User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: Watch out for the Nigerian, warns FBI

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Watch out for the Nigerian, warns FBI

The FBI says watch out

For these!

The Jury Scheme

You get a phone call from a clerk or administrator who tells you the great honor of serving on a jury is soon to be yours. They need to verify who you are, of course, and give you dates. That is kind of like the credit card companies who call to tell you the payment is due but before they can discuss your account they need your credit card num
der for identification.  If you refuse to give the information to your government agent, he will threaten you with a fine!

“Of course he is not a government agent he is a crook!”

Of course, he is not a government agent, he is a crook! He preys on innocent people, often elderly or poor, who are easily intimidated. These same people are the ones who get hurt the most because they have so little money to start with.

What you can do:

Call the jury commissioner on the telephone number listed in the book. If you get that number then you probably have the jury commissioner.

Ask the person demanding funds to give their number so you can call them back. If it does not fit with the jury commissioner, then something is rotten in Denmark, and here, too!

“Call the jury commissioner's office.’

Call the jury commissioner's office. She will get to the bottom of the matter for you.

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If you think you are getting taken by a con-man, it is best to check on things early. In this case, watching your credit card statement and reporting theft rapidly will help. The store may still have the criminal on their video tape. At the least, you can minimize the damage.

If you are sure you have been hit by a thief or a gang, cancel your card right away. You won’t be responsible for subsequent charges and the thief may get caught trying to pass a stolen card!

The government does not use credit cards to identify people.

Never give out your social security number, driver’s license number or other identifying information over the phone, unless you know the other party. If you called your credit card company then you have a pretty good idea who you are talking to. If your credit card company calls you, how do you know who it is? It could be a con man who got a copy of one of your old statements!

Call the FBI. You should also alert your local police department who can assist you in making reports to the appropriate agency.

You can read more about these fraud tips from the FBI 'common fraud tips' page!
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Nigerian Letter or "419" Fraud

How would you like the chance of making millions of dollars helping a Nigerian government official transfer money illegally out of the country?

“You must understand there is a bit of larceny
in every one's blood”

Get this! A fellow in Nigeria has millions of bucks and he will give you a very generous percentage of the money if you just help him get the dough out of Nigeria. You must understand there is a bit of larceny in every one's blood, and you must have some of it too because you have to break Nigerian law to get the dough. Heck, it is Nigerian law, who cares?

The scheme appeals to the guy who enjoys being part of something James Bond style, or maybe a little bit on the shady side, namely, breaking the law in Nigeria. The pigeon is approached through email and fax and made an astonishing offer.

“the generous Nigerian offers this great deal
to you, and no one else”

A Nigerian government official needs to get money out of Nigeria illegally. Perhaps this is dirty money or perhaps stolen. No matter, the generous Nigerian offers this great deal to you, and no one else. It is your lucky day! That is because he has ascertained that you have a "propensity for larceny". Out of all the people in the world who can do this you or some lucky pigeon, gets the shot.

Of course, there are expenses in all of this. There are bribes to be paid, those kinds of things. If you front a few bucks then the deal can be done, you get all of your front money back and sit fat and sassy with half of a fortune in the millions! In order to get the deal done, the pigeon is asked to send blank letterheads, bank name and account numbers, as well as identifying information.

“There is no large fortune, the money invested will be lost.”

The friendly Nigerian only needs a small amount, followed by ever increasing amounts. The crooks play the, 'you have put a lot of money in, do you want to lose all of it because you are unable to put up just a little more?' game. That thinking does not work in Las Vegas, and it sure doesn’t work in this scheme. There is no large fortune, the money invested will be lost. Recovery is very difficult if not impossible.
That thinking does not work in Las Vegas
When the pigeon figures out he is on the menu for supper and stops sending money he finds more surprises. What is left of his bank account is emptied, his credit cards and maxed out and the pigeon is lucky if he does not have to file bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Nigeria looks like a very long way from the US considering our pigeon has no money and does not speak the language.

Unfortunately, Nigeria is not sympathetic. The pigeon was involved in a plot to defraud the Nigerian government. The fraud is titled after section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code, hence the name "419 fraud". bank accounts.

Here is the advice the FBI gives for this scheme:

Some Tips to Avoid Nigerian Letter or "419" Fraud:

If you receive a letter from Nigeria asking you to send personal or banking information, do not reply in any manner. Send the letter to the U.S. Secret Service, your local FBI office, or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You can also register a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel.

If you know someone who is corresponding in one of these schemes, encourage that person to contact the FBI or the U.S. Secret Service as soon as possible.

Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as Nigerian or foreign government officials asking for your help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.

Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your cooperation.

“Guard your account information carefully.”

Guard your account information carefully.

Be wary of individuals or groups proclaiming that paying federal and/or state income tax is not necessary.

Do not believe that the U.S. Treasury controls bank accounts for all citizens.

Be skeptical of individuals advocating that speeding tickets, summons, bills, tax notifications, or similar documents can be resolved by writing “acceptance for value” on them.

If you know of anyone advocating the use of property liens to coerce acceptance of this scheme, contact your local FBI office.

The best investments are usually in your own back yard. They require patience and a lot of hard work. The get rich dream will always provide another sucker. The question for all of us, 'will we be the next victim?' 

The following is a link to some wealth building tips!

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