I get these all the time. Here is what I email them back:
Well Mahmoud. I guess I will have to pass on your generous proposition. I don’t have the time to work it all out for you. However, I did have the time
to contact the FBI and US Secret Service about your bull#. Thanks god and praise allah that they now are tracking your IP addresses. Good luck!
THIS IS NOT AN AUTOMATED RESPONSE
Thank you for your submission to the FBI Internet
Tip Line. In as much as the FBI receives reports
of this type of activity on a regular basis there
is no need to forward any such additional emails
to the FBI.
You indicate that you are aware that these
solicitations are fraudulent, so I will not
caution you against responding to them. However,
I have included our standard caution to the public
simply because it contains information of which
you may not be aware.
A review of the information you provided revealed
that you are being approached over the Internet to
participate in one of many variations of an
advance fee scheme being perpetrated by
individuals from various West African nations,
particularly Nigeria. This scam has also become
popular and perpetrated by individuals all over
the world, including in Korea, Ghana, Switzerland
and the UK. Victims have lost substantial funds
in the past and all requests for travel to foreign
locations should be ignored. The United States
Secret Service (USSS) has developed an excellent,
detailed description of this fraud scheme, which
can be accessed at
you have been victimized by one of these schemes,
please forward appropriate written documentation
to the USSS, Financial Crimes Division, 950 H
Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20223, or telephone
(202) 406-5850. We encourage you to share this Web
page with family and friends. Your continued
cooperation in this and other matters is greatly
For your information, the Internet Tip Line (ITL)
was created on 9/11/01, in response to the
terrorist attacks upon America. We quickly
established a mechanism for the public to submit
information to the FBI via the Internet, and we
received our first tip at 10:31 AM that first day.
Director Mueller has since made the ITL a
permanent part of FBI operations, and we have thus
far received over 750,000 tips from around the
globe, from which thousands of leads have been
sent to FBI Field and Legal Attaché offices for
Initially, almost 100% of the tips received were
related to the terrorist attacks; now,
approximately 45% of all tips received are related
to almost every other FBI criminal program, e.g.,
drug trafficking, organized crime, money
laundering, pyramid schemes, child pornography,
fugitives, bank robbery.
Our operation is completely automated and
paperless. Submitted tips are received
immediately, reviewed within minutes and
prioritized by trained Professional Support
personnel, and Agents set action leads within the
hour, as appropriate.
I encourage you to share this information with
your family, friends, and co-workers, and
encourage them to not hesitate to submit
information they may deem of interest to the FBI.
IMPORTANT - NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
The FBI does not maintain an email address to
submit information or attachments to directly;
therefore, please do not reply directly to this
message via your email client. The FBI maintains
an automated system that is designed to track all
information received, to ensure that all tips are
addressed in a timely and efficient manner.
Therefore, please visit the FBI.GOV Web site again
should you have occasion to submit additional
information. We WILL NOT open or respond to
David N. Rushing/cb,
Supervisory Special Agent
US SECRET SERVICE PUBLIC AWARENESS ADVISORY REGARDING "4-1-9" OR "ADVANCE FEE FRAUD" SCHEMES
4-1-9 Schemes frequently use the following tactics:
An individual or company receives a letter or fax from an alleged "official" representing a foreign government or agency;
An offer is made to transfer millions of dollars in "over invoiced contract" funds into your personal bank account;
You are encouraged to travel overseas to complete the transaction;
You are requested to provide blank company letterhead forms, banking account information, telephone/fax numbers;
You receive numerous documents with official looking stamps, seals and logo testifying to the authenticity of the proposal;
Eventually you must provide up-front or advance fees for various taxes, attorney fees, transaction fees or bribes;
Other forms of 4-1-9 schemes include: c.o.d. of goods or services, real estate ventures, purchases of crude oil at reduced prices, beneficiary of a
will, recipient of an award and paper currency conversion.
If you have already lost funds in pursuit of the above described scheme, please contact your local Secret Service field office.
Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud Overview
The perpetrators of Advance Fee Fraud (AFF), known internationally as "4-1-9" fraud after the section of the Nigerian penal code which addresses
fraud schemes, are often very creative and innovative.
Unfortunately, there is a perception that no one is prone to enter into such an obviously suspicious relationship. However, a large number of victims
are enticed into believing they have been singled out from the masses to share in multi-million dollar windfall profits for doing absolutely nothing.
It is also a misconception that the victim's bank account is requested so the culprit can plunder it -- this is not the primary reason for the
account request -- merely a signal they have hooked another victim.
In almost every case there is a sense of urgency;
The victim is enticed to travel to Nigeria or a border country;
There are many forged official looking documents;
Most of the correspondence is handled by fax or through the mail;
Blank letterheads and invoices are requested from the victim along with the banking particulars;
Any number of Nigerian fees are requested for processing the transaction with each fee purported to be the last required;
The confidential nature of the transaction is emphasized;
There are usually claims of strong ties to Nigerian officials;
A Nigerian residing in the U.S., London or other foreign venue may claim to be a clearing house bank for the Central Bank of Nigeria;
Offices in legitimate government buildings appear to have been used by impostors posing as the real occupants or officials.
The most common forms of these fraudulent business proposals fall into seven main categories:
Disbursement of money from wills
Contract fraud (C.O.D. of goods or services)
Purchase of real estate
Conversion of hard currency
Transfer of funds from over invoiced contracts
Sale of crude oil at below market prices
The most prevalent and successful cases of Advance Fee Fraud is the fund transfer scam. In this scheme, a company or individual will typically receive
an unsolicited letter by mail from a Nigerian claiming to be a senior civil servant. In the letter, the Nigerian will inform the recipient that he is
seeking a reputable foreign company or individual into whose account he can deposit funds ranging from $10-$60 million that the Nigerian government
overpaid on some procurement contract.
The criminals obtain the names of potential victims from a variety of sources including trade journals, professional directories, newspapers, and
commercial libraries. They do not target a single company, but rather send out mailings en masse. The sender declares that he is a senior civil
servant in one of the Nigerian Ministries, usually the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The letters refer to investigations of previous
contracts awarded by prior regimes alleging that many contracts were over invoiced. Rather than return the money to the government, they desire to
transfer the money to a foreign account. The sums to be transferred average between $10,000,000 to $60,000,000 and the recipient is usually offered a
commission up to 30 percent for assisting in the transfer.
Initially, the intended victim is instructed to provide company letterheads and pro forma invoicing that will be used to show completion of the
contract. One of the reasons is to use the victim's letterhead to forge letters of recommendation to other victim companies and to seek out a travel
visa from the American Embassy in Lagos. The victim is told that the completed contracts will be submitted for approval to the Central Bank of
Nigeria. Upon approval, the funds will be remitted to an account supplied by the intended victim.
The goal of the criminal is to delude the target into thinking that he is being drawn into a very lucrative, albeit questionable, arrangement. The
intended victim must be reassured and confident of the potential success of the deal. He will become the primary supporter of the scheme and willingly
contribute a large amount of money when the deal is threatened. The term "when" is used because the con-within-the-con is the scheme will be
threatened in order to persuade the victim to provide a large sum of money to save the venture.
The letter, while appearing transparent and even ridiculous to most, unfortunately is growing in its effectiveness. It sets the stage and is the
opening round of a two-layered scheme or scheme within a scheme. The fraudster will eventually reach someone who, while skeptical, desperately wants
the deal to be genuine.
Victims are almost always requested to travel to Nigeria or a border country to complete a transaction. Individuals are often told that a visa will
not be necessary to enter the country. The Nigerian con artists may then bribe airport officials to pass the victims through Immigration and Customs.
Because it is a serious offense in Nigeria to enter without a valid visa, the victim's illegal entry may be used by the fraudsters as leverage to
coerce the victims into releasing funds. Violence and threats of physical harm may be employed to further pressure victims. In June of 1995, an
American was murdered in Lagos, Nigeria, while pursuing a 4-1-9 scam, and numerous other foreign nationals have been reported as missing.
Victims are often convinced of the authenticity of Advance Fee Fraud schemes by the forged or false documents bearing apparently official Nigerian
government letterhead, seals, as well as false letters of credit, payment schedules and bank drafts. The fraudster may establish the credibility of
his contacts, and thereby his influence, by arranging a meeting between the victim and "government officials" in real or fake government offices.
In the next stage some alleged problem concerning the "inside man" will suddenly arise. An official will demand an up-front bribe or an unforeseen
tax or fee to the Nigerian government will have to be paid before the money can be transferred. These can include licensing fees, registration fees,
and various forms of taxes and attorney fees. Normally each fee paid is described as the very last fee required. Invariably, oversights and errors in
the deal are discovered by the Nigerians, necessitating additional payments and allowing the scheme to be stretched out over many months.
Several reasons have been submitted why Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud has undergone a dramatic increase in recent years. The explanations are as diverse
as the types of schemes. The Nigerian Government blames the growing problem on mass unemployment, extended family systems, a get rich quick syndrome,
and, especially, the greed of foreigners.
Indications are that Advance Fee Fraud grosses hundreds of millions of dollars annually and the losses are continuing to escalate. In all likelihood,
there are victims who do not report their losses to authorities due to either fear or embarrassment.
In response to this growing epidemic, the United States Secret Service established "Operation 4-1-9" designed to target Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud
on an international basis. The Financial Crimes Division of the Secret Service receives approximately 100 telephone calls from victims/potential
victims and 300-500 pieces of related correspondence per day.
Secret Service agents have been assigned on a temporary basis to the American Embassy in Lagos to address the problem in that arena. Agents have
established liaison with Nigerian officials, briefed other embassies on the widespread problem, and have assisted in the extrication of U.S. citizens
If you feel you have been a victim of any of these schemes contact your local field office for assistance.
Copyright © 2002 United States Secret Service. All rights reserved.
From: Mahmoud Rahbaran Mohammad [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 4:27 PM
Subject: Donation to be distributed to the less priviledged.....contact my attorney immediately
From: Mahmoud Rahbaran Mohammad
In my search for a reliable and God fearing person and
having gotten your contact through prayers and
painstaking efforts I have decided to seek your help
in carrying out my last wish. My names are Mahmoud
Rahbaran Mohammad from Iran. I'm a 42 years old man
living in Republic of Western Sahara. I was a merchant
and owned two businesses in Western Sahara. I was also
married with two children. My wife and a son(Taofeek)
died in a car accident six years ago.
Before this happened my business and concern for
making money was all I lived for. I never really cared
about other values in life. But since the loss of my
family, I have found a new desire to assist helpless
families. I have been helping orphans in orphanage/
motherless homes. I have also donated some money for
humanitarian needs in some Asian countries. Before I
became ill, I kept US$8.5 Million in a long-term
deposit account in a finance company in Europe.
Presently, I'm in a hospital in Western Sahara where I
have been undergoing treatment for oesophageal cancer.
I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors
have told me that I have only a few weeks to live. It
is my last wish to see this money distributed to needy
and other charity organizations. Because relatives and
friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my
illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting
this huge responsibility to any of them. I would have
use my attorney in distributing the funds but you are
the chosen one through prayers. And moreso, my
attorney needs visa and can not even afford air ticket
to Europe to meet with security company. So, I decide
to contact you.
Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me
collect the deposit and the interest accrued from the
finance company based in Europe and distribute it
accordingly. Use your judgement to distribute the
money and keep 10% of it to yourself. Feel free to
reimburse yourself when you have the money for any
cost you incur during the process of collecting and
distributing the money. If you are willing to help,
please reply as soon as you can.
Endeavor to send and call my attorney who is based
Western Sahara with your full contact details like
your names, address, telephone and fax number so that
he can refer you to the security company in Europe
where the funds is lodged.
Reach my attorney the following details below: Contact
name: Barrister Ben Smith Medube
Direct Satellite telephone: (00874)762921845
PLEASE, I BEG YOU IN THE NAME OF GOD TO HELP ME
RETRIEVE THE FUNDS FROM THE FINANCE COMPANY IN EUROPE.
AFTER COLLECTING THE MONEY FROM THE FINANCE COMPANY,
YOU WILL NOW TAKE THE MONEY TO ORHANPANGE HOMES IN
AFRICA OR ANY ORPHANANAGE HOME CLOSE TO YOU.
You can visit this weblinks to know more about Western
May God bless you and your family.
Mahmoud Rahbaran Mohammad
Republic of Western Sahara,
[Edited on 26-3-2004 by dreamrebel]