“4-1-9” fraud takes on new twist, more detailed

Scam Alert
Scam Alert

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — The “4-1-9” Advance Fee Fraud (also known as the “Nigerian Letter Scam”) is now targeting a new segment of potential victims. It appears that the scammers are sending the letters to people based on their former or current occupations to try and lure them into the scam.

A Lexington woman contacted the Better Business Bureau serving Central & Kentucky to report receiving a letter from a firm called “Bill Millman & Associates” in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The letter stated they had tried to contact her in the past for their “late client” who died while traveling in the U.S. who has left her $2 million.

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The letter went on to state, “Our records show that years back our late client was once a patient in an institution where you worked as a Caregiver/Nurse while he was on a business trip in the U.S.  Our late client indicated that you took care of him with great compassion that propelled him to recover faster than the doctors anticipated.”

The woman is a retired Veterans Administration Hospital nurse, which is why the letter grabbed her attention.  The letter citing her past job might indicate that the scammers are getting more detailed in the letters sent to people they locate through professional listings and databases, hoping to convince them to take the bait.

The U.S. Secret Service is the agency that investigates Advance Fee Fraud schemes, known internationally as “4-1-9” fraud after the section of the Nigerian penal code which addresses fraud schemes. No matter the form, the letters all seek to lure the victim into a scenario to receive the funds.  The victim is convinced to transfer money to pay various “fees”, “taxes,” or even “bribes” to move money from one country to another. The money is rarely, if ever, recovered.

If you or someone you know has lost money to “4-1-9” fraud, report it to the U.S. Secret Service: https://www.secretservice.gov/

Consumers may report scams to BBB Scam Tracker at www.bbb.org/scamtracker.

Media release from the BBB. 

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.