Email Intercepted and Bank Details Changed (Real Scam Story)

Written by NaijaEcash

Topics: Entrepreneur

I got this report and I felt I should share this with all my reader especially those who conduct their business with free web-based email accounts.


A Nigerian who is the head of finance in his organization was instructed to purchase a piece of equipment on behalf of his company. After obtaining the quote from the oversea manufacturer, (a US based company) the deal was sealed for a six digit figure and it was agreed that the manufacturer will start building the equipment once they receive a 50% upfront payment. This was agreed on by both parties and the manufacturer representative sent an invoice containing the Wire Transfer Instructions and the Bank Account details of the manufacturing company to the Nigerian company email address (a free web based account).

Upon receipt of the email, the Nigerian observed that the Name of the beneficiary contained in the Wire Transfer Instruction was a personal name and not the Manufacturing Company Corporate Name. Not suspecting anything at this point, he informed his boss who simply told him to call the manufacturing company on phone and confirm that they actually want the money sent into a personal account.

A call was made and that was the saving grace. The manufacturing company representative was confused at the question being asked since nobody in the manufacturing organization bears the personal name that was contained in the document. He quickly requested that the purported invoice be forwarded via email to him. At this point, the Nigerian company used one of their domain based email address to forward the mail. Your guess is as good as mine, their worst fear was confirmed. The invoice was fake. The email from the manufacturer has been intercepted and the original invoice replaced with a fake-invoice!

The format of the fake invoice was slightly different from the original and as you can guess, the bank details were quite different. Both parties made several calls during the course of the day and the manufacturer had to alert his bankers and promised to report the case to FBI.

This was quite a close call that would have destroyed the reputation of both parties. Imagine what would have happened if the fraud was only discovered hours after the instruction in the fake invoice was used for the fund transfer! The Nigerian company would have sacked the officer and most probably handed him over to the police (the poor guy would have spent months and huge amount of money to proof that he knows nothing of the scam). The Nigerian company would have recorded a colossus loss which will definitely hamper its growth for years. Meanwhile, the manufacturing company (who has been very skeptical about doing business with Nigerians) would have permanently blacklisted Nigeria as a no go area.

I am happy that this true live story has a happy conclusion. It is my prayer that the perpetrator of the scam will be apprehended and brought to justice. Nigeria and Nigerians are tired of the black sheeps who continually gives us bad name in the international community.

Are you an entrepreneur, small or big business organization, you are strongly advice to stop using free email address to conduct your financial transactions. It is not safe! The cost of obtaining a personalized email address is so minute that I do not see the reason why many organization still use Yahoo free email to conduct their financial transaction. If your contacts refuse to change from your old free email account to the personalized one, send them a final notice of change and refuse to respond to further mails on that free email account.

I was reliably informed that the Nigerian company mentioned above had purchased a domain name over 5years ago, published a website and has limitless numbers of personalized email accounts they can create. Unfortunately, they continued using a free email account for contacts who are used to that account and refused to change to the new official emails. After narrating their ordeal, I promptly advised them to stop responding to contacts that insist on using the free email account since nobody knows for sure at what point their correspondence with the US based manufacturer was intercepted.

Have you ever had a close shave with scammers? Tell us your experience, we sure can learn from it. Meanwhile you can help save someone from becoming a victim by sharing this story. There is a small button below that makes it easy to Digg it, stumble it, e.t.c Cheers.


12 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. What a great story and a warning to us email is not all it’s cracked up to be.Certainly for me I will start to be more cautious about sending out sensitive and personal information via email.

  2. Billy Bob says:

    I think it would have been safer if they had ICONIX. I have it on my computer and it has saved me from all kinds of fake emails from Paypal.

    Try it yourself: www dot iconix dot com

  3. Clement says:

    These Internet scams pose a huge threat in the cyberworld. Bloggers like you and me have to do a lot to sensitize the general public about these problems.

    Clements last blog post..A car that runs on water has been unveiled in Osaka, Japan

  4. R. MAK. says:

    It’s really an eye opener. we all should be very cautious about these spam emails.

    But really there is nothing much we can do about it

  5. there are so many scams running on the internete so watch out~*:

  6. Leah Perez says:

    there are literally tons of scam on the internet today so watch out;`~

  7. Shower Screen  says:

    internet scams are very rampant and there are also lots of newbie internet users who are getting scammed

  8. Camella says:

    there are always scam everywhere so we should always be very careful when dealing with others

  9. Degroot says:

    when it comes to free email, i found gmail to be the best and yahoo the worst

    • NaijaEcash says:

      Well, i can say neither is good for business use if you are using the free versions. If you opt to pay for their services, then you may have a more secure email service. However, I doubt if your clients will know that you are using a paid service. They may simply assume that you are using the free versions. Often, emails from free services like yahoo goes straight into the junk or spam folders I.T administrators assume that such are spams. It is better to have an email that is associated with your own unique business name. After all it is cheap.

  10. Friday says:

    i hate scams whether it is offline scam or online scams, there are lots of it these days

  11. Garrett Cayer says:

    There are so many internet scams today so we should always be careful.

12 Comments Trackbacks For This Post

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