Run Money Through
Your Account For a Foreigner and Get Millions of Dollars-Fiction!
Summary of the eRumor: There
are numerous versions of this eRumor and they are multiplying. They all involve a request or an offer from a foreigner that
millions of dollars be allowed to pass through your bank or account and as a thanks for your help, you will receive a
commission, usually 10 to 25 percent. These emails are
initially were directed at businesses and business owners but now try
to appeal to anyone and there are
some that are offers of donations to churches and other non-profit
Also, a variation of the Nigerian Advance Fee Scam is targeting people
who have merchandise for sale on the Internet (see below).
The Truth: This
is one of the most common scams on the Internet right now and one of
the top issues that we we receive inquiries about at TruthOrFiction.com.
We'll describe the scam in detail, but very simply, it consists of
someone convincing you that a lot of money or an expensive prize is
within your reach. At the last minute, however, you will be asked to advance some
money to clear one last hurdle. After that, neither the
scammers nor your money are seen again.
There are literally hundreds of different
versions of this scam using many different names for the originator so if
you may not see here the particular message that you may have
received. The bottom line is the nature of the offer made
These scammers also approach victims through the mail, fax, and by
According to the Secret Service, it is a scheme that predates the
Internet. It has
become known as "The Nigeria Advance Fee Scam." It
is also known as "Four-One-Nine", referring to the
Nigerian law for fraud. The majority of the messages initially
claimed to be coming from people in Africa, especially Nigeria, but
now the emails seem to be coming from every part of the globe.
There are several different scenarios presented in the messages.
The most common one tells you that there are millions of dollars
sitting idle from a business deal, a government action, or an
inheritance, and all you need to do is agree to let the money be run
through your bank account or to help invest it in the U.S., and
you'll get a commission, usually in the hundreds of thousands or
millions of dollars.
Another version of the scam targets non-profit organizations such as
churches and says that a wealthy African has died and left millions
of dollars to your group. At least one U.S. church lost
$90,000 to an advance-fee-crook.
Other emails claim to have unclaimed cash from the terrorist attack
on the World Trade Center in 2001 or inheritance money from a victim
of the Pentagon attack on the same day.
TruthOrFiction.com has also received reports from readers who
responded to job ads and then were offered large amounts of money
from foreigners along with the promise that than can keep a cut of
There are also a number of reports of strange emails from foreigners
who offer to buy an item for sale on the Internet.
In response to your listing to sell an expensive item such as exercise
equipment, a boat, car, or airplane, you receive an email (frequently in poor
English) from someone who says confidently he wants to buy it.
He asks for more information and says that he's got either a Fedex
account that can be used to send the merchandise or that he has an
agent, a shipper, or someone else in the United States who will
arrange for the product to be picked up and shipped.
He may even offer to pay more than your asking price and may also
offer to pay with a cashier's check or money order.
What happens, however, is that when you receive his payment, it is for
several hundred or several thousand dollars more than agreed.
He explains that it was a clerical error and apologizes and asks you
to simply send the difference back to him in whatever form you prefer.
Or he says that is the extra mount of money needed by his agent to
arrange for the shipping and he asks that you give it to the agent
when he contacts you. His check to you, however, was bogus, but looks so real that you don't
find that out for several days. You've been scammed and you can kiss the money you sent to him or his
It didn't take long after the end of the war in Iraq in 2003 for a
version to appear that claims to be from the former accountant of a
son of Saddam Hussein.
The scammers have also personally approached various professionals
saying they want to build something like a medical center, sports
stadium, factory, or commercial building. The professional is eventually asked to pitch in some funds to get
the project over a hurdle, and it all disappears.
Watch out for people who say you've won contests or lotteries that
you never entered, have funds for you from a transaction that you
never arranged, that you have won a prize but you need to pay for the
shipping, or who say they need your credit card or other financial
information in order to complete the transaction.
There are hundreds of other variations on those themes and, according to the
U.S. Secret Service, thousands of people who have lost hundreds of
millions of dollars. The Secret Service receives an
average of 100 phone calls and 300 to 500 pieces of correspondence
per day about the advance fee scams and says that in 2001, there
were reports from 2,600 Americans who said they'd been scammed.
Sixteen of them lost more than $300,000. Many people who've
lost money don't report it.
In August, 2006, Fox news reported that a Nigerian Advance Fee scam
may have been a part of the money troubles between Tennessee
minister Matthew Winkler and his wife Mary, who is accused of
killing Matthew, allegedly after a heated argument about finances.
The Secret Service says the approaches of the scammers may include
of money from wills
fraud (C.O.D. of goods or services)
of real estate
of hard currency
of funds from over invoiced contracts
of crude oil at below market prices
Returning lost luggage to you that had several
hundred thousand dollars cash in it.
Here's an example of what
1. You receive a request from a foreigner with the prospect of
millions of dollars coming your way.
2. You reply and through a series of exchanges via email, fax,
and phone, you are presented with documentation and convincing proofs of the
identities and the credentials of the people you are dealing with.
3. You are asked to provide information about yourself or
your company including letterhead, Social Security and other
4. You may be asked to come see them in person in their
country, or they may ask to come see you.
5. Very often, some strings will be pulled on your behalf such
illegally getting you into the country that is your destination.
6. Once you are feeling good about the transaction and can
taste the millions of dollars in your bank account, there is a
sudden complication. You are told that the money is secure and
ready to be transferred, but that in order to get it released, a
government official needs to be bribed or a fee needs to be paid.
You are given a last-minute request to advance thousands or hundreds
of thousands of dollars to get rid of the unexpected glitch.
Or, in the worst cases, you may actually be trapped in a foreign
country and will have to pay your way out. The amount of money
the scammers ask for is based on how much they've learned about your
assets. If they think they can get hundreds of thousands or
millions of dollars, that's how much they'll ask for. If they
know you can pay only a few thousand dollars, that's how much
they'll ask for.
7. You never see your money or the crooks again.
One interesting note about the advance fee scams is that many of
them admit that the money is stolen or the result of criminal
activity such as overcharging companies who did business with the
country. That means that anyone who wants to get involved in
the scheme has already agreed to participate in something that is
"under the table". That cuts down on the number of them
who complain to authorities after it's all over. There are
many wealthy individuals who would rather endure the loss of the
money than to admit that they got scammed while participating in
The U.S. Secret Service says don't respond to these communications
but they'd like to hear from you if you've
lost money to the scammers. CLICK
HERE for the link.
Examples of some of
the advance fee scam messages Just for the fun of it, we started collecting examples of the
Nigeria Advance Fee scam emails. It helps dramatically illustrate
the scope of the problem. There is no other eRumor that has a
greater variety of versions. The list below includes some of the most common stories. We are not
including the names of individuals both because there are so many
aliases and because some of the identities have
turned out to be real and we don't want to accuse anyone by name without
having gotten that information from the authorities. Even this list is not exhaustive, but once we started, hey, we just kept
adding to it.
We have received literally thousands of these either directly from the
scammers or forwarded to us by readers. They
all involved the same scheme: A promise of some kind for you to
get a lot of money.
Jesus Loves You
May your blessing be the best blessing in histories, may you never lack,
may God blessing be double on your life, may God goodness, mercy and
grace be your portion, may your blessing never run out, may you never go
bankrupt or have to owe anyone and keep receiving more anointed. In
Jesus Name Amen.
I'm Rev Father Alexander Asia. The Lord God Almighty,
has anointed me and open up my eyes to see, that so much lots of people
in the world including my church members, has been committing suicide.
By being a victim of internet scam by wrong people around the world.
Your life belong to God Almighty. I'm begging you with
the name of Jesus Christ Of Nazareth. To stop committing suicide.
Jesus gave you life, because he love you and he gave
his only begotten son to die for your sins, that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.
Please tell me right now if you are a victim of
internet scam, me and the church will send back the full total money
that was scammed from you. Right away to you.
I'm begging you with the name of Jesus Christ Of
Nazareth. To tell me the full total money that was scammed from you and
i will send it back to you.
Jesus Love You And His Peace Will Be With You Forever.
The family members of former
government leaders Many of the emails claim to be from the son, daughter, sibling,
or wife of a former leader of an African country who was either
kicked out of office or killed by his enemies. The family
members have either been able to rescue the family fortune or have
been able to put the funds into something like a European bank
account or a safe deposit box. Some of them claim to be from the widow of a leader who escaped his
enemies, but then died of cancer in another country. Others claim the government official died in the Word Trade Center
on September 11, 2002 in New York.
The bankers who wants to make
you rich These emails claim to be from a bank official, typically in an
African country. He says he's become aware of millions of dollars languishing in an
old account left behind by a foreigner, typically an American, who
died without heirs, usually in an airplane crash. The bank official can arrange for you to be named as the next-of-kin
and inherit the money.
Government officials who are in
a position to transfer funds ...Petroleum officials-A man who is in charge of petroleum for a
country has padded his construction budget. He wants to make
it appear as though you are a contractor receiving money. ...Various other government officials-Either propose a scam
that makes you look like you are receiving legitimate payments from
the government or are simply stealing money that they want to run
through your account. They include utility officials. ...Officials in charge of clean-up of an oil spill-They admit
overestimating the cost of cleaning the oil spill so they've got
funds to invoice a phony company if you want to be it.
The son or daughter of a wealthy
businessman needs your help ...Children of a cocoa merchant-Say their father was secretly
hiding a large sum of money. The father's enemies poisoned him
to get the money and now the son or daughter is afraid of being
killed. He or she knows where millions of dollars are
hidden. He or she wants you to run the money through
your bank for them. ...Children of a gold merchant-the same scenario. ...White or black farmers in Africa are under pressure from enemies
but have a lot of money hidden that they want you to help them
transfer out of the country.
A banker or lawyer
says he has millions of dollars of an inheritance that needs to
be claimed and that he can arrange to have you named as the heir,
transfer the money, and let you keep part of it for your
Phony lotteries and other
winnings ...South Africa-You're the winner
of the country's annual lottery. ...The Euro-Afro-Asian
Sweepstake Lottery-Claiming to be from
Amsterdam ...Notification of winnings of lotteries in the Netherlands
Other unique scams ...Your company can cash in on money from a foreign
government-As a business owner, you are notified that there was
a recent decision between a foreign country and the United Nations
to pay all debts owed to foreign contractors. The email makes
it appear that even if you are not owed anything, the sender of the
email can arrange to have you be one of the companies who gets the
money. ...Foreign investors want to build a state-of-the-art medical
facility, golf course, or sports arena-You are contacted by
someone who claims to know all about you and your profession and who
wants to invest in an elaborate building project for your work.
Some of the countries named in
the scam emails: ...Angola ...Benin ...Congo ...England ...Ethiopia ...Enugu ...France ...Gambia ...Ghana ...Guinea Bissau ...India ...Iraq ...Ivory Coast ...Korea ...Kuwait ...Liberia ...Malaysia ... ...Nepal ...Netherlands ...Nigeria ...Philippines ...Saudi Arabia ...Sierra Leone ...South Africa ...Switzerland ...Taiwan ...Togo ...United Arab Emirates ...Yugoslavia ...Zaire ...Zambia ...Zimbabwe ...
A wealthy person wants to donate
to your ministry or non-profit organization Some of the scams target churches, other ministries, and
You receive notice that you left
a piece of luggage at an airport or some other public place and
that the person who found it is trying to return it to you and wants
to know how you would like to have the hundreds of thousands of
dollars that was in the suitcase transferred back to you.