168 ◾ A Comprehensive Look at Fraud Identiﬁcation and Prevention
9.2 419 Advance Fee Fraud Letter Scams
e types of letter generated by advance fee scams are now referred to as an advance
fee fraud, but many professionals in the ﬁnancial crimes community still use the
419 terminology. For the purposes of this section, these letters are referred to
as 419 letters.
On receiving or looking at one of these letters, most professionally minded
individuals will have their Spiderman senses alerted and recognize a problem.
Unfortunately, there is a history of recipients who have responded to the requests
in the letters, and the hook has been set. Past victims of this type of fraud are not
limited to the individual. Many past victims have been business owners and execu-
tives, who have actually lost company assets as a result of this type of fraud.
e most current method of delivery of these letters is through unsolicited
e- mail, but there are still those delivered the old- fashioned way through the US
mail. e most likely targets or recipients have been small business operations,
churches, nonproﬁt organizations, and individuals. However, the target list is not
limited to the groups previously outlined.
e letters are written to seek an immediate business relationship with conﬁ-
dentiality vital for all parties to become proﬁtable. e proposed sender of the letter
is usually identiﬁed as some type of oﬃcial in a high- up position in the government
in the country of origin.
Sample 419/Advance Fee Fraud Letter
MR JINHO LEE. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(PRIVATE DEAL FROM UNDP PROJECT MANAGER
Firstly, i must apologies for barging into your mailbox with-
out formal introduction of myself to you, actually, I got your
contact information from a reputable business/ professional
Directory of your country which gives me assurance of your
legibility as a person while trying to get a good and capable
business person in your country for business and investment
purposes, this why without wasting any time i am seeking a
decision maker to grab my offering $64,000,000,Yours free!
With some simple conditions you will need to follow and
work closely with me, you can’t say my generous offer of 50%
$64,000,000 a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Have i got your attention?