U.S. State Department Geographic Bureaus: Africa Bureau

U.S. Department of State
96/02/12 Nigeria: Advanced Fee Fraud
Overseas Security Advisory Council


The United States Secret Service has established a pilot project to determine the extent of Nigerian organized criminal activity associated with Advanced Fee Fraud.

This type of fraud is now referred to internationally as "Four-One-Nine" (419) and effects a large number of American citizens and businesses. The term "419" refers to the Nigerian criminal statute for fraud. Typically, the intended target receives a fax or letter from an "official" associated with a wide variety of Nigerian government or business departments. The correspondence is aimed at enticing the victim into a money laundering, will beneficiary, currency, COD for goods/services, or a crude oil purchase scheme.

The economic impact is considered to be substantial and the Secret Service is working with the Department of State, Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, Better Business Bureau and numerous organizations to evaluate the magnitude of this activity and develop a strategy to diminish the fraud loss.

We ask that should you or your firm receive inquiries you consider to be associated with Advance Fee Fraud, please forward the information via mail or FAX to:

ATSAIC Craig Spraggins
U.S. Secret Service
Financial Crimes Division
1800 G St., NW
Room 942
Washington, D.C. 20223

FAX: (202) 435-5031 (###)

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