October 14, 2005 9:46 AM PDT

Nigeria enlists Microsoft to fight spam scammers

Microsoft is planning to work with the Nigerian government to help track down and prosecute criminals involved in e-mail scams and other Internet-based fraud originating from the African country.

Microsoft will provide technical expertise, training and other security resources to Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which is tasked with fighting cybercrime in the country.

Nigeria was initially slow to respond to the problem of "419" e-mail scammers operating in the country, who were duping unsuspecting Internet users out of thousands of pounds by promising a share of the secret multimillion-pound fortune of a deposed African dictator.

The EFCC is now at the forefront of that battle and has arrested more than 1,000 people, brought 300 prosecutions and seized a billion dollars in assets--but that has still only resulted in 17 convictions to date.

In an interview at the Nigerian Embassy in London on Friday, Nuhu Ribadu, executive chairman of the EFCC, said it is a "painful" problem for Nigeria.

"Nigeria is one country where there are examples of everything that is bad when it comes to technology," he said. "It's a big, big problem for us. 419 scams are still the main problem, but we are also witnessing other problems, such as credit card fraud and lottery scams, as well as the hacking and cloning of Web sites."

Ribadu said that is now changing for the better, with new legislation that allows the government to prosecute anyone helping to facilitate the scammers--from cybercafe owners to Internet service providers.

He said: "We are also getting technology to help us filter these scams at the cybercafe-level. We will go after anyone doing this. The measures are starting to show. The scammers are moving out of the country. Things are changing a lot and changing our lives."

Neil Holloway, president of Microsoft in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said the agreement with the Nigerian government is part of Microsoft's wider security strategy, which includes rewards for bringing prosecutions against virus writers.

Holloway acknowledged that Internet-based fraud is a global problem, but said Nigeria is an important battleground and added that the partnership, which has been under way for six months, has already led to the closure of three ISPs in Nigeria that were being used by scammers.

"We have to work on point solutions instead of a grand scheme," he said. "We think that's going to help investment in Nigeria and benefit the economy."

Holloway said Microsoft will look to work with other governments in similar initiatives in the future.

Andy McCue of Silicon.com reported from London.

12 comments

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I Hope it works
These spammers should be tarred and feathered.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
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I Hope it works
These spammers should be tarred and feathered.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nigerian e mail scam
I got one of those scam letters. I don't think I can help the poor general redirect his loot. I'd like to help the poor HIV greenback monkey
who got shafted in a mudhut. We don't pay enough attention to African innovators.
Posted by FisherKingKQJ (59 comments )
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Nigerian e mail scam
I got one of those scam letters. I don't think I can help the poor general redirect his loot. I'd like to help the poor HIV greenback monkey
who got shafted in a mudhut. We don't pay enough attention to African innovators.
Posted by FisherKingKQJ (59 comments )
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Microsoft ? Are you crazy ?
The day I opened an account with Hotmail, I was bombarded with 10 emails, related to the Nigerian scam. Everyday I have to delete 10-15 emails. It seems that Microsoft sites are the least protected. I am not sure how Micrsoft will help Nigeria ?
Posted by satish rao (9 comments )
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Microsoft ? Are you crazy ?
The day I opened an account with Hotmail, I was bombarded with 10 emails, related to the Nigerian scam. Everyday I have to delete 10-15 emails. It seems that Microsoft sites are the least protected. I am not sure how Micrsoft will help Nigeria ?
Posted by satish rao (9 comments )
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Action? Sure....
Yeah, sure, Nigeria is going to stop their second largest industry....
Posted by davearonson (35 comments )
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Action? Sure....
Yeah, sure, Nigeria is going to stop their second largest industry....
Posted by davearonson (35 comments )
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To me it is Yahoo
I have been getting these mails for almost the past 5 years. Even some of my friends have been getting these mails. But in our case it has been through Yahoo and not Hotmail. It is no way to support or defend hotmail, it is just to share the information.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.buckleupnow.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.buckleupnow.com</a>
Posted by itispals (56 comments )
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To me it is Yahoo
I have been getting these mails for almost the past 5 years. Even some of my friends have been getting these mails. But in our case it has been through Yahoo and not Hotmail. It is no way to support or defend hotmail, it is just to share the information.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.buckleupnow.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.buckleupnow.com</a>
Posted by itispals (56 comments )
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A list of scammers and suspected scammers should be posted now. Does the names THEMITOPE HAREDGER or SHERRY WILLS come to mind?
Posted by stopscamstoo (1 comment )
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Societ? dell'informazione:
IPHONE STOP LIMITED
Dest: Adams ASHLEY
>> >> INDIRIZZO: EDILIZIA S. GIORGIO 3 ? PIANO
>> >> 5 ? posto VINCENT
>> >> GLASGOW
>> >> LANARKSHIRE
>> >> REGNO UNITO
>> >> G1 2DH
>> >> Company No. SC384362
>> >>



this company has put its advertising worldwide, not just the square, people who
steal .... I was robbed of 2215.00 (euro), which as smart, I tried to advertise
through 10 with an iphone 1.100,00 (EUR), and then I paid half of the 550.00
that sent me to deposit more money because they had not sent in error, 17 4G
32GB iPhone, and I would have to deposit more than ? 575.00, then he said he was
trapped in the goods and Customs need to send more urgent 400.00, 200.00 and
finally asked more for the goods arrive here, and then miss the most when you
receive 400.00 (EUR), and now I'm out and merchandise was stolen from 2215.00
(EUR) to help me please.

that at the end of fake certificates and taxes, I have taken more than twice, so
I trusted them because they had a fake company, including sending money to a man
named Adams ashey were three elements of money in Nigeria ... please help me, I
need to recover that money ... What should I do ....... the name and business
address please if you have an attorney who can help me to find me, I live in
Milan, but I'm willing to go to England, where the important thing is to do
justice, from now on, beware of these companies, I are a victim ...
And after all this, the phones are not and do not answer me ... lmais after I
got a call saying he was the head of the company was not taking place and what
was happening, but it was not for me to withdraw, because it would have solved
everything. Saturday 23/10/10 the day, called me to ask more of 2215.00 euro to
send my order, and I said no more or send a euro, so he said he would not
receive the goods is all ... registered as a messenger and e-mail ...

the name and business address please if you have an attorney who can help me to
find me, I live in Milan, but I'm willing to go to England, where the important
thing is to do justice, from now on, beware of these companies, I are a victim
...
And after all this, the phones are not and do not answer me ... lmais after I
got a call saying he was the head of the company was not taking place and what
was happening, but it was not for me to withdraw, because it would have solved
everything. Saturday 23/10/10 the day, called me to ask more of 2215.00 euro to
send my order, and I said no more or send a euro, so he said he would not
receive the goods is all ... registered as a messenger and e-mail ...
Posted by lucisantana (1 comment )
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