23 january 2007

419 Advance Fee Fraud

The World's Most Successful Scam

 

Highest Losses

- Over 28 billion US$ to date, 3.8 billion in 2006

Highest Number of Organized Perpetrators

- Over 300,000 globally. Growing 3% per annum, faster then ever!

Highest Number of Victims

- Millions of people have incurred a loss to 419 AFF

 

 

2006 Recorded and analysed by the 419 Unit

of Ultrascan Advanced Global Investigations

 

3 Shocking numbers on 419 Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud A fast growing multinational industry. In 69 countries

3 No reliable statistics on 419 Advance Fraud.

Check fraud

Lottery scams

Non delivery fraud and auction fraud

Last will, testament, inheritance scam

4 Centralized counter-419 operations

4 The AFF statistics by the 419unit@ultrascan.nl

4 What’s different with our numbers?

4 What is not different with our numbers?

5 What is the situation - what should be done?

5 419 AFF Spam

5 Misunderstandings on 419 AFF

  1. check and lottery fraud

  1. Phishing

7 Developments during 2006

7 country specifics……

9 Scammers and scamrings on record

AFF resident active scam rings on record

Individual members of AFF scam rings on record

11 419 AFF low estimates

Total active resident AFF scammers

Profits before sharing with other scamrings

Profits after sharing with other scamrings

AFF losses suffered by companies and persons

12 Global Top 10 419 AFF loss

13 European Top 10 419 AFF loss

13 Top 10 estimated residing 419 AFF perpetrators

14 Fake company websites, bankruptcies, loss of career, home, victims prosecuted

bankruptcies caused by 419 AFF (on record)

loss of careers or jobs caused by 419 AFF (on record)

loss of home caused by AFF

AFF victims! prosecuted for fraud (on record)

16 Low estimates for period April 1996 - December 2006

bankruptcies caused by 419

loss of careers caused by 419 AFF

loss of home caused by AFF AFF victims!

prosecuted for another fraud caused by AFF

AFF victims that went from savings to serious debt problems

18 Recorded* at some point between April 1996 and January 2007

Suicides AFF victims

murders related to 419 AFF

kidnappings or taken hostage connected to 419 AFF

Key positions held by AFF scam ring

Key ownership connected to AFF

AFF scam ring bosses financing political change in Nigeria

    1. Explanations with the records* and estimates

22 16690 complaints from 161 countries

24 Do you recognize these 419 Advance Fee Fraud scams

25 Spam (off topic controversy)

 

 

 

Shocking numbers on

419 Nigerian Advance Fee Frauds

A fast growing multinational industry.

 

The Nigerian 419 Advance Fee Fraud came to the attention of the public and regulators during the 1970s over letters generally aimed at small businesses purporting to come from figures in the Nigerian government (often the Central Bank or Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) wanting help disposing of new oil wealth. Those letters were posted in Africa and Europe. In 2002 the US Department of Justice gained a court order to open every item of mail from Nigeria passing through JFK airport in New York, with around 70% involving scam offers. Russell Smith notes that between August and November 1998 Australia Post confiscated 4.5 tonnes of advance fee correspondence (1.8 million items) that had counterfeit postage. The 1980s and 1990s saw the scammers move from print to fax messaging followed by several explosions of email at the end of the millennium and in 2003, with the scammers spamming recipients in advanced economies (primarily those in English-speaking nations). The addressing of that email was indiscriminate, encompassing organisations and personal addresses. Today a mix of all the following approaches is used by the fast growing AFF scam rings based around the globe:

Mail

Fax

Phone

E-mail

Chat rooms

Dating web sites

Matchmaking web sites

Mobile phone SMS (new)

Internet phone (new)

Internet gaming (new)

Personal introduction

Web sites publishing general business contacts or for specific industries

Call centre / boiler-room

Door-to-door - in countries were an internet connection or sometimes phone or fax connections are not yet common circumstances.

There are No reliable statistics on 419 Advance Fraud.

Centralized counter-419 operations are the only way that viable statistics on 419 can be maintained. Decentralized counter-419 operations mean fragmented information and data.  Everyone has a piece of the picture, but no one has the full picture. Something has to change.

The internet, cyber crime, and other variations of fraud statistics from many countries have separate categories: auction fraud, non-delivery, credit-debit card fraud, check fraud, confidence fraud, lottery fraud, Nigerian letter fraud, etc.

There are many names for different crimes and many places for victims to report the crime and the governments to collect different crime statistics and solutions. An AFF, check fraud or lottery victim in the U.S. can choose to file his complaint with at least 3 different so-called centralized and/or specialized points of reception. The problem is similar in other countries.

Check fraud

Of all check fraud reported, over 80% is Nigerian advance fee fraud related.

Of all counterfeit checks intercepted by law enforcement, 76% (global 2006) was found on, sent or received by a Nigerian 419 advance fee fraudster.

3 major production centres for counterfeit checks in Nigeria, India and Canada are either under control of AFF organizations or have their largest client base with AFF.

Lottery scams

95% of all lottery scams are Nigerian 419 AFF based, the rest are usually or less sophisticated

Non delivery fraud and auction fraud

We have not analyzed enough raw data to state a percentage but we believe that the majority of those frauds are 419 AFF based. Two of our indicators are that 90% of fake sales and auction websites are 419 AFF based. 97% of the non-delivery/auction fraud that we reviewed were Nigerian 419 AFF based.

Last will, testament, inheritance scam

91% are perpetrated by Nigerian 419 AFF organisations.

Many other fraud categories, are perpetrated by Nigerian 419 AFF organisations, not just Nigerian letter fraud.

Centralized counter-419 operations are the best way to assure an efficient, organized pool of contact data for the public in reporting 419 attempts and losses.  Reporting must be kept as simple for the public as possible, to encourage maximum reports. Only by encouraging maximum reporting can the best statistics and information be generated on 419 activities.

Having the best information possible is essential for accurately estimating the size of the problem and analyzing trends of 419 activities.

The AFF statistics by the 419unit@ultrascan.nl

What's different with our numbers?

- We investigate what 419 AFF scammers do. We do not wait for victims to file a complaint. Many victims do not report the crime at all, as it is often the biggest mistake of their lives.

- The numbers are based on our investigations from 1996 till now, but mainly recent from March 2003 to December 31 2006.

- Our estimates are based on our records analysed and prepared by 419 AFF experts.

- We investigate and follow volatility and trends of AFF.

What is not different with our numbers?

- Our numbers do not show the complete AFF situation in the world, not even in one specific country.

- Our estimates are low, and for some countries probably extremely low. (We will not give estimates if we have no records of our own)

- Because we have substantial evidence that 95% of the lottery scams and 88% of check fraud are Nigerian AFF related. 76% of counterfeit checks that were found during transport were in possession of a Nigerian. Most counterfeit checks were produced in Nigeria, Canada and India of which a significant number under control of Nigerian AFF.

What is the situation - what should be done?

- The majority of Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud is still perpetrated by Nigerians, but no longer initially from Nigeria. A minimum of 23,740 perpetrate their crime from 52 other countries and at least 250,000 from Nigeria.

- In some countries Law enforcement departments are attempting to curb the menace with publicity about local 419 scams and examples to warn the public.

It is a worthwhile attempt to educate people and prevent 419 cases.

-Other attempts targeting the communication methods/resources of the scammers have been done before and are successful for a couple of days or weeks.

- Its obvious that law enforcements feeble attempts to control this fraud have failed, as evidenced by 3 decades exponential 419 AFF growth.

- It’s our opinion that you cannot win this battle with only education or attacking the communication lines of 419 AFF scammers. It will prove to be only another easy lesson for the scammers. To effectively address the global 419 AFF problem the scammers have to be addressed as much as possible in person! This includes the young wannabe scammers and their parents in Nigeria.

- What we have on record is the tip of the iceberg of a rapidly growing and insidious threat to the global economy, undermining trust and mercilessly exploiting humans for financial gain.

- There is evidence of a terrorist connection in the slipstream of 419, possibly funding future attacks, so the AFF scams have been escalated to a matter of utmost concern.

- Direct cooperation between law enforcement from the victim's home country and the scammer's working country is a decided advantage.

- Centralized 419 reporting and counter-419 operations in countries with a high AFF activity are essential!

419 AFF Spam

419 AFF proposals are also send through spam, in most cases this is arranged from within the organisation itself, the harvesting of email addresses and the sending of spam. Some organisations have specialized associates that only spam, but the most successful 419 organizations do the harvesting of email/fax/phone/messenger ID’s themselves to be able to target specific groups and pay a professional spammer to distribute the scam proposals. 419 AFF is no cyber crime. It is a mainly a confidence fraud using all communication resources available.

Misunderstandings on 419 AFF

Most check and lottery fraud are Nigerian 419 AFF.

1. Lottery fraud (95% Nigerian advance fee scammers)

2. Check fraud (76% Nigerian advance fee scammers)

3. 419 advance fee fraud (97% Nigerian advance fee scammers)

4. Phishing. (5% Nigerian advance fee scammers)
Nigerian 419 AFF organisations are usually not in to “phishing� and are not planning it, as they don’t need to. It doesn’t fit their organisational structure and they have other means and methods to get access to the victims ID and money. 95% of Phishing is done to get bank account access details via email, phone or fake web sites. Nigerian AFF scammers are using fake company web sites to advertise products that are never delivered and/or create credibility with their victims when assuming the identity of a bank, finance or transport company.

If you have questions about our numbers please send an email to stats419unit@ultrascan.nl

For general questions about 419 Advance Fee Fraud please first take a look at the website of The 419 coalition http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/index.htm or Ultrascan Advanced Global Investigations http://www.ultrascan.nl/html/419_advance_fee_fraud.html

Please do not call us for information before you have introduced yourself in an email or fax.

Developments during 2006

A Swiss court convicted a Nigerian scammer, instead of blaming the victim. There is no centralized 419 reporting.

Greece has doubled its AFF out and input and became a European banking centre for Nigerian AFF. Almost all Greek banks have at least 20 bank accounts used to receive transfers of 419 AFF victims. 419 AFF perpetrators have key ownerships and key positions*. There is no centralized 419 reporting.

The BKA (federal police) in Germany showed a some interest when awakened by the FBI anti terrorist department that came to collect one scam artist in March. Calling himself a repentant member of the kidnapper group that kidnapped a journalist in Iraq and seeking a payoff, turned out to be a young Nigerian 419 scammer (Kamara) and was arrested in Germany, after that the German police fell a sleep again.

Concerning German AFF victims, in particular businesses and the medical professionals are a favourite 419 AFF target. There is no centralized 419 reporting.

The 419 AFF organizations have recruited more cheap locals, mainly in Romania. Among young people that want to work in another country, in Spain among African refugees and China to do their front store work as opening bank accounts, registering companies with the chamber of commerce and receiving money transfers, in 2007 we will read more about locals arrested for AFF, while the 419 AFF organisations stay aloof. There is no centralized 419 reporting.

In the Netherlands we saw overall a slightly improved situation. 27% decline in global 419 scam email that contained Dutch contact details. On the other hand, more websites, normal mail, dating and job scams with Dutch contact details. More complaints from victims, which means people are not as reluctant to report when they are scammed as before. In the last two months of 2006 we registered a 71% decline in the use of Dutch bank accounts by 419 scammers. After the arrests in February of 12 419ers (plus 1 in Nigeria) by the police of Amsterdam, we registered only arrests in the last quarter of 2006. That and the declines in use of Dutch bank accounts and global 419 scam spam with Dutch contact details in November and December is probably the result of the federal police team that started on October 1. Obviously the short term priorities are set, which could be a turning point. There is no centralized reporting.

In the U.K. police action against 419 AFF came almost to a halt. When the use of bank accounts by 419ers is reported they are handled by the London City police but the only structured attempt is a too small Fraud Alert unit in London that should get more priority and the authority to dispatch a certain number of analyzed 419 cases to the different regions, as long as there is no centralized 419 AFF reporting.

Japan has almost no 419ers that work from the country, compared to the high losses of Japanese AFF victims. But it has the exclusive to a new very successful extension of the 419 scam which is specifically tuned to Japanese victims. The victims are blackmailed after they realise that they have been scammed. The scammers threaten the victims with telling there colleagues, friends and family that they have been scammed, if the victim doesn’t keep paying fees. There is a surge in scam activity focussed on this “shame scam�, it seems to work even if a victim is initially scammed for a small amount like $50. There is no centralized 419 reporting.

In Canada there is a high number of Nigerian 419ers. Most of those are perpetrating the whole range of 419 crimes and service other scamrings around the globe. There is a high professionalism among the leaders of the Canadian 419 scamrings, they have built their business and extended it in to the normal business community. There are links to other international organized crime groups and profits are in some cases laundered through foreign banks in which they have a key ownership. In Canada victims of Nigerian AFF can report with “Phone Busters� a fraud prevention and reporting centre.

More country specific information available on valid request.

 

419Unit release January 23 2007

 

on our records*

Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud on record* and low estimates for the countries listed below.

 

AFF resident active scam rings 2006

2005

individual members of AFF scam rings 2006

2005

Argentina

 

 

 

3

 

Australia

 

5

2

23

12

Austria

 

2

2

51

62

Belgium

 

4

3

81

72

Bolivia

 

 

 

 

 

Brazil**

 

3

 

24

 

Bulgaria

 

1

1

21

32

Cameroon

 

 

 

 

 

Canada***

 

5

5

62

79

Chile

 

 

 

 

 

China**

 

12

2

178

73

Colombia

 

1

 

3

 

Croatia

 

 

 

1

 

Cyprus

 

2

1

5

2

Denmark

 

2

2

25

26

Dubai

 

5

2

18

2

Egypt

 

4

2

19

15

Finland

 

1

1

6

5

France**

 

9

7

312

127

Gambia

 

 

 

4

 

Germany

 

9

10

311

275

Ghana**

 

16

4

283

124

Greece**

 

12

4

192

155

Hong Kong **

 

2

 

12

 

Hungary**

 

2

2

18

16

India**

 

7

3

107

79

Indonesia

 

1

 

6

 

Iran

 

 

 

2

 

Iraq

 

2

 

11

 

Ireland

 

7

6

128

117

Israel

 

2

 

3

 

Italy**

 

15

8

209

149

Japan

 

2

1

5

2

Kenya **

 

3

 

8

 

Korea, Republic of

 

5

 

31

 

Kuwait

 

1

 

6

 

Libya

 

 

 

 

 

Lithuania

 

2

1

5

3

Luxembourg

 

 

 

1

1

Malaysia**

 

5

2

53

51

Malta

 

1

1

4

2

Mauritius

 

 

 

1

 

Mexico

 

1

 

2

 

Morocco

 

 

 

2

 

Netherlands

 

17

24

777

802

Netherlands Antilles

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand

 

0

 

1

 

Pakistan

 

1

 

4

 

Palestinian Territory

 

 

 

 

 

Philipines

 

4

 

13

 

Poland

 

2

2

7

11

Portugal**

 

3

3

26

24

Romania**

 

5

2

26

19

Russia

 

1

 

12

 

Saudi Arabia

 

1

 

4

 

Senegal

 

 

 

 

 

Singapore

 

3

 

6

 

Slovenia

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa

 

7

3

173

177

Spain

 

22

18

765

561

Sweden

 

2

3

9

11

Switzerland

 

5

3

12

7

Taiwan

 

3

 

12

 

Thailand**

 

2

3

29

31

Tjech Republic**

 

2

2

13

9

Turkey**

 

3

3

9

5

United Kingdom

 

19

20

713

724

United States**

 

15

8

233

271

Yugoslavia

 

 

 

 

 

other countries**** excl. Nigeria

 

12

36

310

272

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

 

280

202

5390

4405

**

- Growing 419 AFF activity

***

- After a decline renewed 419 AFF growth expected.

****

- Other countries (excl. Nigeria) with a fast 419 AFF activity growth.

In Nigeria there are too many 419 rings and 419ers to enumerate and quantify losses to victims worldwide.

*(our record) = numbers established through investigations by the 419 unit of Ultrascan and/or confirmed from open source. Our investigations are focused on countries with a high AFF victim/loss count excluding Nigeria itself and most of South-America.

 

419Unit release January 23 2007

 

 

419 AFF low estimates for 2006 & 2005

Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud on record* and low estimates for the countries listed below.

 

 

total active resident AFF scammers 2006

2005

profits before sharing with other scamrings in million US$

2005

profits after sharing with other scamrings in million US$

2005

AFF losses suffered in 2006 by companies and persons in million US$

2005

Argentina

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

2.5

 

Australia

 

 

220

210

34

25

23.1

17.0

125

92

Austria

 

 

110

140

22

34

18.9

29.2

5

8

Belgium

 

 

300

300

43

51

31.4

37.2

51

70

Bolivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

1.1

 

Brazil**

 

 

60

 

21

 

16.2

 

16

 

Bulgaria

 

 

35

51

1

1

0.7

0.8

0.6

0.3

Cameroon

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

0.15

 

Canada***

 

 

3120

3200

420

410

289.8

307.5

150

172

Chile

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

0.12

 

China**

 

 

2900

85

404

31

141.4

26.4

115

20

Colombia

 

 

12

 

0.6

 

0.2

 

1.3

 

Croatia

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

0.11

 

Cyprus

 

 

7

4

0.9

0.3

0.7

0.3

0.7

0.6

Denmark

 

 

39

42

16

34

11.7

24.8

7

7

Dubai

 

 

70

45

161

66

130.4

53.5

45

1.3

Egypt

 

 

52

30

31

12

25.1

9.7

32

28

Finland

 

 

17

20

0.8

2

0.7

1.8

2

3

France**

 

 

515

810

166

119

73.0

55.9

192

130

Gambia

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

3.2

 

Germany

 

 

1210

1270

215

137

117.2

81.5

221

210

Ghana**

 

 

1690

290

66

32

39.6

20.8

1.7

0.4

Greece**

 

 

210

50

389

85

241.2

52.7

53

11

Hong Kong **

 

 

17

 

66

 

45.5

 

32

 

Hungary**

 

 

50

55

5

6

4.4

5.2

2.7

1.2

India**

 

 

190

150

26

22

14.3

12.1

32

3.5

Indonesia

 

 

20

 

16

 

4.8

 

4.5

 

Iran

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

1.7

 

Iraq

 

 

28

 

60

 

12.6

 

2.1

 

Ireland

 

 

145

110

93

102

54.9

60.2

35

45

Israel

 

 

10

 

3

 

1.6

 

11

 

Italy**

 

 

610

200

204

70

97.9

33.6

115

120

Japan

 

 

8

3

17

21

15.0

18.5

350

320

Kenya **

 

 

30

 

3

 

1.5

 

3

 

Korea, Republic of

 

 

45

 

70

 

25.9

 

63

 

Kuwait

 

 

 

 

3.2

 

0.9

 

0.6

 

Libya

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

0.04

 

Lithuania

 

 

7

5

33

17

14.9

7.7

0.6

0.7

Luxembourg

 

 

3

3

23

17

18.4

15.1

6

3

Malaysia**

 

 

85

80

7

6

5.8

5.0

15

11

Malta

 

 

2

2

9

4

3.4

1.6

0.1

0.07

Mauritius

 

 

 

 

0

 

0.0

 

0.1

 

Mexico

 

 

15

 

40

 

14.0

 

17

 

Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

0.2

 

Netherlands

 

 

1552

1610

386

308

135.1

138.6

79

72

Netherlands Antilles

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

0.35

 

New Zealand

 

 

1

 

0

 

0.0

 

6.5

 

Pakistan

 

 

 

 

0

 

0.0

 

0.3

 

Palestinian Territory

 

 

 

 

0

 

0.0

 

2

 

Philipines

 

 

35

 

67

 

51.6

 

3

 

Poland

 

 

20

25

3

3

2.1

2.5

4

1.7

Portugal**

 

 

50

30

9.5

9

6.5

7.0

13

12

Romania**

 

 

62

10

18

4

11.5

3.0

3.5

0.8

Russia

 

 

25

 

72

 

23.8

 

3.7

 

Saudi Arabia

 

 

10

 

12

 

5.0

 

17

 

Senegal

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

0.09

 

Singapore

 

 

20

 

32

 

13.8

 

3.5

 

Slovenia

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

0.03

 

South Africa

 

 

1250

780

115

80

48.3

34.4

116

136

Spain

 

 

2840

2530

269

262

102.2

99.6

350

320

Sweden

 

 

29

33

7

12

2.6

3.2

26

26

Switzerland

 

 

115

120

88

65

68.6

50.7

160

102

Taiwan

 

 

37

 

62

 

16.1

 

2.2

 

Thailand**

 

 

110

110

33

35

21.5

24.5

19

1.1

Tjech Republic**

 

 

22

17

7

6

5.8

5.0

10.5

9

Turkey**

 

 

110

60

17

2

14.8

1.7

26

5

United Kingdom

 

 

2120

2030

377

284

158.3

119.3

530

520

United States**

 

 

3500

3800

378

370

64.3

62.9

790

720

Yugoslavia

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

0.45

 

other countries**** excl. Nigeria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

 

 

23740

18310

4622

2744

2249

1430

3883

3184

 

419Unit release January 23 2007

 

 

on our records*

Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud on record* and low estimates for the countries listed below.

 

 

Fake company websites used in 2006 by scamrings in country

bankruptcies caused by 419 AFF

loss of careers or jobs caused by 419 AFF

loss of home caused by AFF

AFF victims! prosecuted for fraud

Argentina

 

 

3

1

 

 

 

Australia

 

 

112

3

2

2

6

Austria

 

 

26

3

9

1

1

Belgium

 

 

26

6

7

3

3

Bolivia

 

 

0

1

 

 

1

Brazil**

 

 

4

 

32

3

3

Bulgaria

 

 

2

 

1

1

 

Cameroon

 

 

4

 

1

1

 

Canada***

 

 

495

2

32

3

9

Chile

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

China**

 

 

104

7

8

4

3

Colombia

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

Croatia

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

Cyprus

 

 

2

 

1

 

 

Denmark

 

 

18

5

28

3

2

Dubai

 

 

6

 

1

 

 

Egypt

 

 

14

3

247

2

3

Finland

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

France**

 

 

131

2

6

9

3

Gambia

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

Germany

 

 

41

6

16

5

6

Ghana**

 

 

86

 

1

 

3

Greece**

 

 

26

6

22

1

3

Hong Kong **

 

 

34

1

 

 

1

Hungary**

 

 

12

1

2

1

1

India**

 

 

142

2

11

6

3

Indonesia

 

 

32

 

1

1

 

Iran

 

 

2

 

2

 

 

Iraq

 

 

1

 

9

 

 

Ireland

 

 

25

2

1

4

1

Israel

 

 

4

 

1

 

 

Italy**

 

 

115

7

27

6

3

Japan

 

 

7

2

5

32

 

Kenya **

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

Korea, Republic of

 

 

3

1

3

 

 

Kuwait

 

 

0

 

3

 

1

Libya

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

Lithuania

 

 

3

 

1

 

 

Luxembourg

 

 

2

 

2

 

5

Malaysia**

 

 

201

2

6

1

 

Malta

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Mauritius

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

Mexico

 

 

8

2

2

1

 

Morocco

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

Netherlands

 

 

1031

7

36

8

14

Netherlands Antilles

 

 

0

 

1

 

1

New Zealand

 

 

12

 

 

 

1

Pakistan

 

 

3

 

 

1

 

Palestinian Territory

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

Philipines

 

 

9

2

3

3

 

Poland

 

 

3

1

3

 

 

Portugal**

 

 

1

5

 

1

1

Romania**

 

 

43

1

3

2

 

Russia

 

 

62

1

 

2

 

Saudi Arabia

 

 

2

 

1

 

 

Senegal

 

 

17

 

 

1

 

Singapore

 

 

31

1

 

1

2

Slovenia

 

 

0

 

1

 

 

South Africa

 

 

219

5

28

3

3

Spain

 

 

454

3

36

3

3

Sweden

 

 

8

1

2

1

3

Switzerland

 

 

121

4

7

2

9

Taiwan

 

 

5

 

1

1

1

Thailand**

 

 

30

 

 

 

1

Tjech Republic**

 

 

49

4

15

1

2

Turkey**

 

 

8

3

2

1

3

United Kingdom

 

 

1357

15

32

7

19

United States**

 

 

1232

309

332

21

9

Yugoslavia

 

 

0

 

1

1

 

other countries**** excl. Nigeria

 

 

 

2

377

2

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

 

 

6413

429

1372

152

138

 

419Unit release January 23 2007

 

low estimates for period April 1996 - December 2006

Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud on record* and low estimates for the countries listed below.

 

bankruptcies caused by 419

loss of careers caused by 419 AFF

loss of home caused by AFF

AFF victims! prosecuted for another fraud caused by AFF

AFF victims that went from savings to serious debt problems

Argentina

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia

 

550

80

90

530

8000

Austria

 

20

 

20

110

7000

Belgium

 

20

62

25

30

3500

Bolivia

 

 

 

 

 

30

Brazil**

 

 

100

 

 

1500

Bulgaria

 

 

3

 

 

 

Cameroon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada***

 

1550

9000

1100

310

23000

Chile

 

 

 

 

 

 

China**

 

270

 

30

 

12000

Colombia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Croatia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyprus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denmark

 

15

35

42

15

12000

Dubai

 

 

 

 

20

150

Egypt

 

30

25

 

35

930

Finland

 

 

 

 

 

 

France**

 

113

960

116

135

12600

Gambia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Germany

 

122

4600

119

167

16200

Ghana**

 

 

10

 

 

60

Greece**

 

25

55

10

10

500

Hong Kong **

 

 

 

 

120

300

Hungary**

 

 

40

10

20

500

India**

 

10

500

90

 

5000

Indonesia

 

 

 

 

 

900

Iran

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iraq

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ireland

 

 

600

 

20

3200

Israel

 

 

 

5

 

 

Italy**

 

60

320

125

35

3500

Japan

 

 

350

 

 

11000

Kenya **

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korea, Republic of

 

 

 

 

 

350

Kuwait

 

 

 

 

 

 

Libya

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lithuania

 

 

 

10

 

 

Luxembourg

 

 

1

 

3

35

Malaysia**

 

120

30

150

300

4500

Malta

 

 

 

1

 

1

Mauritius

 

 

 

 

 

60

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

150

Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

Netherlands

 

360

800

305

68

7000

Netherlands Antilles

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palestinian Territory

 

 

 

 

 

30

Philipines

 

 

 

 

 

600

Poland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portugal**

 

10

15

15

20

 

Romania**

 

 

50

 

 

1500

Russia

 

 

 

 

 

550

Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senegal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singapore

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slovenia

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa

 

85

35

 

1200

3000

Spain

 

80

350

20

 

250

Sweden

 

60

10

30

300

6000

Switzerland

 

130

25

30

180

870

Taiwan

 

 

 

 

 

260

Thailand**

 

 

30

 

45

1500

Tjech Republic**

 

20

 

10

5

700

Turkey**

 

15

10

10

 

800

United Kingdom

 

1220

3500

840

1160

63000

United States**

 

8550

72000

9000

2030

350000

Yugoslavia

 

 

 

 

 

 

other countries**** excl. Nigeria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

 

13435

93596

12203

6868

563026

 

419Unit release January 23 2007

 

 

recorded* at some point between April 1996 and January 2007

Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud on record* and low estimates for the countries listed below.

 

 

suicides AFF victims

murders related to 419 AFF

kidnappings or taken hostage connected to 419 AFF scam ring

Key positions held by AFF scam ring

Key ownership connected to AFF

AFF scam ring bosses financing political change in Nigeria

Argentina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

1

Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Belgium

 

 

 

 

2

83

2

3

Bolivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brazil**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgaria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cameroon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada***

 

 

1

3

1

7

7

2

Chile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

China**

 

 

 

2

 

2

1

1

Colombia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Croatia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyprus

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Denmark

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Dubai

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

1

Egypt

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

Finland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

France**

 

 

1

1

 

5

3

1

Gambia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Germany

 

 

1

 

 

7

3

3

Ghana**

 

 

 

2

 

16

7

5

Greece**

 

 

 

 

 

3

3

2

Hong Kong **

 

 

 

 

1

15

1

1

Hungary**

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

India**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Indonesia

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

Iran

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Iraq

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

18

 

5

Israel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italy**

 

 

 

 

 

2

5

2

Japan

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

Kenya **

 

 

 

 

 

3

1

 

Korea, Republic of

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

1

Kuwait

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Libya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lithuania

 

 

 

 

 

2

2

1

Luxembourg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malaysia**

 

 

1

 

 

1

2

1

Malta

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

Mauritius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Netherlands

 

 

 

2

3

4

5

5

Netherlands Antilles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palestinian Territory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philipines

 

 

 

 

 

1

1

1

Poland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portugal**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romania**

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

 

Russia

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senegal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singapore

 

 

 

 

 

3

2

1

Slovenia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa

 

 

 

5

15

1

5

3

Spain

 

 

 

 

 

52

5

4

Sweden

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

2

1

1

Taiwan

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Thailand**

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Tjech Republic**

 

 

 

1

 

2

 

1

Turkey**

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

 

United Kingdom

 

 

 

 

 

5

4

11

United States**

 

 

1

5

5

602

8

4

Yugoslavia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

other countries**** excl. Nigeria

 

 

 

3

8

3

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

 

 

12

24

35

863

79

63

 

Explanations with the records* and estimates

AFF resident active scam rings

Advance Fee Fraud scamrings working from country A to scam victims in country B.

In general a 419 AFF scammer will not scam people in his home country. It’s one of the basic rules for the AFF scam to create distance and jurisdictions between him/her and the victim (target).

Individual members of AFF scam rings

Local AFF scam rings are groups of individual scammers with different tasks and training to perform the scam at hand, specifically adjusted to the victim’s state of mind and type of AFF scam.

Total active resident AFF scammers

Active resident scammers whom we have established the existence of at some point during an investigation, but we have not yet been able to identify the scamring they work with. We add them to the known members of scamrings to come to an estimate of the total number of scammers in a country.

Profits before sharing with other scamrings in million US$

These are the profits from scams performed by scamrings in one country. These profits are to be shared with scammers in other countries who provided victims or necessary services to expedite the scam. (Example: AFF scamrings based in The Netherlands built $368,000,000 US with the assistance from scammers in other countries)

Profits after sharing with other scamrings in million US$

Profits from scams performed by scamrings in one country after sharing with scammers in other countries who supplied the victim or provided necessary services to perform the scam. The basic element of this scam is to share the profits as agreed upon. (Example- scamrings based in Belgium made a profit of more then $31,400,000 US. This does not mean this loot is still in Belgium) .

AFF losses suffered in 2006 by companies and private citizens in million US$

These are the losses including all the real expenses incurred by the victims in the country itself. The advance fees are paid to scammers in other countries (example: Belgian victims lost over $51,000,000 US to foreign AFF scammers in 2006)

Victims very often sustain much more loss than the advance fees paid, such as emergency interest rates, fire sales of assets, lost friendships and even marriages.

(The psychological impact is more devastating to the victim than the financial impact, and the financial impact is catastrophic.)

Bankruptcies caused by 419 AFF

In some cases victims and/or their companies get so deep in debt to pay all the different advance fees that they are forced to file for bankruptcy.

We do not specifically log bankruptcies that occur during or after the 419 scam. Only the ones brought to our attention.

Loss of careers or jobs caused by 419 AFF

Many victims, whether professional or blue collar, lose their career and/or practice.

Many lose their job and are unaware that it is because of AFF. When companies fall victim to AFF, they must downsize or file for bankruptcy. Very often the victim still does believe the scammers or doesn’t want to go on the record as an AFF victim.

One example is a factory with 271 staff that went bankrupt because, after production began, management of the factory was convinced to advance fees to release a first down payment of $12,000,000 US. The complete contract value was for $42,000,000 US. The victim was shown in person the following convincing but counterfeit or stolen instruments: diplomatic passport, completion plans for an existing project of national importance, business, banking and government references from several Middle Eastern, Asian and European countries. And last but not least a bank account with a payment in favour of the victim accessible through internet banking on an exact copy of the website of a large Canadian bank. The victim received the account number and codes to access the bank account via internet banking. Only one problem: making transfers from the account failed.

The victim also visited the project and was received with an impressive governmental VIP reception. During his visit the victim met other contractors who were pleased with the project, everything appeared in order. The financial loss, excluding subcontractors was $9,000,000 US the company went bankrupt and the staff that lost their job think it’s because of bad market conditions and orders that were cancelled. We don’t know what happened to the subcontractors, we assume nothing good. We do know that the scammers involved only made a net profit of $1,200,000 US. Who cares about the difference between AFF profits and the real total damages?

Loss of home caused by AFF

In almost all countries we investigated, we were confronted with AFF victims that were evicted from their home by their landlord or the bank for defaulting on their mortgage.

We have found evidence of scammers being proud of the number of victims that lost their homes because of the skill of the scammer responsible. A high number AFF victim foreclosures is seen as an accomplishment by a majority of AFF scammers and also mentioned during some of the AFF training for new recruits.

AFF victims Prosecuted for fraud!

During the AFF scam, victims are very often threatened with the possibility of a government or international institution investigating their part in “the deal�. Example: tax evasion, money laundering or corrupting officials. This is to make sure that the victim will not involve his own government or other outsiders, whom he would normally trust and consult on “the deal�. Generally, victims have nothing to fear from such threats, they should fear being prosecuted in their own country for bank fraud after they received and cashed counterfeit checks or bogus wire transfers to their bank account.

For example: With cashier's check AFF, local authorities are usually trying to charge the victim with attempting to defraud their bank, or Nigeria, or someone, when in fact it is the AFF victim who is defrauded. Much time and energy is wasted by local authorities on such cases, which are eventually dismissed as they learn more about AFF.

Key positions held by resident members of a scam ring that we have recorded are with: postal services, banks, credit card organizations, insurance, transport, oil companies, embassies, hotels, airports, police, immigrations, academic hospitals, intelligence related companies and state departments.

Key ownership connected to AFF scamrings we have recorded in: banks, Western Union and Moneygram agencies, Internet cafes, customs clearing agents, car dealerships, and hotels

No 419 AFF problem in your country?

The 419 Unit of Ultrascan is not an official reporting centre however in 2006 we did review 16690 complaints from 161 countries. concerning Nigerian 419 advance fee fraud

Albania

4

 

Kuwait

35

Algeria

17

 

Latvia

16

Andorra

1

 

Lebanon

21

Angola

2

 

Libya

13

Antigua and Barbuda

6

 

Lithuania

78

Argentina

57

 

Luxembourg

28

Armenia

7

 

Macao

2

Aruba

3

 

Macedonia

16

Australia

532

 

Madagascar

4

Austria

30

 

Malaysia

207

Azerbaijan

21

 

Maldives

2

Bahamas

6

 

Mali

3

Bahrain

13

 

Malta

12

Bangladesh

6

 

Mauritania

1

Barbados

5

 

Mauritius

77

Belarus

3

 

Mexico

145

Belgium

993

 

Micronesia

2

Benin

22

 

Moldova, Republic of

1

Bermuda

4

 

Monaco

8

Bhutan

2

 

Mongolia

2

Bolivia

64

 

Morocco

27

Bosnia and Herzegovina

139

 

Mozambique

10

Botswana

2

 

Namibia

1

Brazil

286

 

Netherlands

512

Brunei Darussalam

12

 

Netherlands Antilles

24

Bulgaria

129

 

New Zealand

91

Burkina Faso

5

 

Nicaragua

3

Cambodia

18

 

Nigeria

478

Cameroon

44

 

Norway

68

Canada

1130

 

Oman

17

Cape Verde

1

 

Pakistan

14

Cayman Islands

1

 

Palestinian Territory

33

Chile

58

 

Panama

9

China

216

 

Papua New Guinea

1

Colombia

32

 

Paraguay

2

Costa Rica

3

 

Peru

16

Cote D'Ivoire

283

 

Philippines

91

Croatia

24

 

Poland

39

Cyprus

4

 

Portugal

28

Czech Republic

255

 

Puerto Rico

8

Denmark

71

 

Qatar

6

Dominican Republic

12

 

Romania

511

Ecuador

10

 

Russian Federation

42

Egypt

51

 

Rwanda

5

El Salvador

7

 

Saudi Arabia

87

Eritrea

2

 

Senegal

36

Estonia

11

 

Sierra Leone

1

Ethiopia

9

 

Singapore

37

Faroe Islands

5

 

Slovakia

11

Finland

118

 

Slovenia

28

France

825

 

South Africa

358

Gabon

3

 

Spain

233

Gambia

25

 

Sri Lanka

15

Georgia

11

 

Sudan

3

Germany

738

 

Sweden

167

Ghana

322

 

Switzerland

176

Gibraltar

2

 

Syria

8

Greece

172

 

Taiwan

32

Grenada

2

 

Tanzania

3

Guam

3

 

Thailand

31

Guatemala

11

 

Togo

17

Guinea

2

 

Trinidad and Tobago

6

Guinea-Bissau

3

 

Tunisia

20

Guyana

3

 

Turkey

104

Haiti

5

 

Uganda

5

Hong Kong

72

 

Ukraine

19

Hungary

39

 

United Arab Emirates

73

Iceland

8

 

United Kingdom

1766

India

76

 

United States

2801

Indonesia

123

 

 

0

Iran, Islamic Republic of

36

 

Uruguay

5

Iraq

11

 

Uzbekistan

4

Ireland

43

 

Vanuatu

1

Israel

80

 

Venezuela

11

Italy

162

 

Vietnam

18

Jamaica

16

 

Virgin Islands, British

1

Japan

221

 

Virgin Islands, U.S.

2

Jordan

4

 

Yemen

16

Kazakhstan

4

 

Yugoslavia

9

Kenya

31

 

Zambia

2

Korea, Republic of

84

 

Zimbabwe

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

16690

 

Do you recognize these 419 Advance Fee Fraud scams

Lottery scam

Counterfeit Postal draft scam

Over invoiced contract scam

eBay check (over) payment and refund scam

Unclaimed inheritance scam

Unclaimed bank account scam

Counterfeit Check scam

Dating-romance scam

Black (defaced) currency scam

Gold dust scam

Diamond scam

Fake bank scam

Housing scam

Anti-terrorist certificate scam

Disaster relief fund scam

Financial representative in your country scam

Work permit scam

Payment for art scam

Deceased next of kin scam

Construction sub contractor scam

Lower priced crude oil scam

SWIFT transfer scam

Antique export payments scam

University study place scam

Money from former ruler scam

Relative of holocaust victim scam

Identity theft

Jobs for professionals scam

Dead millionaire funds for charities or disaster relief scam

Very low interest loans for relatively small advance fees scam

Hotel bookings and refund

United Nations loan approval scam

Death threat scam

Spam (off topic controversy)

To everyone “who really wants to know� it must be obvious that most spam is arranged by professionals who want to make a lot of money or disrupt established structures for commercial, criminal or political reasons, and “amateur� or “niche� spammers that want to pick up some extra cash to survive every month.

Everyone that wants to spam, can try for them selves and be fairly successful within a single day or find and pay a professional or amateur spammer to do the job.

Spam filters are necessary, but by now we should be aware that it doesn’t solve problems created by intelligent humans that are focussed to find a hole in those filters.

The spam filters want to win a battle by using technical solutions against intelligent humans who only see spam filter methods as very interesting and entertaining but solvable problems. In spam quarters there is no higher honour then to penetrate a commercially built filter, so forget about winning that battle conclusively before the time arrives that people don’t use email anymore as a main communication.

There are about 300 hardcore professional spammers, and thousands of amateurs/copycats/ associates, that sell their services independently.

It would take, a newly started private or government backed Non Government Organization that focussed only on finding the professional spammers, approximately 6 months to ID and physically locate the first 100 key persons within that group including sufficient evidence. If acted upon by law enforcement, it would cut spam significantly at a fraction of the current cost and it would hurt at the basis where until now it is all fun and games.

In the lavatory of the 419 Unit there is the following tranquilizing quote on the inside of one of the doors:

-There is this space filled with communications of a billion people, only 20% is genuine, so what we do is filter the 80% spam (because we are advised that it is necessary, and the solutions are for sale) further we make regulations that make the genuine 20% of the communications difficult or illegal, but we do not address the extremely tiny group of people that ignore the regulations and are responsible for most of the problem and its growth.-