Below is an actual dialog of a religious version of the African Advanced Fee scam hoping to lure someone of faith into handing over hard-earned money. Some creative scammers search the Internet looking for religious websites and hope that using a religious approach will pay off for them.
There are hundreds of variations on the same theme. All these scams have a similar hook as if there is a training school somewhere for scammers. Most of the scams involve hooking the victim first by tempting the victim with millions of dollars and then reel them in by handing over official looking documents representing vast sums of money stored in some security facility. The bite comes when they want you to pay the accumulated storage fees, transfer costs, bribes or taxes before starting the money transfer that never arrives. There are many versions of how they will get you to front earnest money.
Even though these scams seem ridiculous on their face, I receive several e-mails every week from someone who been taken or has a relative who has lost thousands of dollars. Please, DO NOT fall for these get rich quick schemes. Does it sound reasonable that so many third-world citizens would possess all these millions to hand over to YOU?
My advice is to not respond to these e-mail inquiries and simply hit the delete key. By responding, even for fun, you are validating your e-mail address, which will surely be sold to others. The Federal government is well aware of these e-mail scams but is powerless to stop them. The best you can do for now is to notify the U.S. Secret Service and ISP of the offending scam artist to seek removing them from their service.
The Secret Service calls these scams the "419 Advanced Fee Schemes" after the Nigerian Penal code fraud section. If you have been victimized by one of these schemes, please forward appropriate written documentation to the United States Secret Service, Financial Crimes Division, 950 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20223, or telephone (202) 406-5850, or contact by e-mail. If you have received a letter, but have not lost any monies to this scheme, please fax a copy of that letter to (202) 406-5031.
Actual E-mail Examples
The e-mails posted below are left largely intact (spelling, grammar, etc) except for removing names of victims and telephone numbers.
Remember these are samples are scams...do not fall for them!!!
This is e-mail # 1
CALVARY GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. I AM DEACON KINGSLEY AKO, RETTIRED MANAGING DIRECTOR/DIRECTOR GENERAL OF MINISTRY OF AVIATION AND A MEMBER OF REDEEMED PILLER OF FIRE MINISTRY. BASICALLY A PRAYER AND DELIVERANCE MINISTRY.
DURING A PRAYER AND FASTING SESSION IN MY MINISTRY I DEMANDED FROM OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO GIVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO REDEEM MY LIFE AND PURIFY WHAT REMAINS
OF MY WEALTH . GOD DELIVELY REVEALED TO ME TO INVEST IN HIS KINGDOM THROUGH YOU AND YOUR MINISTRY /CHARITY ORGANISATION.
YOU SHOULD IMMIDIATLY CONTACT ME WITH MY E-MAIL ADDRESS. THE WAY JESUS MINISTERED TO ME, THE FUNDS WILL BE ESPANDED.
DEACON KINGSLEY A.
e-mail # 2......
THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSE AND YOUR WILLINGNESS TO
THIS GREAT CALL OF GOD TO DO HIS WORK. I AM A MAN OF 64YEARS OF AGE AND I AM MARRIED TO MY LOVELY WIFE ELIZERBETH, I HAVE THREE CHILDREN AND FIVE GRAND CHILDREN, WE ALL WORSHIP IN VICTORIOUS ARMY MINISTRY.
I KNOW YOU WILL BE SUPRISED TO RECEIVE MY MAIL BUT REMEMBER THE BIBLE SAYS, THE BLESSING OF GOD COMES SUPERNATURALY AND IT IS THROUGH DEVINE FAVOUR. AFTER I RECEIVED INSTRUCTION FROM GOD TO USE THIS FUNDS TO DO HIS WORK,I PRAYED TO GOD FOR DIRECTION AND HE HAS BEEN DIRECTING ME.I TOLD GOD THAT I WANT A MINISTRY, AN HONEST MAN WHO WILL SPEND THE FUND FOR THINGS THAT WILL GLORIFY HIS NAME.
I CAME ACCROSS YOUR ADDRESS IN THE INTERNET AS I WAS BROWSING THROUGH A CHRISTIAN SITE, I TOOK INTEREST IN YOUR MINISTRY, I FASTED AND PRAYED OVER IT AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD DIRECTED ME TO SOW IN YOUR MINISTRY.THIS REVELATION CAME AFTER MY CONVERTION FROM A MUSLIM TO A CHRISTAIN I RECEIVED CHRIST AND I FOUND OUT THAT A SINNER HAS NO PLACE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.I NEVER HAD REST OF MIND, I SEEKED GOD FOR FORGIVENESS AND HE REVEALED TO ME THAT I WILL ONLY HAVE REST OF MIND IF I SERVE HIM WITH ALL I HAVE AND HE WILL BLESS BE MIGTHILLY IS HENCE RECIVED CHRIST THAT I REALISED THE MEANING OF GOING TO HEAVEN.I NEED TO MAKE HEAVEN,I DONT WANT TO PERRISH IN HELL FIRE.
AS MY LEVEL OF CHRISTAINITY WAS INCREASING,I UNDERSTOOD THAT THE WEALTH OF SINNERS ARE ACQUIRED FOR THE JUST.GOD OPENED MY EYES TO THE BOOK OF ECLESIASTES 6, VERSES 1&2. READ THIS SCRIPTURE AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD THAT GOD GAVE THE GRACE TO ACQUIRE WEALTH YET GOD DID NOT GIVE THEM THE GRACE TO ENJOY THE WEALTH. I HAPPENED TO FALL INTO THE SAME CATHEGORY NOW IT IS THE WISH OF GOD. WHEN GOD REVEALED TO ME TO USE MY WEALTH TO DO HIS WORK, I UNDERSTOOD THAT GOD WAS TESTING ME LIKE HE TESTED ABRAHAM AND OTHER MEN OF GOD.ABRAHAM NEEDED CHILDREN AND GOD ASKED HIM TO USE HIS ONLY SON FOR SACRIFICE, ABRAHAM WAS FAITHFUL.HE OBEYED AND GOD MADE HIM FATHER OF MANY NATIONS.
I HAVE DECIDED TO SOW 70% OUT OF THE TOTAL SUM INTO YOUR MINISTRY, THE REMAINING 30% I WILL INVEST INTO ANY CHRISTIAN RELATED BUSINESS IN YOUR COUNTRY. THIS FUND ($20,MILLION USD) IS IN SECURITY COMPANY HERE IN NIGERIA. THIS SECURITY COMPANY, GLOBAL TRUSTS SECURITY COMPANY, IN COLABORATION WITH "DIPLOMATIC EXPRESS COURIER SERVICES" HELPS IN THE SHIPMENT OF VALUABLE GOODS OUT OF THE COUNTRY THROUGH A DIPLMATIC MEANS, HEREBY THE FUND PACKAGED IN CONSIGNMENT AND DELIVERED TO THE RECIPIENT. THEY HAVE AFILIATE OFFICES ALL OVER EUROPE. I WOULD HAVE USED WIRE TRANSFER BUT DUE TO A MEMO SET BY THE FINANCE MINISTER TO THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA TO FORWARD ALL FOREIGN PAYMENT FILE TO HIS OFFICE FOR VERTING, OF WHICH IT WILL NOT FAVOUR US THAT WAS WHY I CHOOSED TO USE THIS DIPLOMATIC, PROCESS TO SEND THIS FUNDS OUT OF THE COUNTRY IN ORDER TO AVOID UNNECESSARY QUESTIONS OR RAISING OF EYE BROWS EITHER FROM MY GOVRENMENT OR FROM YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT.
WE NEED TO MOVE THIS FUNDS OUT OF THIS COUNTRY WITHIN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME FROM NOW, I WILL NEED YOU TO IMMEDIATELY SEND ME THE PATICULARS I REQUESTED FROM YOU, YOUR FULL NAME YOUR FULL ADRESS YOUR TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS. THE FUNDS IS ALREADY PACKAGED IN CONSIGNMENTS AND READY FOR SHIPEMENT, THESE INFORMATIONS IS REQUIRED BY THE SECURITY COMPANY SO THAT THEY WILL START UP ALL THE NECESSARY PROCESS ON HOW THE FUNDS WILL GET TO YOU. BE INFORMED THAT AS SOON AS THIS FUNDS IS IN YOUR POSESSION, I AND MY FAMILY WILL BE JOINING YOU IN YOUR COUNTRY.
I WILL APRECIATE IF YOU CAN CALL ME ON THIS NUMBER 234-80-3XXXXXX SO THAT WE CAN DISCUSS AT LENTH. I WILL AWAIT YOUR URGENT RESPONSE.
I AM COMING OVER TO AMERICA WITH FAMILY WHEN THE FUND GETS THERE AND THE PURPOSE FOR US TO SHARE THE TESTIMONY TOGETHER. DO SEND ME THE NECESSARY INFORMATION REQUESTED BY THE SECURITY COMPANY TO ENABLE ME MAKE A PROPER
ARRANGEMENT ON HOW THE FUND WILL LEAVE AFRICA.
THE INFORMATION ARE;
YOUR PASSPORT NUMBER.
YOUR PRIVATE TEL/ FAX NUMBER,
YOUR CORRESPONDENCE ADRESS.
I WILL BE WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU ON PHONE.
YOU CAN CALL ME ANYTIME ON MY CELL PHONE.
GOD BLESS YOU.
GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, DO NOT THINK I HAVE ANY OTHER MOTIVE OF TAKING THE MONEY BACK OR EXCPECTING ANY RETURNS FROM YOUR CHURCH, THAT IS WHY I SAID 30% OF THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE FOR MYOWN USAGE. AND I WILL LIKE TO STAY IN FLORIDA OR CALIFORNIA FOR A BRITHER LIFE, AND IF YOUR FAMILY IS GOING TO ENGLAND FOR ANYTHING THEY ARE VERY FREE.
I ALSO WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT THE ONLY MONEY I HAVE WITH ME IS $10,000.00USD FOR NOW IS WHAT WE BUDGETED FOR OUR TICKET WHEN THE VISA IS OUT.
THE ONLY MEANS I CAN SEND THIS MONEY IS WITH THE AID OF THE SECURITY COMPANY THAT IS WHY I AM USING THEM, MOREOVER YOU CAN NOT SEND OUT MONEY THROUGH BANK OVER HERE UNLESS YOU HAVE A CERTIFICATE AS AN INTERNATIONALTRADER AND EVEN THE WESTERN DO NOT SEND OUT, BUT THEY CAN RECEIVE. FOR THE CONSIGNEMT TO COME OVER TO YOUR COUNTRY IS THE ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN YOU AND THE SECURITY COMPANY
BECAUSE MY SHIPINGS FEE ENDS IN HOLLAND, THAT IS WHERE YOU WILL CONTACTED FOR PICK UP OF THE CONSIGNMENT.
BELOVED I HAVE SEEN MONEY ALL LIFE TIME BUT I WANT TO BE CLOSE TO THE LORD SO THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. GOD BLESS YOU, AWAITING FOR YOUR RESPONSE.
My e-mail response:
> Dear Kingsley,
> It was nice talking to you a few minutes ago but it was difficult for me to understand you so I thought it best to e-mail you. I do need to have some answers to some questions before this process is started.
> 1. why not just come to America? Why do you need me in this process?
> 2. Where will you live when you get to America?
> 3. I need to make sure you understand that my family will be leaving for England one month after the money arrives.
> 4. How will you send the money? You say you can't wire the money but specifically how will the money be sent? Cash? Western Union?
> 5. When you get to America, how will you live? I assume you have additional funds above the $20 million with which you will be able to live here.
> 6. If I give you the address to my home office in Florida, how long would it take to get the consignment here?
> I know you are anxious to get out of Nigeria and to get this process started but you must understand it's not everyday someone offers to give my ministry $14 million. I will have to get approval from my home office before any movement can be made on my part.
> Like I said before, if this is a "God thing" nothing can stop it. If it's NOT a "God thing" I don't want any part of it.
> God bless
> >e-mail #5
> >DEAR BELOVED,
> >I AM COMING OVER TO AMERICA WITH FAMILY WHEN THE FUND GETS THERE AND THE PURPOSE FOR US TO SHARE THE TESTIMONY TOGETHER. DO SEND ME THE NECESSARY INFORMATION REQUESTED BY THE SECURITY COMPANY TO ENABLE ME MAKE A PROPER ARRANGEMENT ON HOW THE FUND WILL LEAVE AFRICA.
> >THE INFORMATION ARE;
> >YOUR PASSPORT NUMBER.
> >YOUR PRIVATE TEL/ FAX NUMBER,
> >YOUR CORRESPONDENCE ADRESS.
> >I WILL BE WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU ON PHONE.
> >YOU CAN CALL ME ANYTIME ON MY CELL PHONE.
> >GOD BLESS YOU.
GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, WE ARE HAVING A COOL MORNING OVER HERE WATCHING THE FIFA SOCCER WORLD CUP. ACCORDING TO YOUR QUESTION, YOU WILL BE REQUIRE TO COME OVER IN HOLLAND AND AS LONG AS I AM SUBMITTING YOUR NAME AS THE BENEFICIARY OF THE CONSIGNMENT THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN APPOINT ANOTHER PARTY.
FOR THE SECURITY COMPANY IN HOLLAND TO BRING THE CONSIGNMET TO AMERICA WILL BASE ON YOUR NEGOTIATION WITH THEM AND I BELEIVE THAT WILL BE POSSIBLE.
I ALSO WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT THE MONEY IS IN CASH, 100 DOLLAR BILL ALL ROUND AMERICA USD. AND YOUR FLORIDA OFFICE INFORMATION WILL BE OKAY FOR THAT. BELOVED, TO BE SINCERED WITH YOU IF AT ALL THE SECURITY COMPANY IN HOLLAND WILL SHIP THE FUND TO YOUR COUNTRY I DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH THEY WILL CHARGE FOR SHIPMENT. BECAUSE I HAVE ALREADY PAID THE SUM OF $18.000.00 USD
FOR SHIPMENT THAT IS FROM AFRICA TO EUROPE.I HAVE ALSO CONCLUDED WITH THE NDLEA AND THE CERTICATE CLEARANCE HAS BEEN ISSUED, IT AMMOUTED TO THIS BECAUSE OF ITS
DIPLOMACY. MEANING THE CONSIGNMENT SHOULD NOT BE OPEN FROM ANY ORDER. I WILL WAITING FOR YOUR URGENT RESPONSE
GOD BLESS YOU.
Now for the e-mails I sent him................
I am a man of integrity and would use any funds for the intended purpose: ministry in England.
Because of this integrity you must understand my curiosity regarding your proposal. You mentioned you need to move the funds out of Nigeria as soon as possible. This causes me to question why? Also, my finances are handled out of my mission's base in Florida. All funds would need to be sent to Florida. They would then be distributed to me. And the mission's agency attorney would need to review this arrangement.
Also in question is your statement regarding you and your family coming to America. I would ask for what purpose you would be coming to America. Should this arrangement take place, we would be leaving for England as soon as possible.
$20 million is a lot of money that could be used to spread the love of Jesus around the world. My wife and I were discussing your proposition and, to be honest, wondered if this is possibly a fraud. But we also discussed what it would mean to the ministry if it is true. I admit I have misgivings about this but on the other hand, my God is able to "do exceedingly abundantly more than I could ask or think".
We have a saying here in America, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is". If this is a "God thing" it will happen and all will be blessed. If this is NOT a "God thing" I wouldn't want any of the money.
Please e-mail me with any more information.
message # 3......i sent him......
I was thinking this morning before going to church, that if you are using your money, which God said to give to a ministry, for personal benefit that may not be the best of motivations / attitudes.
In other words, if you expect to get something back, ie. new home in America, in exchange for your gift to my ministry then you may not be giving with the right intentions. Gifts to God must be non conditional. We give to God because we love him and because it's scriptural. We don't give to get.
If you are to be here in America God will work it out. If my ministry is to have your funds God will work it out.
To be honest with you, we desperately need funding. We've been trying to get to England for one year now and the fund raising is difficult. But I don't want to step outside God's will.
If you are interested in an address where you can send non-returnable donations you can go to my website. It's not much of a website but it's a beginning. The address is XXXXXXXX
Please let me know how you plan to handle this situation.
God bless you and your family and I pray God's will be done in your lives, be it in America or in Nigeria.
message # 4 I sent him...........
Thanks for writing back. I have a couple other questions for you.
1. You say your fee for the security company ends in holland. Would I have to make the pick up in Holland?
2. I do have a contact in Holland who may be able to make the pick up for me. Is that possible?
3. Would it be possible for the security company in Holland to ship the consignment to me here in America?
4. When I receive the consignment from the shipping company, in what form will the funds be. A bank note or check?
5. Does the shipping company need my information or is the information of my home office in Florida sufficient. My home office could probably make the arrangements with the shipping company.
6. Do you know how much the fee would be for the shipment from Holland to America?
God bless you
GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF THY LORD, I WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT THE CONSIGNMENT HAS LEFT FOR HOLLAND THIS MORNING SO CALL ME FOR MORE DETAILS.
Message #5 I sent to him…
I know this is a fraud. One thing you said in an earlier e-mail about going to hell is not just a story. Be sure your sin will find you out. What will it profit you to gain much wealth then die and go to hell.
I even feel sorry for you. Thinking that money will gain you happiness. I do wish you had been muslim and converted to Christianity. I wish this whole thing had been true. Not for the money my ministry would have gained but that your soul would be secure in Jesus. But as it is, your denial of Jesus will gain you judgment and hell. I will pray for you.
Here is another version from a disgruntled scammer:
Thanks for your page of scams. I Have had the one from Mr Etuk whatever he calls himself. I was sceptical from the first having had others, but there was some information that was just possible so I went along with it until it showed itself for what it was. Now instead of just letting the matter drop I get this:
DEAR SR. FRANCIS,
I am not happy how you kept silence concerning this mission ,Do you think indeed that this mission is a childs play and even if you don't have the fee required for this affidavit ,Is that what will make you to relent while you realy claimed to me that you are a born again and now you don't want to help a sick person with your Godly mind.
Let me tell you SR.FRANCIS, Please you should count every thing regards to this mission off from scan because i did not involve in scan when i am 100% healthy talkless of now i am at point of death. Please i am seriousely trying as much as i can to race the fee required for the affidavit on your behalf. The only thing i want you to do for good interrest of this mission is for you to write to the law firm and inform them that you are arranging to forward to them what they require for the services so that i will put more effort to come up with this fee for the affidavit because i have prayed and prayed but still God is directing me to you as the one that will champion this mission of my life in a good faith. Please do this immediately and call me for more advise and directives.
In conlussion ,I have told you with all my heart that the whole depositing documents will be forwarded to you for proper confirmation upon secureing of this affidavit and i will also like every thing to be legal for my safety and yours ,So please don't be discouraged because of this fee ,I will put more effort to get this fee on your behalf for the affidavit and for you to believe that indeed i can never mislead a child of God because i know that i will not go scolt free.
DO THIS IMMEDIATELY AND CALL ME AS I DIRECTED ,I AM WORRIED.
FROM GREAT MIND OF MR ETUK COLLINS.
These examples are scams...don't fall for them!