to members of the list.

If anyone can find a citation for the statement, that meets WP:RS and actually backs up what is being said, I think it can be added back to an appropriate section of the article (although possibly the history section -- the lead is supposed to be an introduction, and citations of new information are not preferred there). WTF? (talk) 18:27, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

GMail masking senders IP / stripping headers[edit]

Is there a source on that? I never heard of that before and it sounds implausible to me. Could somebody clarify that, please? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Markus.lautenbach (talkcontribs) 14:33, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

There's actually quite a bit of information in that section that is not sourced or poorly sourced. A lot of it probably needs a good workover. As for Gmail, from experience, most of these messages don't even end up in the inbox because the spam filter catches them. WTF? (talk) 15:15, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Source of top three nations[edit]

Would anyone kindly provide a source? My source, the scamtracker at, consistently put more 419-scams in Lagos alone than in any other place in the world. In the moment of writing, more scams actually come from one part of Lagos than USA. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:14, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

I have already mentioned the problem here. The problem - most sources on internet fraud put all kinds of internet fraud into one bag with the obvious result. Does 419eater publish some yearly statistics? Richiez (talk) 11:15, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
I removed it, but someone addded it back. They rightly pointed out I did not put the reason. So now I have added a reason. The material is unsource, with no reference to back up what is a very dubious claim. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Support Call Scam[edit]

Unsuspecting computer owners and users are being targeted by people claiming to be from Windows i.e. Microsoft or from their internet provider and then telling them that their computer/machine is creating errors and they need to correct the faults on their computers, they even get people to go to one site or another to show them so called errors, they are then required to give their credit card details so that they can purchase some form of support then they are asked to allow remote connection so that they can fix the problems. The victim's computer is then infected with Mal-ware or Spyware or Remote connection software such as Virtualpcsecure. Microsoft have released this response however it seems the scams still continue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gpaul1 (talkcontribs) 12:27, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

I got one of those calls (didn't fall for it). It's not a Nigerian scam so it doesn't belong in this article. The end of Telemarketing fraud is about it. Voice phishing also has a brief mention: "Another variation encourages a victim to install Scareware on an unrelated computer system at the same address as the Phone connection." PrimeHunter (talk) 12:59, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Award-winning "American Hustle" is about a $2million scam[edit]

"In 1978, con artists Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser have met, started a relationship, and are working together. Sydney has improved Irving’s scams, posing as British aristocrat "Lady Edith Greensley". They are a well-matched couple, but Irving is reluctant to leave his adoptive son with wife Rosalyn, who will not divorce him. FBI agent Richard "Richie" DiMaso catches Irving and Sydney in a loan scam but offers to release them if Irving can line up four additional arrests. Sydney opposes the agreement. Richie believes Sydney is British but has proof that her claim of aristocracy is fraudulent. Sydney tells Irving she will manipulate Richie, distancing herself from Irving. Irving has a friend pretending to be a wealthy Arab Sheikh looking for potential investments in America. An associate of Irving's suggests that the Sheikh do business with Mayor Carmine Polito of Camden, New Jersey. The popular mayor is campaigning to revitalize gambling in Atlantic City but has struggled to raise the necessary funds. Richie devises a plan to entrap Carmine despite the objections of his boss Stoddard Thorsen and Irving. Sydney helps Richie manipulate an FBI secretary into making an unauthorized wire transfer of $2,000,000. When Stoddard's boss, Anthony Amado, hears of the operation, he praises Richie's initiative, pressuring Stoddard to continue the operation." From American_Hustle#Plot ... (Wikipedia article).

This can go into the 'Pop Culture' section. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 00:46, 30 January 2014 (UTC)