Who is a 419 in Nigeria

Examples of the scam

Numerous examples of such scam emails can be found on the scambaiter.info website. Here it is also documented how the fraudsters try to lull their victims into safety after the first contact with forged passports, death certificates and other documents. Microsoft used the scam collection on potifos.com/fraud to find out where most of the emails came from and on 419eater.com to find out how the scammers respond to potential victims.

  1. HA Hessen Agentur GmbH, Wiesbaden
  2. The federal autobahn GmbH, Dresden

The Federal Criminal Police Office has been warning on the Internet since 2006 not to accept such offers in any way. It becomes dangerous for the victims when they are recruited as so-called financial agents and illicit money is supposed to flow through their accounts. Money laundering is punished with imprisonment from 3 months to 5 years and in particularly serious cases from 6 months to 10 years.

Everyone should answer

If the thesis is correct, it could show a strategy against this type of scamming: if many recipients pretended to respond to the offers and massively increased the workload for the fraudsters through individual queries, they would make the scam unprofitable. 419eater.com shows that something like this actually works. Stories are collected here about how the scammers themselves were duped.

The white paper on the study by Microsoft Research, which underpins this thesis with mathematical behavior models, can be downloaded online as a PDF free of charge.

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