Home ScamsAdvance Fee Scams Nigerian Computer Scientist Advance Fee Scam

Nigerian Computer Scientist Advance Fee Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

This email message claims to be from a computer scientist named Adekunle Elvis who works at a bank in Nigeria. “Adekunle” claims that he has found and examined the recipient’s file at the bank and discovered that a large sum of money that was supposed to be released to the recipient has been deliberately held back by unscrupulous bank staff even though “virtually” all the necessary fees have already been paid. “Adekunle” explains that he can arrange for the immediate release of the money if the recipient can finalize the transaction by submitting an “anti drug/terrorist clearance certificate”. The message concludes with a lengthy list that supposedly names dishonest staff members who are responsible for delaying the previous release of the funds.
However, the claims in the message are part of a scam designed to extract money from victims in the form of advance fees. This specific type of scam email actually targets recipients who have already been victims of previous advance fee scams. The following example scenario reveals how advance fee scammers use this tactic:

  • Some time before he received the above email, the recipient was sent an email that claimed that he was the beneficiary of a large inheritance. He was urged to contact a specified agent in order to arrange the release of the supposed inheritance.
  • After contacting the “agent” he was informed that certain fees had to be paid before the inheritance could be released.
  • After paying several of the requested fees, the victim found that he had still not received his funds and the “agent” no longer replied to his messages.
  • After repeated attempts to make contact, the victim finally realizes that he has probably been scammed.
  • Then, however, he receives the above email which seemingly explains the delay and lays the blame on dishonest bank staff. He discovers that the “agent” listed in the original message is included on the “computer scientist’s” list of fraudsters.
  • Thus, greatly relieved that he will now finally receive his inheritance, the victim contacts “Adekunle” and then happily pays the “final” requested fee for the “anti drug/terrorist clearance certificate”.

Sadly, the hapless recipient has become a victim all over again. Of course, the inheritance does not and never did exist and the “anti drug/terrorist clearance certificate” is just a ploy used to trick victims into sending their money to criminals.

By using such tactics, advance fee scammers can capitalize on the groundwork previously done by other scammers. The scam emails contain quite comprehensive lists of names used in other advance fee scams. These names tend to be used over and over again in many different scam messages. Thus, it is quite likely that a person previously victimized in an advance fee scam will recognize the name of his or her “agent” on the list and subsequently fall for the web of lies spun by the new scammer.
Scammers may send out thousands or even millions of identical scam messages like the one above. Even if only a small fraction of recipients have previously fallen for a scam and only a small fraction of those victims are once again tricked into sending their money, the scammers will make enough money to ensure that their scheme was well and truly profitable.

There are many different variations of this type of scam, all designed to extract even more money from previous scam victims. Another recent version that is very similar to the example included above uses the name “Ken Rutherford” in place of “Adekunle Elvis”.

Example:

Subject: THE TRUTH REGARDING YOUR FUND!!!

I am Mr Adekunle Elvis. a computer scientist working with central bank of Nigeria.I just started work with C.B.N. and I came across your file which was marked X and your payment released papers painted RED, I took time to study it and found out that you have paid VIRTUALLY all fees but the fund was not released to you and the office you are dealing with are not willing to make transfer available to you.

The most annoying thing is that they won’t tell you the truth that on no account will they ever release the funds to you,instead they allow you spend money unnecessarily,I decided to contact you because I can make transfer of your funds available to you immediately under 10minutes,that is if you are ready and willing to follow all instructions stated by me without hesitation.

I needed to do this because you need to know the statues of your Funds and cause for the delay,Please this is like a Mafia setting in Nigeria, you may not understand it because you are not a Nigerian. The only thing needed to release this fund is the Anti drug/terrorist clearance certificate which will be tendered to any of your nominated bank and the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE(IRS)for clearance of the transfered amount in your account.

Once the Anti drug /terrorist clearance certificate is obtained funds will immediately reflect in your bank within 10 Minutes,the certificate is all that is needed to complete this transaction.

Note that the actual funds is valued at $15.5 MILLION USD and the president made a compensation fund release for all unpaid beneficiary valued at $10 million usd.

Listed below are the mafia’s and banks behind the non release of your funds that i managed to sneak out for your kind persual.
[Names Removed]



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer