The Nigeria scam is a common type of internet fraud also known as the “advanced fee fraud” or the 4-1-9 fraud. The fraud is perpetuated through email messages, letters and can even be sent through fax. These types of fraud messages are usually postmarked as coming from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and other foreign nations. The recipient address is usually taken from random mailing lists. The fraudsters work by appealing the receiver of the message to aid a government, a bank, a quasi-government entity and members of a prominent family out of a legal problem or a financial embarrassment. The pitch in such Nigeria scams usually include a multi-million dollar promise that should the receiver help the sender, then he (receiver) would benefit from some of the money. Read more on email hoax.
Should the unsuspecting receiver agree to participate in this Nigeria scam, something usually goes wrong from the sender’s side thus requiring the mail recipient to intervene by sending a specified amount of money to bribe some official in the named country for them to agree on releasing the money. The money required from the mail recipient is usually some insignificant amount of money, which considering the amount in question, does not always seem suspect. Once the mail recipient sends the first sum of money, the excuses start coming, usually requiring a little more contribution from his part in order to set the process rolling. All the mail recipient gets in response after sending the money to the fraudsters are more excuses usually requiring a bit more money from them. Unless one recognizes this is a fraud well in advance, the small amount of cash sent to the fraudsters could end up milking their accounts dry. Moreover, when there is no more money coming from their targets, the fraudsters disappear forever, and so do the money they received.
Recognizing the Nigeria scam is quite easy. First, mail recipients should be on the lookout for promises of great fortunes that are usually contained in such mails. Without parting with the small amount as requested by the fraudsters, target mail recipients should first consider the possibility of “what if I never get the promised amount even after parting with my money?” The Nigeria scam usually takes different forms. The fraudsters may decide to contact a religious organization with the pretense of being charitable and wanting to leave some of “his fortune” to the organization. The script usually runs as above usually requiring the organization to send some amount of money to solve some delays. Again, the money never materializes. Read more on ebay fraud.
The general principle applied in the Nigeria scam mails is that the someone in a different country (does not necessarily have to be Nigeria) contacts their target prey wanting some kind of help to move large amounts of money from some place. The Nigeria scams usually look so obvious after exposure that one wonders why people fall for the trick. However, some people blinded by the promise of wealth ignore the telltale signs that scream “Fraud!” Every year, hundreds of people are swindled of their money through the Nigeria scam, whose undisputed base is Nigeria. In some extreme cases, the fraudsters have their targets fly to the country to meet the people they are dealing with. All this is done in an attempt to extort as much money from the victims as is possible.