Let me say from the outset that Nigeria is full of wonderful, hard-working and honest people. Not that any of them email me on a regular basis, but I know they are there, living busy and industrious lives. Unfortunately, while those fine folks are too busy to drop me a line, the scammers and identity thieves living there seem to have far more time on their hands. Here is something that slimed its way into my inbox this morning:
ICPC NIGERIA(Anti-Fraud Unit)
......we fight against fraud, funds delay and impersonation.
Head Office: Plot 802, Constitution Avenue
Zone A9 Central Area
P. M.B 535, Garki Lagos
TEL : +234 70 394 66 934
*****24HRS SERVICE *****
LETTER OF COMPENSATION/SETTLEMENT.
This letter will definately be amazing to you because of it’s realistic value.
Sorry for the inconveniences that was rendered to you in your line of Inheritance Payment transaction with some impersonators some while ago.
I know that this letter will hit you by surprise, but firstly I will like to introduce myself; I am (Mr. Raynond Osaze) the Legal chairman of "ICPC", (Nigeria's Anti-Fraud Unit).
On the 1st of October 2000, the former President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria (Chief Olusegun Obasanjo) introduced a Commission named the "ICPC", (Nigeria's Anti-Fraud Unit) which is duly registered under the United Nations (U.N.O). This particular Commission was initiated to detect fraud/funds delay/impersonation of Government Officials. Secondly, we are mandated by the US Government to Settle foreign debts/fraud victims/Un-paid beneficiaries to satisfactory in other to maintain peace in the world at large and also to create a good relationship with the international bodies.
Presently, we are being paid by the American government inother to avert beneficiary funds delays/fraud here in Nigeria.
So far in this present year, we have settled the likes of (Mrs. Debbie Hargrove, Mr. Micheal Wagner etc).
You are being contacted by this office today dated ( 12th Dec, 2008) because your Case File (A) is the very first File on our Settlement Files Cabinet. From our Intelligent investigations and Probing processes we discovered that you are a victim of fraud/funds delay.
The "ICPC", is faithfully under my governance as the Legal Chairman of the great Commission and to this Authority I took an oath of allegiance to settle all fraud victims peacefully.
This Memorandum is to notify you that you will be settled by the Nigerian Government from our initial Deposit Account. Your settlement will be actualized within 3working days after your response to this Official Letter.
For further clearification/investigation kindly send the below information to us immediately:
1. Your Full name & residential address.
2. Mobile and fax number (for regular official contact).
3. Your inheritance funds value.
4. Amount which you have lost previously.
These above-mentioned informations will officially enable us to carry out our verification processes and after that your compensation sum/Inheritance Funds will be Electronically wired into your designated Bank account or through a Diplomatic Delivery Service, depending on which mode you prefer.
Your immediate compliance to this will expedite actions on your Payment because here in this office, we have alot of listed victims to be settled.
Call me +234 70 394 66 934
Mr. Raymond Osaze.
Chairman ICPC Nigeria.
Given the fact that it is the Nigerian scamming community that is most interested in emailing me, any mention of Nigeria is a red flag. Since it is in the subject line, I might have trashed the message without even opening it, but I got curious about the so-called “Anti-Fraud Unit,” so I opened the message and gave it the once-over.
Clues in the Message—Scammers Cannot Spell
It’s true, check out the message. There are seven spelling mistakes, including the sender’s own first name, which really does not bode well for the authenticity of this offer. The writer also seemed obsessed by misplaced capital letters. While one might forgive the overcooked way the message is expressed, official documents, even from non-English speaking organizations, at least get the basic grammar and punctuation right.
Clues on the Net—Google the Organization
The following are the search results I received from the keywords “ICPC Nigeria” when I performed the Google Search. Take a look: What do you see?
webpage of ICPC It was passed and signed into law on the 13th of June 2000. The Act establishes the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences ...
"Undoubtedly, Nigeria has huge potentials and resources to afford its estimated ... ICPC detains Ondo Council Commission chief - Friday 21st November 2008 ...
Apr 13, 2008 ... ICPC NIGERIA Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission United Nations Approved Anti-fraud Unit ...
HOAX | Scam 419 | Podvodné e-maily - 419 SCAM | ICPC NIGERIA fraud ...
Nov 18, 2008 ... ICPC NIGERIA (Anti-Fraud Unit) we fight against fraud, funds delay and impersonation. Head Office: Plot 802, Constitution Avenue ...
Nigeria: ICPC Arrests Deputy Director Over N22.3m Fraud ...
1 post - Last post: Mar 5
Nigeria: ICPC Arrests Deputy Director Over N22.3m Fraud AllAfrica.com,
HOAX | Scam 419 | Podvodné e-maily - 419 SCAM | ICPC NIGERIA ...
HOAX | Scam 419 | Podvodné e-maily - 419 SCAM | ICPC NIGERIA LETTER OF COMPENSATION (20081207)
allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Siemens - ICPC Probes Aminu, Adebayo, Others
Nigeria: Siemens - ICPC Probes Aminu, Adebayo, Others. Emmanuel Ulayi, Tordue Salem, Innocent Anaba and Inalegwu Shaibu. 19 November 2007 ...
Nigeria: ICPC quizzes Ehindero - Over N557m police arms fund ...
Apr 2, 2008 ... Mr. Ehindero, Nigerian Tribune learnt, arrived at the ICPC headquarters in Abuja at 10.15 a.m. and left the premises at 12.30 p.m. ...
allAfrica.com: Nigeria: ICPC Arraigns LG Boss Over N166 Million ...
Nov 20, 2008 ... Nigeria: ICPC Arraigns LG Boss Over N166 Million Contract ... Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has charged to court, ...
Justice Emmanuel Ayoola / ICPC NIGERIA (Anti-Fraud Unit) [Archive ...
1 post - Last post: Nov 14
[Archive] Justice Emmanuel Ayoola / ICPC NIGERIA (Anti-Fraud Unit) Police/FBI/ Government Impersonation.
In these first ten search result entries, we have 5 that connect ICPC Nigeria to fraud, but there are also a couple links to information about the organization and then several that describe it as acting as a law-enforcement body. Pretty confusing, right? Which do you believe?
In this case, it is easy. You can believe all of them. The basis of fraud is deception. The scammer makes you believe that you are deal with a legitimate person or organization in order to part you from your money, either directly by conning you or through identity theft. We have cases from all over the world of criminals pretending to be police officers, FBI agents or other government officials in order to carry out their nefarious schemes, why not Nigerian scam artists?
The Legitimate ICPC
It is, perhaps, the ultimate slap in the face of the legitimate Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) that scammers stole its identity and are using it to perpetrate fraud on the Internet, one of the many types of fraud that the organization was meant to stop.
The ICPC has three main functions:
1. To receive and investigate reports of corruption and in appropriate cases prosecute the offender[s].
2. To examine, review and enforce the correction of corruption prone systems and procedures of public bodies, with a view to eliminating corruption in public life.
3. Educating and enlightening the public on and against corruption and related offences with a view to enlisting and fostering public support for the fight against corruption.
Founded in 2000, the ICPC has a clear mandate: To prohibit and prescribe punishment for corrupt practices and other related offences. That is a tough job. According to Transparency International, for 2008, Nigeria placed 121st out of 180 countries in perceived corruption. The US ranked 18th. Nigeria’s 2008 score is a distinct improvement over 2001, when the country’s score was 90 out of 91. It is obvious that they are working hard to clean up the fraud and corruption in Nigerian society and the legitimate ICPC is a big part of that.
The Bottom Line
While the ICPC is a legitimate organization and while they do have police powers in the area of corruption, they are no more in the business of handing out money than an American criminal court is. They may insist on victim reparations from the convicted, but the organization itself is not going to make the payments itself.
So, if you get one of these letters, trash it. You will not be communicating with the real ICPC, just some criminals using their name. Eventually, however, these people will figure out that people are not falling for the trick and move onto something else. The trick to dealing with any of these little phishing expeditions is to be as informed as possible.
· Google the name of the organization and see what comes up
· Look for grossly negligent mistakes in the body of the message
· Trace the sender (www.ip-adress.com has a good, free tool to do that)
· Educate yourself on the most common scam tactics because they change over time. Here are some good resources:
Learn, stay alert and protect yourself. It’s a jungle out there!