Example 419 Fraud Correspondence from Zone-H
This is Zone-H coverage of one of the many scam Nigerian
mails that are tricking the receiver into a perverted fraud scheme.
Everything started when SyS64738 (http://www.zone-h.org/
admin) received this mail (among the other hundreds of the same fraud scheme...)
and we decided to follow the fraudsters till the end...
COPYRIGHT NOTE: Feel free to use this file as you wish, just
don't forget to report us credits!
All the mail in CAPITAL LETTERS are the mail the nigerian fraudsters sent to us
All the mails in courier font are the mail we sent back to the fraudsters
Our comments are shown in blue
This is the first mail we received
FIRST BANK PLC
MY NAME IS DR.DICKSON EZE, I AM ONE OF THE SENIOR MANAGERS
IN THE FIRST BANK PLC AND I WORK UNDER THE DIRECTOR OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE
OPERATIONS (INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE). I AM CONTACTING YOU PRESENTLY BECAUSE I
NEED YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE IN A BUSINESS TRANSACTION THAT WILL BE OF IMMENSE
BENEFIT TO BOTH OF US.
I NEED TO TRANSFER SOME MONEY THAT HAS LONG BEEN DECLARED
UNCLAIMED BY THE CHAIRMAN AND SOME MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF OUR
BANK.THE MONEY IS THE CLOSING BALANCE OF ONE OF OUR BEST CUSTOMER, LATE ENGR.
GEORGE BENSON. I WAS HIS PERSONAL ACCOUNT OFFICER BEFORE HE DIED. GEORGE BENSON
WAS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN AND THE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS $20.5M USD (TWENTY MILLION
FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DOLLARS) HE WAS AN INTERNATIONAL
CONTRACTOR WHO SUPPLY AND INSTAL EQUIPMENTS WITH A COMPANY CALLED CREEK
CONTRACTORS LIMITED.NOBODY HAS EVER COME FORWARD TO MAKE A STATEMENT OF CLAIM
BECAUSE HE DOES NOT HAVE A NEXT OF KIN.
I HAVE DISCOVERED HOWEVER THAT THE CHAIRMAN AND THE BOARD OF
DIRECTORS WANT TO CLAIM THESE MONEY FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL USE. THOUGH, MY
COLLEAGUES AND I HAVE MADE SEVERAL ATTEMPTS AT LOCATING ANY PERSON OR PERSONS
THAT COULD BE REMOTEDLY RELATED TO ENGR.GEORGE BENSON, THOUGH, WE HAVE BEEN
DOING THIS FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS AND NOBODY HAS COME FORWARD FOR THE MONEY
DUE TO THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO NEXT OF KIN.
I AM HEREBY SOLICITING FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO PROVIDE ME
WITH A PRIVATE FOREIGN ACCOUNT WHERE THIS MONEY CAN BE DEPOSITED FOR OUR USAGE
AND ALSO FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE LESS PRIVILEDGED IN THE WORLD. I HEREBY SUGGEST
THAT PROVIDING A GOOD ACCOUNT WILL MAKE YOU HAVE 30% FOR YOUR HELP, 10% FOR THE
LESS PRIVILEDGE IN THE WORLD LIKE CHARITY HOMES OR MOTHERLESS BABIES HOME
ETC.AND 5% FOR ANY EXPENSES INCURED FROM YOUR SIDE OR MY SIDE. THIS WILL BE
BETTER THAN ALLOWING OUR CHAIRMAN AND THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO ACQUIRE THESE
MONEY FOR THEIR PERSONAL USAGE.WE HAVE WORKED OUT A PERFECT PLAN TO STAND YOU
AS A NEXT OF KIN TO ENGR.GEORGE BENSON AND I WILL ALSO PROVIDE YOU WITH ALL THE
INFORMATIONS YOU WILL NEED TO ANSWER ANY SECURITY QUESTION THAT MAY COME UP.IF
YOU FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY, EVERYTHING WILL BE COMPLETED WITHIN TWO
WEEKS. THEREFORE, CONTACT ME ON MY PRIVATE PHONE NO.234-8033062755 OR FAX
NO.234-9-2721428 OR EMAIL:email@example.com
THANKS FOR YOUR KIND CO-OPERATIONS,
This is how we answered. The name
Marq Bellini is totally invented (it happens that I have a Marq friend down to
there, I might be interested in the deal.
Can you be a little more precise explaining me the details ?
Here's their reply:
I THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLY TO MY EMAIL.WE ARE ABOUT THREE OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN
THIS TRANSACTION AND WE ARE MEN OF GREAT HONOUR IN OUR VARIOUS FIELDS.BEFORE
CONTACTING YOU,WE HAVE ALREADY SET ASIDE SUBTAINTIAL AMOUNT WHICH WE BELIEVED
WILL BE OKAY TO CONCLUDE THIS NOBLE TRANSACTION.ALL WE NEED FROM YOU IS HONESTY
AND CONFIDENTIALITY TO JOINTLY ACTUALISE THE PROJECT.
HOWEVER,IT IS IMPORTANT YOU SEND DOWN YOUR BANK
PARTICULARS,COMPANY'S NAME PHONE AND FAX NUMBER TO ENABLE US PROCESS THE
RELEASE OF THE FUNDS INTO YOUR NOMINATED ACCOUNT.YOU CAN AS WELL CALL ON MY MOBILE NO.234-8033062755 FOR MORE DISCUSSIONS
IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU DID NOT UNDERSTAND OR YOU CAN AS
WELL SEND US THE NEEDED INFORMATIONS THROUGH OUR FAX NO.234-9-2721428.YOU CAN
BE REACHING ME ON MY PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS FOR SECURITY REASONS.THE ADDRESS IS
HOPING TO HEAR FROM YOU TODAY.
As you saw, they asked for my data
and bank details. We invented a totally fake bank account, fake address etc. ,
knowing that the fraudsters would have never checked it.
We also invented a Rome (Italy) address and we purchased a brand new GSM rechargeable card to allow them to call us
in total anonymity.
for the delay but I couldn't reach the internet for the last week or so.
am still interested in the deal so here are my data:
Address Circo Massimo 34 - Rome - Italy
Bank: Banca popolare di Lodi, agency 29 Roma
Bank account 400882-380001/1
Phone contact : +39 348 8861XXX (the last three numbers are covered cause I am
still using that number...)
proceeding, I'd like to know more details about the deal as you didn't expalin
like to know how did you get my mail contact.
After this mail, we let them wait
one week or so, just to get them anxious...
>To: "Sir Lancelot / H.M. Zone-H messaging servant"
>Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 19:11:36 +0000
>I HAVE WAITED TO HEAR FROM YOU TO NO AVAIL.I WANT TO
KNOW WHETHER YOU ARE STILL INTERESTED BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE TO WASTE TIME AS
OUR AIM IS FOR THIS MONEY TO BE RELEASED TO YOUR ACCOUNT WITHIN TWO WEEKS.
>PLEASE,IF YOU STILL INTERESTED,SEND DOWN THE NEEDED
INFORMATIONS ASAP INORDER FOR US TO PROCESS THE RELEASE OF THE FUNDS INTO YOUR
(who is Martins? One of the three
After this mail, they called me and
they told me : (resume)
MAY GOD BLESS YOU
WE ARE LIKE BROTHER IN THIS DEAL, AND GOD WANTED US TO MEET
KEEP THIS DEAL SECRET, DON'T EVEN TELL IT TO YOUR WIFE
FOLLOW EXACTLY OUR INSTRUCTIONS AND YOU WILL GET YOUR SHARE OF
WE NEED A FAX NUMBER TO FAX YOU SOME DOCUMENTS, ACT NOW! (THEY
SCREAMED IT TO ME)
YOU CANNOT CASH THE MONEY AS PRIVATE PERSON, YOU MUST PROVIDE US
A LEGAL ENTITY. WHAT'S YOUR COMPANY' NAME?
Oh oh... we are in trouble! They want
a fax number... what shall we do?
We couldn't give them a real fax
number so we subscribed one of the many Free Internet Fax Receiving services.
The one we choose allowed also to use an Italian city prefix, so we choose Rome (06) to make our fake as real as possible.
Moreover we had another problem:
our mailbox was firstname.lastname@example.org so we had somehow to justify this name.
So we invented a Bellini Zone Hotels company. This would justify the usage of
Bellini name in conjunction with Zone-H spare mailbox. So we mailed them:
as requested by you here is my fax number:
details of my company:
Zone Hotels spa
via Prenestina 16, 10100 Roma (Italy)
for your answers
I THANK YOU FOR THE INFORMATIONS YOU SENT.I HAVE SUBMITTED
THE APPLICATION AND I HOPE IT WILL BE OUT TOMORROW.SO ONCE EVERYTHING IS OKAY
TOMORROW,I WILL SEND THEM TO YOU FOR YOUR PERUSAL.
AGAIN,I WILL LIKE US TO BE COMMUNICATING HENSEFORTH THROUGH
MY PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.
Note that every time we make a step
ahead in the transaction, they will tell us to change email address or
This is because they sent so many
scam letters around the world AND THEY ACTUALLY RECEIVE A LOT OF ANSWERS so
they have the problem to manage all those mails.
To solve the problem they use different mails and phone numbers for each step
of the fraud so that if you call them on a certain phone instead than another
one it will mean for them that you already are at step X of the fraud scheme,
helping them to better manage the large amount of involved victims
Wow! What a surprise, things are
getting serious now! I received the first set of documents from Nigerians.
Please note that it appears they
opened a company named Bellini Zone Hotels Llc. This is because they told us we
need a local legal entity to cash legally that money.
Also, note that the certificate
appears backdated to 1991 so to have a legal entity that appears being working
with Nigeria since a long time.
Please pay also attention to the
fact that all the fees and stamp duties on the certificates are expressed in US
Dollars, while the official currency in Nigeria is the NAIRA.
Nigeria must be more expensive that Dubai! In fact the fees to open
a company appear to be 25.500 USD !!!
Now this is nice: because we
finally have a Bellini Zone Hotels legal Nigerian entity, we will be able to be
recognized by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (the company
fraudsters said they will use to transfer the money from) as one of their
accredited contractor. This will allow NNPN to release us an official payment
for the promised 20.5 Million USD
After receiving those faxes, we
I got your faxes.
to do now?
Here's their answer:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR MAILS.THE NEXT STEP NOW IS TO WAIT TO
HEAR FROM THE FINANCE MINISTRY.WHATEVER HAPPENS,I PROMISED I WILL COMMUNICATE
YOU BECAUSE WE BOTH ARE IN THE BUSINESS.I WILL ALSO LIKE YOU TO BE CALLING ME
ON DAILY BASIS SO THAT I WILL BE GIVING YOU THE DETAILS OF THE WHOLE
TRANSACTION.MY MOBILE IS
So we called them. They told us
that we would receive a phone call from the Ministry of Finance' lawyer.
And it happened. A new SERIOUS
voice called us asking for our credential.
He asked us to take a copy of the
documents they previously sent us by fax and asked me about reference numbers
etc, this to play like if he was really concerned about my ID.
After having verified by phone that I was the real Mr. Bellini, he told me to
wait a fax of confirmation from the Ministry of Finance.
Please note that in the fax is
stated: NOTE THAT INCOME TAX CERIFICATE OF YOUR COMPANY IS NOT IN YOUR FILE. DO
SEND IT DIRECTLY TO CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA.
We believe this will be a phrase
they will use to steal from us some MORE money in case, later on we would have
flown down to Nigeria to cash our money, like asking some extra bribes to let
our income tax certificate appear like magic in the file of Central Bank of
Nigeria (which has nothing to share with this fraud, look at their official
page statement: http://www.cenbank.org/419effort.htm ).
After a few days we received this
fax from the Central Bank of Nigeria, stating the approval of the payment
execution on our bank account. NOTE THAT CENTRAL BANK SHOULDN'T HAVE ANY POWER
TO RELEASE APPROVAL FOR SUCH PAYMENTS
Note also the amount of APPROVED
stamps... it gave us a good 30 minutes laugh!
After this fax, Mr. Musa Danjuma
the lawyer of the Central Bank of Nigeria (a fake one, of course) called me
urging me to proceed with the payment of the due fees in order to release our
20.5 M USD. He gave me two possibilities :
1) to pay 16.500 via Western Union to their legal office so
that the lawyer would act on our behalf to release the money
2) to come to Nigeria personally to endorse the money, this
procedure would cost only 6.500 USD
The fees I had to pay are the one
stated in this fax:
So we mailed them...
received your fax which talks about the legal fees are necessary to be paid in
order to proceed with the 20,5 M endorsement (16.500 USD).
question is: would it be possible to withdraw that money from the total sum?
doesn't really make any sense to me to pay money in order to receive money.
I don't trust this kind of online transaction between people they don't know
you please suggest an alternative solution that would ease out the process?
Maybe I could come there by the end of next week as I am coming anyway to visit
our hotels in Kenya with corporate airplane, it wouldn't take so much to jump
to Nigeria as well.
And they answered...
MUCH THANKS FOR OUR PHONE DISCUSSIONS TODAY.INSHORT,I MET
WITH THE GOVERNOR OF CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO BE DONE
NEXT TO REMIT THE $20.5M USD INTO YOUR ACCOUNT SINCE THE WHOLE MONEY HAS BEEN
HE TOLD ME THAT YOU CAN CLEAR THE MONEY INTO YOUR ACCOUNT BY
USING THE LAWYER OF THE BANK OR YOU CAN ALSO COME DOWN PERSONALLY AND DO ALL
THE ENDORSEMENTS.I SHALL PROVIDE YOU WITH ESCORT THAT WILL PICK YOU FROM THE
AIRPORT TO ANY HOTEL OF YOUR CHOICE.I HAVE TOLD YOU THAT I AM A MAN OF
HONESTY,HIGH INTERGRITY AND HONOUR AND YOUR COMMING TO MY COUNTRY WILL ALSO
GIVE YOU THE OPENINGS INTO MANY BUSINESS CLIMATE IN THE OIL INDUSTRY.
I AM IN THE OIL FIELD AND YOU WILL ALSO MEET WITH SOME
IMPORTANT OFFICIALS AND THIS WILL PAVE THE WAY FOR MORE BUSINESS BETWEEN US.I
HAVE ASSURED YOU THAT $20.5M USD IS JUST A TIP OF ICEBERG ONCE YOU ARE HONEST
WITH ME AS I WILL BE 100% HONEST WITH YOU.IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO BE VERY
CONFIDENTIAL BY NOT DISCLOSING THE TRUE NATURE OF THIS OUR NOBLE TRANSACTION TO
ANYBODY EITHER IN
YOUR COUNTRY OR MINE.I HAVE DONE A PERFECT HOME WORK AS
REGARD TO THIS OUR TRANSACTION AND I PROMISE YOU THAT THE SKY IS OUR LIMIT.
THE GOVERNOR TOLD ME THAT YOU MUST COME DOWN WITH THE STAMP
DUTY AND AFFIDAVIT FEES IN CASH SINCE THIS IS BEEN PAID TO THE HIGH COURT AND
IT IS ONLY $6500 USD.YOU WILL ALSO NEED A CLEARANCE TO LAND YOUR PLANE IN CASE
YOU ARE COMING WITH A PRIVATE PLANE.THIS I BELEIVE YOU CAN DO YOURSELF BUT DO
NOT TELL ANYBODY YOUR TRUE MISSION.JUST SAY YOU WANT TO EXPLORE NIGERIA AS AN
HOTELIST AND A TOURIST TO EXAMINE HOW YOU CAN INVEST OR DO BUSINESS HERE IN
NIGERIA.LET THE SECRET OF THIS BUSINESS BE KNOWN TO YOU AND ME ALONE AND I
ASSURE YOU THAT WE WILL CLEAR MORE MONEY INTO YOUR ACCOUNT AFTER THE REMITTANCE
OF THIS $20.5M USD.
I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO WELCOMMING YOU IN MY COUNTRY NEXT
WEEK.SEND ME ALL YOUR ARRIVAL DETAILS TO ENABLE ME GIVE YOU A PERFECT
ARRANGEMENT HERE.YOU MAY SPEND ONLY THREE DAYS TO CONCLUDE THE TRANSACTION.IT
SHOULD NOT BE WEEKEND BUT WORKING DAYS.
I THANK YOU FOR YOUR MAIL TO ME TODAY IN RESPECT OF YOUR
CONTRACT PAYMENT IN THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA.IT IS PERTINENT TO LET YOU KNOW
THAT IF YOU CAN COME TO NIGERIA YOURSELF FOR THE ENDORSEMENT THE BETTER BECAUSE
IT WILL COST YOU JUST $6500 USD NON NEGOTIABLE FEES FOR STAMP DUTY AND
I WILL ADVISE HOWEVER THAT YOU SHOULD TRY AND COME DOWN
PROBABLY BY NEXT WEEK AS YOU RIGHTLY PROPOSED BECAUSE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
ARE PAYING FOREIGN CONTRACTORS RAPIDLY NOW DUE TO THE ON COMING PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION AND ANY CONTRACTOR WHO FAIL TO RECEIVE HIS CONTRACT SUM NOW WILL FIND
IT DIFFICULT AFTER ELECTION.
PLEASE,TRY AND GIVE ME A CALL IMMEDIATELY YOU ARRIVE MY
COUNTRY SO THAT I WILL BE AWARE YOU ARE ARROUND IN CASE YOU MAY STILL NEED MY
ASSISTANCE.MY MOBILE NO.IS 234-8033260176.
Note that they want me down to Nigeria. The Central Bank lawyer is also giving me his mobile phone....
So I decided to tell them by phone
that giving the fact that my hotel chain had already one hotel in Kenya and I
would be visiting that hotel a week after, I could have taken my private
corporate plane and jump down to Nigeria, after all it's only 1 hour flight...
They also told me to bring some
cash to pay the fees.
I THANK YOU FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION TO JOINTLY ACTUALISE THIS
OUR NOBLE PROJECT.PLEASE,I WILL LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU TO KNOW EXACTLY WHEN YOU
WILL BE COMING SO AS TO MAKE SOLID ARRANGEMENT IN WELCOMING YOU.TRY AND CALL ME
ON PHONE TODAY.EVERYTHING IS IN ORDER SO MAKE SURE YOU SEND ME YOUR ARRIVAL
We decided to play around a little
with them, so I didn't call them for around 10 days...
I WROTE YOU YESTERDAY BUT I DID NOT HEAR FROM YOU.I ALSO
CALLED YOU TODAY BUT YOU PHONE WAS IN ANSWERING MACHINE.PLEASE,TRY AND CALL ME
AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS MESSAGE FOR ME TO KNOW WHEN YOU ARE COMING INORDER
TO PICK YOU UP IN THE AIRPORT.MY MOBILE NO. IS 234-8033062755.ALSO SEND ME
EMAIL ABOUT YOUR SCHEDULE INORDER TO PREPAIR WELL FOR YOU.
WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU TODAY.
Then finally I wrote them...
Hi, sorry for the
delay but I have had health problems and I got hospitalized for a week or so.
But now I am back and fortunately feeling well.
My trip for Nigeria is planned this week.
I should arrive Thursday, departure on Sunday.
I will communicate the private plane flight code as soon as the pilots will
file the flight plan to Lagos control tower.
Visa is already arranged, maybe you can suggest me a nice Hotel accommodation.
After other phone calls we finally
settled an arrangement:
have finally the copy of the flight plan filed by my pilots. I will be landing
at Lagos Airport approximately at 09.15 AM on Thursday 6th March 2003 and I
will depart Sunday afternoon.
code of my flight will be acx2002 (I don't know if you need it) and I will fly
with American tail N69326.
would like to know the schedule of our meetings as I would like to organize my
free time otherwise.
I also would like to know if you can deliver the limo directly to the airplane
parking lot or if I should eventually manage myself the Custom Border
have never been to Nigeria so I am not aware about the private flight custom-immigration
rules there ...
Note that at this point the scam
becomes dangerous. In fact, if we agreed to pay the 16.500 USD fees by money
transfer, we just lost our money and that was it. But given the fact that we
decided not to transfer the money but to rather go to Nigeria to cash the big payment by our self, we put our life in a situation of extreme danger. In
fact the fraud scheme might conclude (as it already happened) with the
kidnapping of the victim once arrived in Nigeria. Some of them have been freed
after having paid a ransom, some others have been killed.
Of course, they are still waiting
us with the limo down at Lagos Airport landing path...