How to spot scams like "Moving Funds Out Of Niger"

Also Known As: Moving Funds Out Of Niger advance-fee scam
Damage level: Medium

What is "Moving Funds Out Of Niger"?

We have examined this email and found that it is a deceptive message attempting to engage recipients in a fraudulent scheme. The sender offers a substantial financial reward as an enticement, but in reality, this is a classic advance-fee scam designed to exploit and deceive recipients. Thus, this email should be ignored.

Moving Funds Out Of Niger email spam campaign

More about the "Moving Funds Out Of Niger" scam email

In this deceptive email, scammers fabricate a scenario involving a purported military coup in the Republic of Niger. They claim that following this event, senior government officials and ministers are in hiding and wish to move a substantial sum of money out of Niger to neighboring countries. Specifically, they mention the desire to move these funds to Mali before being moved overseas for safekeeping and investments.

The scammers, who pose as representing one of the ministers, seek assistance from the recipient in facilitating the financial transfer. To entice the recipient, they offer a 30% share of the supposed total amount, which is stated to be a staggering US$47 million. This enticing offer is designed to lure individuals into responding to the scammer's request.

It is important to recognize that this email is a clear example of advance-fee fraud, where the scammers intend to extract money or personal information from the victim. Such scams prey on individuals' trust and greed, and it is crucial to exercise caution and avoid any engagement with these fraudulent emails.

Threat Summary:
Name Moving Funds Out Of Niger Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients will receive a significant financial reward for helping.
Disguise Letter from Mustapha Khalid
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Similar emails in general

Emails of this type, commonly known as advance-fee scams, share several common characteristics. They often create a sense of urgency or crisis, such as political upheaval, natural disaster, or personal tragedy, to invoke sympathy and urgency in recipients. These emails promise recipients a substantial financial reward or share of a large sum of money in exchange for assistance.

In order to proceed with the scam, recipients are typically asked to provide personal information, pay upfront fees, or cover purported expenses. The scammers use this to extract money or sensitive data from their victims. Also, they may try to trick recipients into infecting their computers with malware.

More examples of scam campaigns delivered via email are "Email Deactivation In Progress", "Chan & Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)", and "Recovered Stolen Funds And Crypto Currency".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Users can unknowingly introduce malware into their computers through email by falling victim to various tactics deployed by cybercriminals. For instance, malicious attachments are a common vector for infection. When users open such attachments within an email, they can inadvertently trigger the execution of malware, which can infiltrate their system, posing a threat to its security.

Additionally, phishing emails can deceive recipients into enabling macros within attached documents, initiating concealed malicious scripts that introduce malware. Moreover, links embedded in fraudulent emails can direct users to counterfeit websites where they may unknowingly download malware through drive-by downloads or be subjected to social engineering techniques.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Avoid downloading attachments or clicking on links in unsolicited emails. Download files and programs from trusted sources, such as official websites or authorized app stores. Exercise caution when clicking on online ads or links, especially those that appear on questionable websites. Keep your operating system, applications, and web browsers up to date.

Do not download and use pirated software or cracking tools. Install reputable antivirus or anti-malware software on your computer. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Moving Funds Out Of Niger" email letter:

Subject: Hello Friend,

Dear friend,

Following the military coupe d'etat that toppled the civilian government of Republic of Niger, all the senior government functionaries and Ministers were taken unawares and are on the run because of the people's uprising against them. The political heat made so many of them go into hiding in neighbouring countries.

As has always been the practice, most of these functionaries have stash of physical money that they now want to move outside of Niger to neighbouring countries especially Mali from where it can be moved overseas for safe-keeping and investments. I am currently representing one of such Ministers that are currently in hiding and have been mandated to scout for a credible person overseas who can assist in the movement and safe-keeping of US$47M stashed away by the minister.

There is a 30% offer of the total amount for you if you can successfully assist in moving the funds out of Niger. I will provide you with additional information if you are interested in the transaction. I look forward to your response.


My regards,
Mustapha Khalid

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Scammers frequently distribute emails to a vast number of email addresses, anticipating that their scheme will deceive a portion of the recipients. These phishing endeavors typically lack personalization and are intended for a broad audience.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?

In the event that you have disclosed financial information, get in touch with your bank or credit card company without delay. Contact the corresponding authorities if you have provided other details (e.g., social security number).

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to an email, is my computer infected?

When you download and open a malicious file from an email attachment, your computer potentially faces infection risks. The degree of infection risk hinges on various factors, encompassing the malware type, the file format you accessed, the security settings of your operating system, and whether your security software managed to detect and thwart the threat.

I have sent cryptocurrency to the address presented in such email, can I get my money back?

Transactions of this nature are essentially untraceable, rendering any attempt to recover the funds futile.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

When you open an email but refrain from opening the attachment, your computer remains uninfected. It is usually the act of opening an attachment that can initiate malware execution.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Combo Cleaner excels at detecting and eradicating nearly all known malware infections. However, it is crucial to understand that highly sophisticated malware often conceals itself deeply within the system, underscoring the significance of running thorough system scans.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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