419 CON ARTISTS KNOW
HOW TO USE THE LAW TO THEIR OWN ADVANTAGE:
Crossing International Jurisdictions
Nigerian Letter con artists operate in a gangs or rings,
and attend "scam school" to learn the tricks of the trade - including how to outwit the authorities.
Whereas 419 victims may not be internationally well-educated when it comes to the law, the 419 swindlers are.
The Nigerian Letter swindler operates in a gang or ring, and attends "scam school" to learn the tricks of his trade. Here stories are swapped, names and addresses are exchanged, methods are reviewed, letter formats are passed around, and ways to outwit the authorities come under intense discussion.
A single Nigerian Scam ring may have 30 - 40 members, not all of whom are Nigerian, or maybe none of whom are Nigerian. The scam is known for its copycats.
The most daunting aspect for law enforcement is not the sheer volume of victims and swindlers, but the number of law enforcement jurisdictions involved. A single gang will operate out of more than one country; from countries where enforcement is lax as well as from countries in Europe and Asia. They can be found in London and Toronto, Amsterdam and New York . Letters are arriving from the Philippines, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.
Gang members stay on the move. They use phony names, passports, addresses, and never keep a phone number for very long. They pass the victim from member to member, representing this one as an attorney, that one as a banker, and so forth. They have learned to make themselves as elusive as mist.
This leaves law enforcement with the almost impossible task of coordinating across language barriers and local laws. But somehow they manage. 419'ers are not all getting away. As the crime gains in popularity, international law enforcement is focusing its attention on the criminals.