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Interview with a Scammer
Address: West-Africa scam
Other Comments: Dear visitors and readers.
I am Malek I offer contribution to Delphi Site.
The reason is that I have been scammed before, got much help andsupport from Dirk et al. Therefore I'm also committed to helping others.
And I like to workagainst scammers. So that they cannot get their way ! ! !
Together with my colleagues we help victims and advise them what todo. Internet criminals are still active,every day there are many casualties.
I selected a topic about West African scammers. And try to go asdeeply as possible. To give your an idea what's going on in the scam world. What actionsand ritual they use to get money from the victims. What drives them to do it, and what kind of music motivates them or movies.
Meeting a lover online
1. Never send money to someone you haven't met
2. Don't believe images that they sent you
3. Ask to chat with webcam, if they get excuses then it is a fakeperson.
Dont feel pity for scammers on Internet they are criminals. All theinformation they give you is fake. Like name phone number City where they living. All the nice words are a lies.
Some swindlers are professional and use fake webcams, so that you will believe them. They steal videos from people and models on internet, they can't prevent like any person.
How they do it, see link.
They use stolen identity.
New Cyber Email Scam of stolen Identity & Wallet.
How scams work ?
Scammers use email harvesters to get your mail.
If you are registered in one of another dating sites or if your mail once known on the Internet. Then you will receive a profile of beautiful women or men in your mailbox.
With some stolen pics of models or from datingsites real people. ( stolen identitys ).
Once you answer them, then they get a dollar sign. And wants to know everything about you, if you tell them about your situation.
Then the game starts.
They will give you a feeling that you gonna think you have found true love. Then will come with beautiful words as Good Morning Angel, Sweetheart, my love. I got a dream about you etc.
So you will feel at ease. ( I want to marry) They all work or get an business. Then the misery starts, They going manipulate force you to help them and give you an guilty feeling. Once they got money from you, then they want to see how far they can go. Money and money more money.
Read more on this link :
They have more then 1000 reasons to get money from victims.
1. He is robbed.
2. Had an accident on the way of airport.
3. Need an emergency surgery operation for family or self.
4. Don't have money to travel.
5. He / she is stuck
Good beginning of this year to aressed these bastards (31/12/2011 05:06:00)
Young Nigerian Students In Malaysia Arrested For Scamming Divorced Women
This issue is gradually getting out of hand, Nigerians abroad giving our great nation a very bad name due to their evil activities abroad. This video reveals operations of some Nigerian scammers in Malaysia and how they tricked a 51 years old lady out of her life savings, promising her love.
The best method 4 scammers to get quick cash from victims
Most 419 scams / advance fee frauds by gangs from West and South Africa and many online scams run by Eastern European crime groups involve either Western Union money transfer (WU) or MoneyGram (MG). These services are the preferred method of online scammers to receive cash from their victims.
Never use Western Union money transfer or MoneyGram for sending money to any person who you do not know personally. Simply speaking, the Internet and Western Union money transfer or MoneyGram don't mix. Any transaction that involves a person introduced via email or a website (online store, eBay, classified ads site, etc.) should not involve Western Union or Moneygram. These services are fine for wiring cash to a family member who urgently needs it, but do not use it with strangers.
In Lagos, where scamming is an art, the quickest path to wealth for the cyber-generation runs through a computer screen.
Akin, who lives in Lagos, is one of a new generation of entrepreneurs that has emerged in this city of 15 million, Nigeria's largest. His mother makes $30 a month as a cleaner, his father about the same hustling at bus stations. But Akin has made it big working long days at Internet cafes and is now the main provider for his family and legions of relatives.
Call him a 'Yahoo! millionaire.'
Akin buys things online - laptops, BlackBerries, cameras, flat-screen TVs - using stolen credit cards and aliases. He has the loot shipped via FedEx or DHL to safe houses in Europe, where it is received by friends, then shipped on to Lagos to be sold on the black market. (He figures Americans are too smart to sell a camera on eBay to a buyer with an address in Nigeria.)
Akin's main office is an Internet cafe in the Ikeja section of Lagos. He spends up to ten hours a day there, seven days a week, huddled over one of 50 computers, working his scams.
And he's not alone: The cafe is crowded most of the time with other teenagers, like Akin, working for a 'chairman' who buys the computer time and hires them to extract e-mail addresses and credit card information from the thin air of cyberspace. Akin's chairman, who is computer illiterate, gets a 60 percent cut and reserves another 20 percent to pay off law enforcement officials who come around or teachers who complain when the boys cut school. That still puts plenty of cash in Akin's pocket.
After a few false starts, Azubuike Ejiogu finally retired from cyber fraud; but not before making sure that his last scam paid a handsome pension of $12,500. With the money, the 32-year-old 2002 Chemistry graduate of Imo State University decided to become a legitimate entrepreneur. He bought a struggling cyber cafe off its relieved owner at Okokomaiko, a suburb of Lagos, and plunged into business.
'My siblings were all against my decision because they were arguing that cyber cafe business is no longer lucrative,' he said. 'But I told them to just watch me and see how things will be. I have practically been living in cyber cafes, from Owerri to Lagos, for over five years, and I think I know how to run one profitably. I know what to do.'
His siblings were justifiably concerned, considering the dearth of the cyber cafe industry in Lagos. A snap survey conducted in selected areas of the metropolis revealed that a lot of cyber cafes were closing shop, while most barely hung on by offering skeletal services.
The vanishing cafes
The proliferation of smart phones, cheaper laptops and Internet packages from telecom companies, bandwidth problems, diesel costs, and maintenance costs are some of the reasons that owners attributed to the death of some of these cyber cafes in Lagos.
'My biggest problem was power,' said Onyeka Nwelue, who recently closed her cyber cafe at Surulere. 'Every day you buy at least N2000 (worth of) diesel, and maybe only six people will come in that day and spend an hour each. At times, I couldn't even make N10,000 in a week.'
Despite the gloomy outlook, Mr Ejiogu remains confident because he has an ace up his sleeve. 'I am going to call all my friends who are ‘Yahoo boys' to come and start patronising me because I will offer them security, and they will be comfortable operating in my cafe,' he said. 'Already, eight of them have promised to be coming all the way from Igando to that place to work. Of course people like students coming to apply for exams, and (job) applicants will also be there.'
‘They keep us alive'
His enthusiasm of retaining scammers on top of his clientele list underscores the fact that Internet fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo boys in local parlance, have kept a significant percentage of Lagos cyber cafes alive with their patronage.
Most of the cyber operators were reluctant to admit that the scammers constituted the greater part of their clientele. However, Okechukwu Obiwuru, a Surulere-based cyber cafe manager, admitted that he frequently toys with the idea of closing shop, 'If not for the fact that there are four boys who usually buy bulk time (flat monthly subscription), and at times I just start the generator for them when I consider how much they have paid for that month,' he said.
The owner of another Surulere-based cyber cafe, which closed shop early this year, and who gave his name as Olatunji, acknowledged that the ‘Yahoo boys' were his major customers before he closed shop. 'Apart from during exam periods, when students will be coming to fill (online) forms, or when people come to apply for (American visa) lottery, the business is dry, and it is only those boys that will be coming,' he said. 'But after police raided my place, most of them stopped, and even me, I got tired of the business.'
Long arm of the law
The Deputy Head of the Cyber Crime Unit of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Lagos Office, Chukwunonso Okoro, stated that the anti-graft agency was constantly revising its strategy in its effort to rid our nation of the scammers. He also confirmed that the intermittent raids on cyber cafes have scared away fraudsters from Lagos cyber cafes.
'To catch a thief, you must be a thief,
so we are continuously undergoing training and retraining on the new methods and the workings of the minds of these fraudsters,' he said during a Crime Prevention Summit organised by The African Youth Initiative on Crime Prevention at the University of Lagos, last November.
Nigerian Super Fraudster Wanted In America By FBI Over $770,000 Internet Love Scam – ireports-ng.com
A 26 year old serial internet fraudster, Olaniyi Victor Makinde who is top on the wanted list of the United States of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI has been arrested in Akure, the Ondo state capital by Nigeria’s anti-graft police, EFCC.
A source in FBI had hinted iReports-ng that Makinde who is also known as Olaniyi Jones and Andrea Bradley was wanted by the San Francisco Division of the FBI. According to the source, the US government viewed the activities of Makinde seriously and as such had to send three FBI agents including a supervisory special agent and two special agents, to Nigeria last quarter to meet with their Nigerian counterparts over the arrest of the fraudster. The fraudster was eventually arrested on September 6 last year.
iReports-ng learnt that the FBI agents were also joined by another official of the US consulate Lagos to obtain statements from Makinde when he was eventually arrested by EFCC operatives ahead of their request for his extradition to the US to face trial with some of his American accomplices in the serial fraud. The Nigerian authorities were said to have reached an agreement with the FBI agents to prosecute Makinde in Nigeria before considering handing him over to the US government. He was said to have been arraigned before a high court judge in Akure on November 26 last year over a $620,225.04 fraud and later remanded at a prison custody in the state capital.
It was however drama galore on Tuesday, January 11, when the 26-year old internet fraudster already in custody at the Olokuta medium prison, Akure , was docked again by EFCC, over a fresh $150,000 scam. The fraudster, Olaniyi Victor Makinde, a fresh graduate of the University of Ado Ekiti , was docked at an Akure High Court presided by Justice A.O Adebusuyi on a 14 count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and stealing.
How Police Covert Operation Yield to Arrest of Ibadan Scam Artist
Some Policemen Aided Him, Rich Kids Fell His Victim
For those who have fallen victims to his numerous escapades both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria, the name of Razak Olatunji Olaniyi, a.k.a. Ga,y is the beginning of wisdom for young Nigerians who cruise around the town with state-of the-art-vehicles.
In the reasoning of Gay, a leader of a crime syndicate, any young Nigerian who rides expensive vehicle or uses a Blackberry phone belongs to the group of “Yahoo Boys” who must be arrested and made to pay certain amounts of money into his personal account or part with their vehicles.
Sharpedgenews.com investigation revealed that Razak Olatunji Olaniyi who is known as “Gay” has made billions of Naira through this illegal operation that is usually aided by some corrupt officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
Further investigation by Sharpedgenews.com showed that in most cases, Gay and his gang will mount illegal road blocks on popular roads where expensive vehicles pass. And it is usually after they spot young men in expensive vehicles that they order the drivers to stop and one of his gang members will take control of the vehicle after they must have threatened the occupants with their weapons.
Olaniyi who resides in Lagos we gathered had extended his dragnet to other states in the Southwest of Nigeria, where he usually operates unhindered through the assistance of the corrupt officers of the Police Force.
A source even confided to Sharpedgenews.com that Olaniyi even went as far as Malaysia in South Asia in this covert operation and that he came back with millions of Ringgits, the Malaysian currency.
Sharpedgenews.com equally gathered that even most of the Yahoo Boys, the internet scammers who have fallen victims to his deceits have lost millions of Naira while some lost their expensive vehicles to Rasak Olatunji Olaniyi and his gang.
However, nemesis caught up with Rasak Olatunji Olaniyi and his gang when they came to Ibadan on a similar covert operation on October 4, 2011 and arrested some innocent youth at Dugbe area of the city.
The young men who were riding towards Dugbe area of the city were stopped and as usual one of his gang members took over the wheel and went about raiding joints and hotels were young men were sighted.
Olatunji, Sharpedgenews.com gathered, was so daring that he took his victims to Iyaganku Police Station and ordered the officers on duty to detain the arrested youth and that he and his gang members were from Lagos on a special operation in Ibadan.
The Sakawa Boys: Inside the Bizarre Criminal World of Ghana’s Cyber-Juju Email Scam Gangs
While Nigeria’s 419 scammers may have written the book on West African internet fraud, their shtick looks like Compuserve compared to what’s going on in Ghana. Unsatisfied with the meager winnings from emailing thousands of random Westerners in hopes of convincing one poor sap they’re the treasurer of the Ivory Coast, Ghana’s scammers decided to stack the odds in their favor the old-fashioned way: witchcraft.
Taking a page from cyberpunk, traditional West African Juju priests adapted their services to the needs of the information age and started leading down-on-their-luck internet scammers through strange and costly rituals designed to increase their powers of persuasion and make their emails irresistible to greedy Americans. And so “Sakawa” was born.
Now, as we discovered when we went to Ghana with our video cameras, not only is Sakawa the country’s most popular youth activity and one of its biggest underground economies, it’s a full-blown national phenomenon. Sakawa has its own tunes, clothing brands, Sakawasploitation flicks, and even a metastatic backlash from Christian preachers and the press. When we were in Accra over the summer it was impossible to walk more than ten feet without seeing the word Sakawa in blood-red Misfits letters on a poster or tabloid, often accompanied by bone-chilling horrors of the photoshopped variety.
The government is freaked out because Sakawa is threatening Ghana’s business reputation, the Christians are freaked out because they’re losing money to the Juju priests, the press is freaked out because being freaked out is what sells papers, and the public is freaked out because their government, preacher, and media are all telling them they should be. All the while the Sakawa boys are living the high life and racking up debts to the spirit world, just waiting for the axe to fall. — Thomas Morton
Police Arrest Suspected Internet Fraudsters Wednesday 28th Jul 2010
by Ayodeji Moradeyo
Three suspected Internet fraudsters have been arrested by officers of the Ondo State Police Command for allegedly duping two people of a sum of $20,000 dollars.
The three suspects: Olutoba Alade, Ezekiel Bepo, and Temitope Arowosegbe, were arrested based on a tip-off from members of the public. The Command's spokesperson, Adeniran Aremu, while parading the suspects yesterday, said they were arrested along Olu Foam area of Akure metropolis by a team from the state CID who stormed the building last week.
Some of the items recovered from the suspects were two laptops, ten flash drives, and documents being used to dupe unsuspected people on the Internet. Also recovered from them were a Toyota Camry, Toyota Solara, and a Liberty Jeep.
Mr Aremu pointed out that the fraudsters confirmed that the vehicles were the proceeds of their cyber crimes. While being interrogated, the suspects confirmed that they duped a foreigner of a sum of $20,000 which they used to purchase the cars.
They said they were lured into the business by one of their friends who is still at large. Mr Bepo said his gang has been in the business for over ten four years. 'We have been doing this Internet fraud for over for years,
' he said. '
We have not been that lucky, not until recently when we duped a white man of about $20,000. Immediately we realized the money, we went for shopping and we got three cars for ourselves.'
•As Police train on cyber crime prevention By GILBERT EKEZIE (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Saturday, May 21, 2011
With the recent training given to Police officers on how to identify, prevent and fight cyber crime in the country, the menace may soon be over. The criminals popularly known as ‘yahoo yahoo boys’ have been on rampage for years, duping people, especially foreigners through the internet. Browsing has become a household name just as computer and internet centres have become beehives for students and unemployed young people, who want to make money quick.
As the menace persisted, the law enforcements agents seemed to be playing a role of observers as they did not have the skills to arrest the situation. But solution came recently when a Lagos based Internet and Computer Technology (ICT) organisation, DataPoint Institute, trained about 20 Police officers on Cyber Crime Security & management Technology. The two -week free exercise was aimed at enhancing the proficiency of the police in prevention of crime through internet.
The Training took place at the Cardoso Campus of the institute, in Awodi Ora, Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State. Five police officers each were drafted from Ajegunle, Layeni/ Alaba, Tolu and Trinity divisions.
Managing Director of the Institute, Mr Lucky Uduikhue, said that the training was part of his organization’s corporate social responsibility towards engendering a crime-free society and to help reposition the image of Nigeria as an investor-friendly country.
According to him, “the course, Certification in Cyber Security & Management Technology, was aimed at providing the most comprehensive knowledge and skills in the I.T security, providing an opportunity to equip the government agencies, administrators and information security officers to understand the security concerns, plan and implement the desired Cyber Crime and e-Security solutions.”
Uduikhue stated that the training becomes imperative because Nigeria does not deserve the kind of criminal activities it is associated with as a result of the few criminal elements in the society.
One Nigerian Scammer Warn Other Yahoo Boys, See His African Writing Or Street Language
EXCLUSIVE EXPOSE : Western Union MTCN yahoo yahoo boys and the mugu A partnership of Criminals
Yahoo Yahoo Boy just sent this to all his yahoo pals on yahoo messenger :
'EFCC and ICPC....dey online ...dem dey always talk like whitie.......oooh ...and for networks dem dey hack into networks ...especially starcoms, new browsing networks ....so they are hacking thru ..and they will send money to someone via western union...jasi bro i just dey tell u cos i don see people wey dem don catch and it was on efcc show on saturdays ....CAREFUL bro pass this to every one on your list Breaking News to everyone.
This is to let everyone know that Nigeria Telephone Companies are now working with EFCC. Zain just called my pal on 27th of feb. They are trying to get personal details about him. They called with
08021900000. Pls becareful out there'
Western Union, MTCN yahoo yahoo boys, and the mugu. A partnership of Criminals with western union as the principal Partner !
A typical 419 procedure
1.send out bulk email aka spam with a suitable (format) Charity,abacha family,Lottery etc
2. get a reply from a mugu/maga
3.Con maga/mugu/maye the 419 process (carry phone,wash wash process, etc )
4. Maga sends money to you posing as a british resident via western union
5.The Western Union Agent (a Scammer) recieves a text/call from the scammer in Nigeria with the details of the WU txn like the name ,amount,control number makes forged documents like a passport or drivers license. He fills the form and signs it !
6.Western union gets paid a commision for the transaction .The agent gets a commission from WU for the transaction
WU comes for periodic checks and forewarns the agent as they need time to get their books ready . Western Union has long been known to be a conduit for the transfer of illegal sums of money by all kinds of scammers and conmen.
This institiution for what it is worth has not been known to have any ties or alliances with instigators of these nefarious acts until the advent of the Nigerian 419 phenomenom. As far back as 1999 Nigerian scammers have routed their scam proceeds through western union to nigerian cities and agents based in Nigeria.
But with time as the advance fee fraud became international it attached an iconic stigma to nigeria , The losers or conned or Mugu/Maga/Maye or the Americanised slang for them suckers, became smarter and were quick to protest if requested to send funds through WU to nigeria.
This was not good for business and a solution had to be found .Root of the problem was the location of these WU agents .How about setting up WU agents in the UK ?
Meet the Yahoo Boys: Nigeria's email scammers exposed
Anyone with an inbox knows about '419 scams'. They are the messages from mysterious strangers in possession of vast wealth and in need of a bank account to transfer it into. The senders are often assumed to be Nigerian, hence the name - 419 is a section of the Nigerian criminal code pertaining to fraud.
But what about the people behind the scams? They are known locally as 'Yahoo Boys', a nod to their preference for Yahoo email accounts. Journalist Sarah Lacy tracked a few down and reported that times are hard, in part because westerners have become suspicious of emails that offer them massive lottery wins. Yet, beyond the occasional encounter with an intrepid journalist, we know little about a group of people who seem intent on trying to scam the entire planet.
Thanks to Joshua Oyeniyi Aransiola, a sociologist at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, the 419ers are now a little less mysterious. He and colleagues spent six months earning the trust of a group of Yahoo Boys, eventually managing to conduct detailed interviews with 40 of them.
In some senses, Aransiola reveals the Yahoo Boys to be much as expected. They tend to be in their 20s and, since the scams often require computer skills, have an undergraduate education. They are also showy, noted for driving flashy cars, playing loud music and wearing expensive clothes.
Given Nigeria's endemic levels of corruption -- the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International rates the country 143rd out of 182 worldwide -- it is no surprise that the Yahoo Boys have to grease palms in order to get goods through customs and move money between bank accounts.
Bribes are even paid to members of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), which is tasked by the Nigerian government with stamping out 419 scams. According to one interviewee: 'Police, EFCC...bank ofﬁcials and postal and courier agents in this part of Nigeria are all aiding us. In Lagos, one might ﬁnd it difficult, especially with the EFCC. But it all boils down to settlement with money.'
(Pay attention they will talk about voodoo ? how they used)
Those unfamiliar with Nigerian culture might find one of the study's findings particularly surprising - scammers make regular use of voodoo. As one Yahoo Boy put it: 'The Voodoo thing exists for real, I have used it but I have stopped because of the fear of repercussion. With the aid of Voodoo the money comes faster. I have friends that still use it, they can collect money twice or thrice a week and it helps. I have a friend that uses a calabash ﬁlled with black substance; he hides it in his room and says incantations.'
Link is not working,
Just Type This Into Google : One Percent: Meet the Yahoo Boys: Nigeria's email
Computer Village Big Boys Quit Business, Go Into Kidney Sales In Malaysia
It is a known fact that the demand for kidney in most Western and advanced countries can hardly meet the supply, as most people on the sick bed even die before they find a donor.
Prior to that, young Yahoo boys are now being encouraged to fly to Malaysia to sell their kidney and make quick, clean and quiet money.
After their return from Malaysian trip, we learnt they simply embark on crazy fun, clubbing, every day partying, buying cars and living reckless lifestyles.
And with the way things are going inside Computer Village Market in Lagos now, it is more than obvious that, virtually all big boys inside the market are quitting business after facing series of intimidation from friends who have succeeded in selling their kidneys in Malaysia anytime they arrived in the country.
According to information made available to this magazine, some of the big boys inside computer village that run two or more shops full of laptop and computer accessories now find solace in a new act engaged in by Yahoo boys in town.
Aside the fact that, they are very desperate to travel to Malaysia, we learnt they also dupe some of their colleagues in the market to get money for their traveling runs.
Information at our disposal has it that, getting Malaysia visa is now the most difficult thing for them as they now find another means by getting South Africa Visa, and after they make small money from their usual cyber crime, they embark on their Malaysia trip.
We also scooped that, some Nigerian traveling agency officers have turned the market to their new office as they register more than 10 applicants on a daily basis.
Though, some of the boys have been victims of fake passports and all that, they still insist on doing everything possible to travel out of the country.
Since they hardly sell one laptop per day, we gathered these boys decided to invest in a more lucrative and profitable business of selling one of their kidneys in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, we don’t need to bore you with stories but we can tell you authoritatively that, before you make two to three steps in the market, the only thing you see them discussing is about one of their friends who is living large in Malaysia and they want to join him by all means..
Still, some people blamed the act on the poverty in the country while some condemned those involved in the dastardly act, all in the name of money.
I saw the conversation in the picture on the right on BB today, so I thought it was about time to post this. A while back I got an email from a “friend” claiming to be stranded on vacation, having his wallet stolen, and asking me to send emergency money so he could get home — promising of course to pay me back on his return.
This is a fairly common email scam, and the sender’s IP address was from Nigeria, so I wrote him back and engaged him in a conversation about what he was doing. He initially told me he was “a young black male of 16 yrs old and in college, living with my foster parents who don’t have any money for my upkeep so i do this to feed and pay my fees” and agreed to talk in more detail (at which point these initial details changed). Following is our conversation, presented completely unedited.
What sort of person are you ?
I am 18 yrs of age, from a family of five, Parents and three kids. I happen to be the first child. I am a regular person, not handicapped.
What do you do every day ?
The only things i do everyday is eat, use the internet and sleep.
Do you have another job or are you a student ?
I am a student. i the money i make from the internet is helpful in funding my school needs
How did you get started with online scams ?
It all started when I found out others where doing it. I believe online scams started due to the local scams out here in Nigeria. Since the internet is such a big place, people felt they could meet more people and rich one at that.
Are you part of a group of people or do you work on your own ?
I work on my own, but we do work in groups most times, just to make the victims believe at least.
What would happen if you were caught ?
I don’t know, I always try to be optimistic that I can never be caught.
How do you decide who to email ?
I just email anybody, email addresses are everywhere all over the internet.
What type of scam works best ?
The scam that works best is advanced fee fraud.
Do you have internet access at home, or do you work from an Internet Cafe ?
Work at an internet cafe, its not expensive compared to what you be making. An hour is set at about a dollar
Why do you think this is so popular in Nigeria ?
Cause we certainly have to eat and the leaders are not doing what they ought to.
What type of person is most likely to reply ?
Old, young and most especially the greedy ones are the targets.
Will you keep doing this work for a long time, or will you quit when you have made enough money ?
Really i’m not hoping to do this forever. Just trying to get some capital or something. but the majority are hoping to continue this for as long as they can. Its kind of like an option for not going into the streets and picking guns like every other country does.
What are your plans for the future ?
Every thing. A Nigerian has dreams than every kid in every part of the world. I’m always aiming at the sky, just wanna be some sort of celebrity wherever i find myself. But mainly a Medical practitioner.
Do you think you are a good person ?
i know its bad, Its really bad. But I know I’ll get out real soon because i’m not built for this, I have dreams.
Do you have regrets about doing this work? Is it hard to do it ?
Its really hard, even harder than for us than those who do honest jobs. I can’t say i have regrets, I don’t think i’ve ever had them. i only stop at times and think like, look at what i’ve become. not really impressed with me.
Do your friends and family know what you do ?
Do they know? My family don’t know, but my friends know. its hard to find any one of my friend who don’t do this. its either they do this, or they get involved in lottery.
What do you do with the money that you get and where do you tell people the money came from ?
They know where it comes from. its only those that don’t know me that thinks my parents are rich or something. i use it to get a good life while it lasts and do all other projects i need to do.
I only buy stuffs online and ship to the usa and then get it sent to me in nigeria on percentage. and better the receiver sells it within the usa and sends my percentage down here. Ranging from jewelry to laptops….
How much does it cost to live in Nigeria ?
3 square meals isn’t more than 30 dollars and monthly tenement rate depends on the vicinity. You know there are some developed areas and some aren’t and some are kind of middle classes. it really varies. The rich spend much while the poor spend less. The areas differ. Poor families get stucked up in little rooms at 500 USD a year i.e for a room. a room and a sitting room is 1000 USD for a year and stuffs like that.
What would you like the world to know about people who do these email scams ?
Its not fun, and we kind of do this to survive. Some have this orientation; “We are trying to pay the whites back for stealing from africa”.
Editor’s Disclaimer: Whilst I am reporting an actual conversation, I have no way of verifying the information or details contained within. The interviewee contacted me voluntarily and anonymously claiming to be an ex-scammer who is now studying in the UK. I have agreed to tell his story but this is told ‘as is’ without guarantee as to accuracy or truthfulness.
To protect our users we have agreed that the interviewee, who will be known by the pseudonym “John”, will not directly take part in discussions or comments and will not join our community. I do not know how long “John” will maintain contact and in the event that contact is broken, this series of blogs will be discontinued.
Scam-Detective: Thank you for agreeing to talk to us about your experience ‘working’ as a scammer in Lagos, Nigeria. Tell us a little about yourself.
John: I’m 23 years old and was released from prison in Nigeria in October last year where I served two years for fraud. I am now doing a business studies course at college and am in the UK on a student exchange programme. As part of my rehabilitation I am also working with the EFCC in Nigeria to help them understand more about scams and how the gangs work. I don’t do scams any more.
Scam-Detective: How did you get involved in scamming people on the Internet?
John: I come from a poor family in Lagos, Nigeria. We did not have very much money and good jobs are hard to find. I was approached to work for a gang master when I was 15, because I had done well in school with my English, and was getting to be good with computers. The gang master was offering good money and I took the chance to help my family.
Scam-Detective: Do you think that your teachers at school had reported your talents to the gang master?
John: Yes. There is a lot of corruption in Nigeria and the gangs pay well to find people with good English skills to work the scams.
Scam-Detective: What kind of scams were you involved with?
John: Mainly advance fee fraud where we would tell people that someone has died and left millions in a bank or safety deposit box and that we needed help to get it out of the country. That is the most successful type of scam, but I also did Phishing to try and get user names and passwords for peoples online bank accounts.
Scam-Detective: How did you find victims for your scams?
John: First you need to understand how the gangs work. At the bottom are the “foot soldiers”, kids who spend all of their time online to find email addresses and send out the first emails to get people interested. When they receive a reply, the victim is passed up the chain, to someone who has better English to get copies of ID from them like copies of their passport and driving licenses and build up trust. Then when they are ready to ask for money, they are passed further up again to someone who will pretend to be a barrister or shipping agent who will tell the victim that they need to pay charges or even a bribe to get the big cash amount out of the country. When they pay up, the gang master will collect the money from the Western Union office, using fake ID that they have taken from other scam victims.
Scam-Detective: But where do the “foot soldiers” find the email addresses?
John: Lots of people sign guestbooks online and leave their email addresses all over the internet on forums and websites. We would just visit the guestbooks, forums and websites and harvest the email addresses. Some gangs have software that collects these emails automatically, so it cuts down on the work.
Scam-Detective: What percentage of emails would get a response?
John: Maybe 9 or 10 out of every thousand emails. Then maybe 1 out of every 20 replies would lead to us getting money out of the victim in the end.
Scam-Detective: And how much money would you expect to get from a victim?
John: On average, about $7,500 (£4,600) but the most I know about was $25,000 (£15,400). This would be taken in smaller amounts, starting with a couple of hundred, then there would be more “problems” with the transaction, which would mean that we needed more money to release the big payout. People would keep paying more because they were very small amounts compared to the big payout that they believed they would get in the end.
Scam-Detective: How much money did you earn from scamming people?
John: In the year before I was arrested I earned about $75,000 (£46,000) for my family. I bought my family a better house and drove a BMW. I had mobile phones and laptops and everything that comes with having lots of money. I lost it all when I was arrested and my family had to move away from Lagos because I gave the names of my bosses to the police to get a lighter sentence. My family were in great danger because of me and I am very ashamed of that. I am very ashamed of the type of person I became, and I know now that I should have got a proper, honest job instead of stealing from good people.
At this point “John” became very upset and I stopped the interview. “John” has agreed to contact me again next week so he can tell me more about his time as a scammer. I don’t know if he will call, but I hope he does, because I feel that his story may help to warn people about the techniques scammers use to garner trust and eventually extract money from their victims. If there are any specific questions you would like me to ask “John” then please leave a comment. Stay Tuned!
***UPDATE***”John” did call again and you can read the continuation of our interview
We were contacted by reformed Nigerian advance fee fraud scammer “John” last week. He asked us to publish his story to help warn our readers about the dangers of entering into transactions with strangers via email. You can read the first part of our interview with “John” Here.
I tried to get “John” to talk more about his work with the EFCC, and to tell me more about how he came to be in the UK despite his conviction, but he became guarded and told me he thought I was trying to trick him into identifying himself. I felt it was more important to talk about scams than corroborate his story, so let this go.
Scam-Detective: We spoke last week about your involvement with advance fee fraud scams and “phishing” emails. You told me that you were recruited into a gang at the age of 15 and were convicted of fraud a little over 2 years ago, serving 2 years in prison for your crimes. You also told me that you are now working with the Nigerian authorities to bring other scammers to justice, whilst trying to educate yourself by doing a business studies course at college.
John: That’s right. I’m trying to make things right with God and my family.
Scam-Detective: A reader has asked me to talk to you about face to face scams. Were you ever involved in meeting a victim, or was all of your contact by email?
John: I never met a victim, but I was involved in a couple of Wash-Wash scams.
Scam-Detective: Wash Wash scams? What does that involve?
John: We would tell the victim that we had a trunk full of money, millions of dollars. One victim met some of my associates in a hotel in Amsterdam, where he was shown a box full of black paper. He was told that the money had been dyed black to get through customs, and that it could be cleaned with a special chemical that was very expensive. My associates showed him how this worked with a couple of $100 bills from the top of the box, which they rinsed with some liquid to remove the black dye. Of course the rest of the bills were only black paper, but the victim saw real money. He handed over $27,000 (about £17,000) to buy the chemicals and was told to return to the hotel later that day to pick up the cash. Of course when he came back, there was nobody there. He couldn’t report it to anybody because if it had been real it would have been illegal, so he would have gotten himself into trouble.