Every year, more than 50,000 people worldwide fall victim to the Nigerian Scam. Usually contacted by e-mail about a business proposal or winning a lottery, the victims lose their life savings after they are persuaded by stories with very tempting outcomes.
According to some reports, the scam is the third most lucrative industry in Nigeria, generating over 5 billion dollars in the last 20 years. Authorities have named the scam after the number of the article in the Nigerian constitution that deals with the matter - 419.
For the last few months, a talented filmmaker from Canada produced a movie, showing how the e-mail scam works. As far as we know, this is the first movie ever made on this topic - but if there are some other ones, please let us know.
Watch the movie trailer!
Why should you see the movie?
The Internet is flooded with e-mails promising money-making business proposals, lottery win notifications, and fabulous inheritances. This is the story of how one man's involvement with such an Internet scam ruined his life. The inclusion of real correspondence with the scammers gives an added level of realism to this shocking film - a dramatic piece about a human journey, hope, values of life, and awareness.
“419: The Nigerian Scam” is a drama that chronicles the drama of Peter Hathaway, a talented broker living in Seattle, who receives a business proposal from Nigeria. The proposal is well written and extremely tempting, and promises to make Peter $720,000 richer. Although married with children, Peter recklessly pursues the deal, falls into the trap, spending all of his family’s savings, and loans from various people – a total of almost $80,000.
“My best friend lost all his savings after being victimized,” says Sorin Mihailovici, producer and director of “419: The Nigerian Scam”. “I will never forget for the rest of my life the look on his face and the ordeal he went through. His tragedy inspired me to create this movie.”
Mihailovici went a step beyond in the movie, using real documents from the correspondence with the scammers. You can see one of these documents in the trailer, at 00:54.
“419: The Nigerian Scam” is an educational (how to avoid all kinds of offers and Internet deals) and a dramatic story – a must-see movie.
If you want much more details...
The Q&A page offers you much more details, in case you are interested. Samples of real scam e-mails, how many kinds of 419 scams are out there, details about the movie and producers - all these here.
Hit at Edmonton International Film Festival!
On September 28, "419: the Nigerian Scam" was screened at the Edmonton International Film Festival. The movie was a huge success and was received very well by the audience. Director Sorin Mihailovici had a Q&A session after the movie (see photo) and his presence was requested for quite a few interviews after the screening!