New Data Shows Money Scams Larger Than Thought
Smart People Easier To Scam
419 Advance Fee Fraud Statistics 2013
Smart People Easier To Scam – High-achieving professionals are the most likely to be defrauded
419 Advance Fee Fraud – Money For Free Is Big Business – The World’s Most Successful Scam
Highest Losses – Over 82 billion US$ to date, 12.7 billion in 2013
Highest Number of Organized Perpetrators – Over 800,000 globally. Growing 5% per annum, faster than ever! In Nigeria: Too Many to Count!
Highest Number of Victims – Millions of people have incurred a loss to 419 Advance Fee Fraud
Centralized counter-419 operations – Reporting must be kept as simple for the public as possible, to encourage maximum reports
419 Advance Fee Fraud moving to the east! – Asia falling prey to new and classic Advance Fee Frauds
Money transfer agents are the conduits to rip people off – A significant number of money transfer agencies are operated by criminal organizations
A fast growing multinational industry
The Nigerian 419 Advance Fee Fraud came to the attention of the public and regulators during the 1970s over letters generally aimed at small businesses purporting to come from figures in the Nigerian government (often the Central Bank or Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) wanting help disposing of new oil wealth. Those letters were posted in Africa and Europe. In 2002 the US Department of Justice gained a court order to open every item of mail from Nigeria passing through JFK airport in New York, with around 70% involving scam offers. Russell Smith notes that between August and November 1998 Australia Post confiscated 4.5 tons of advance fee correspondence (1.8 million items) that had counterfeit postage. The 1980s and 1990s saw the scammers move from print to fax messaging followed by several explosions of email at the end of the millennium and in 2003, with the scammers spamming recipients in advanced economies (primarily those in English-speaking nations). The addressing of that email was indiscriminate, encompassing organizations and personal addresses.
There are No reliable statistics on 419 Advance Fraud
Centralized counter-419 operations are the only way that viable statistics on 419 can be maintained. Decentralized counter-419 operations mean fragmented information and data. Everyone has a piece of the picture, but no one has the full picture. Cyber crime and other statistics posted on the internet by the authorities of various countries often use categories like auction fraud, non-delivery, credit-debit card fraud, check fraud, confidence fraud, lottery fraud, etc. to classify what are actually 419 Advance Fee Fraud crimes. All of these advance fee fraud crimes listed are in actuality, when they have a West African (primarily Nigerian) connection, 419 Advance Fee Fraud and should be classified as such. Failure to properly classify 419 crimes as 419 crimes distorts any attempt to maintain even moderately useful statistics on the incidence of 419 fraud, minimizing the magnitude and omnipresence of 419 crimes attempted and committed.