An end to 419 spam?

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 29, 2004

Nigerian government takes action.

Fed up of the stigma that 419 email scammers bring to Nigeria's reputation and keen to build investor confidence in the country, Nigeria's minister of finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is leading a campaign against email fraud.

In late January the Federal Government of Nigeria approved a proposed amendment bill for changes to the infamous 419 Advance Fee Fraud Act. The amendments require all telephone and cyber café commercial operators to register with the Nigerian Communication Commission.

Operators who fail to comply with the new requirements will be liable to imprisonment or a substantial fine, while any workers in financial institutions or bureaux de change found to be aiding in the contravention of the law will be liable to both a prison term and a ban from their respective operating point.

Other plans in the minister's campaign against email fraud include training the country's police force in combating cybercrime and the launch of a global advertising campaign to warn potential victims.

Unfortunately, as pointed out by Martin Overton in his VB article 'Out of Africa', the 419 scam has 'travelled' in recent years - with versions now coming from Dubai, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Angola, Taiwan, Togo, Germany and Iraq to name just a few - so no matter how tough Nigeria gets with scammers, it looks like the 419 scam and its derivatives are here to stay.

Posted on 29 January 2004 by Virus Bulletin

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