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claiming to be from EFCC Nigeria
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria writing to YOU to help you as you've been SCAMMED?!
Here's a message which claims it's from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria (EFCC Nigeria), telling you about people who have been arrested, and sympathising with you if you've been scammed by the 419 Nigeria Scam. Looks like it's on the side of law enforcement, or does it? Here's the message, followed by my comments...
Original Message -----
From: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 10:01 AM
Subject: RE: FRAUD ALERT/ FINAL NOTICE.
NIGERIAN FOREIGN PAYMENT INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT
RE: FRAUD ALERT/FINAL!!!
found in this incoming message.
This is interesting, and you may be wondering if it's true of false. You may wonder if there is any such thing as the EFCC Nigeria, and if there is, whether they really are in the business of catching crooks, or whether the whole thing is a scam from start to finish. Well, things aren't always 100% true or 100% false. Let's look at it logically:
Looking at the material in the message, it appears at first to be on the side of law enforcement, and it states that there are crimes among unscrupulous elements in Nigerian society tarnishing the wonderful reputation of Nigeria. "Scammers using names of government officials have been arrested" it says, and there's a list of names. Also, the photo of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu looks genuine, and the logos and anti-crime message all look genuine. The use of language is rather quaint, but maybe that's the way they converse in Nigeria?
Fortunately, you don't have to just believe in these things or disbelieve. You can use evidence and scientific rationale. Firstly, then, is there such an organisation as the EFCC Nigeria, or is that a scam? Doing a search reveals... There's a website claiming to be official, and there's a Wikipedia entry, and a few other items which all add up. Because you can't believe any source absolutely, it's important to make sure that things are backed-up by different independent sources. On that basis, the answer is YES, there IS such an organisation as EFCC Nigeria, and their website is www.efccnigeria.org . Looking at the website, it looks genuine, and they seem to be working towards tackling the problem of the dreaded 419 Advance Fee Fraud for which Nigeria is famous (notorious).
So, as the EFCC Nigeria exists, and is on the right side, ie defeating fraud and criminality, does that mean you should believe the message? No.
The question is: Did the EFCC Nigeria send the message to you? Well, it seems unlikely. Also, if the message was genuinely from the EFCC Nigeria, the e-mail addresses would be something more credible, maybe with @ efcc Nigeria.org on the end?! They'd surely not be at live.com or other generic public e-mail ISPs? What's really telling on this is when you look at the official site, you see the email addresses on the email are DIFFERENT to those on the site. Now that is crucial to the investigation, and it tends to show that the message is a fake. In fact, it is like those fake bank email which pretend they are from the bank and you must enter your security details! The "from EFCC" message is especially pernicious, as it is a message fraudulently claiming to be from a law enforcement agency.
I've tried to contact the EFCC, the real EFCC that is, to try to get clearance to use their images (which the scamsters took from the official site), but I have had not much help. They say "contact our head of Media", but they won't say who that is. So, people at the genuine EFCC, if you're reading this and you've got something to say, please write in. Meanwhile I'm telling people out there in the wider world: YES, the EFCC is real; NO, the message is fake.
You can write to the EFCC Nigeria if you like. Good luck! I'd guess they are very busy. However, I believe they are trying to do the right things. How easy do you suppose that is in Nigeria?
Anyway, what do you do if you have been scammed? Do you reply to silly messages like that in the vain hope they are genuine? No! You don't! The first thing you do is to make sure you don't get scammed again. Next, tell people about what happened to you, and that will save other people from being scammed. The Nigeria 419 Scam is like a strange tropical disease which can bite the unwary. The unwary can be vaccinated against it just by being told about the experiences of cases of the problem.
Other pages about this sort of thing: SCAMS , bank messages , avoid virus , etc.
Also see the FBI Scam in which crooks pretend to be the FBI!
Incidentally, scamsters attempting to remote-serve images from this site on 2009/03/08 got the following message on their spam e-mails!: