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.
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.