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Curiosity may not kill you, but it might kill your phone bill.

Presented as a Public Service by the Media Desk.
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With Credit To The Desk, is hereby given.

Posted 10 April, 2003

-For more information see the links at the bottom of this page-

      Part of the newer versions of the 419 African Cash Transfer SCAM is the inclusion of phone numbers for you to call to verify the request.

An excerpt from a recent letter follows to refresh your memory:

      [Greetings to you Dear Prospective Business Partner, With warm heart I offer my friendship, and I hope this mail meets you in good time. However strange or surprising this contact might seem to you as we have not met personally or had any dealings in the past, I humbly ask that you take due consideration of its importance and the immense benefit it will be to you. May I properly introduce my humble self to you. I am Dr....]

      The number is sometimes included in the opening of the letter, more usually toward the bottom or in the signature line.
      These are usually REAL PHONE NUMBERS which you will be billed for making calls to, And You Will Most Likely Have To Pay It. To the potential tune of hundreds of dollars for one phone call.

      In one the Desk got yesterday the number had the country code 228 which is Togo, a tiny country on the Atlantic coast of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. One that came in a month or so ago had 233, Ghana, right next door to Togo. And the Ivory Coast is represented in another with 225. [See copies of 419 Letters associated with the Desk's 419 info on it's Urban Legend and SPAM page. ]

      Although most of the numbers the Desk found in its research were in Africa, some have been elsewhere. One had a fax number which turned out to be in the UK.
      These numbers are not in the United States and are not subject to US Tariff Rate Laws. They can and will bill you through your local phone company for the call. And bill it at any rate per minute or call they feel like. As with the 809 and related area code scams.

      And, you, your office, whoever's phone you used will probably end up having to pay it because you did make the call.


      These are ALL SCAMS! It will COST YOU MONEY!!!
      No matter WHO they say they are, where they say they are, or what they claim is going on. It Is An Attempt To RIP YOU OFF. Do NOT Fall For It!
      Do NOT call them, Do Not reply to the Email, Do Not forward it to anybody but the Desk (who collects them and puts new variations on its site for reference).


Resource Links:

Nigerian Cash Transfer 419 Coalition website.

US Secret Service Financial Crimes Division

Better Business Bureau:

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Fraud Office

General Info on Internet SCAMS:
The Australian Government's SCAMWATCH

National Internet Fraud Watch Information Center

The Media Desk's Urban Legend Info Page

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