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Nigerian Scams

By Odesi Desko

Within the last few years, the 419 fraud has quickly become one of the most prevalent forms of fraud out there. Due to widespread use of the Internet, it has since become far easier to commit fraudulent activity and target thousands of people, specifically through email accounts. In order to work, this method requires the recipient to advance money to the fraudulent people under the promise of receiving a gain on their money.

The advance-fee scam, active for quite some time, originated from some African countries, but has been adapted by scammers in other countries. Using e-mail a person is contacted regarding huge amounts of money that they can receive if they send money in advance. Even though this smacks of an illegal activity many people have fallen for it, losing money.

The pretense of the email is that you have to pay an administration fee in order to receive the huge payment that they tell you you are entitled to, and they ask for your bank account numbers in order to transfer the money to you. However, this also means that victims can get money taken from their own bank account as well as the advance funds.

Since most 419 frauds are based in foreign countries, it becomes increasingly more difficult to find out whether or not the source of the offer is legitimate. Use or other such telephone services to figure out whether or not a provided telephone number in the email can verify the information you were given. Unfortunately, for the most part you just get an email address and a name; as a result, if you ever see an offer like this, use extreme caution.

Typically, a 419 fraud victim is either elderly or currently have little resources. As such, the offer is exceedingly enticing, as it provides an opportunity to resolve any and all financial difficulties. However, this is not the case, and victims lose the advance money and possibly even the remainder of their resources.

Don’t ever trust anyone from a foreign country who offers you a lot of money over email. When you get messages like this, ask yourself: How were they able to acquire my email address? What could I possibly offer them? Where is this offer coming from?

The Internet has opened the world to everyone. Being able to chat with people in foreign countries is fun. Unfortunately, it has also opened the world to scammers who prey on elderly and trusting people. The 419 fraud scheme is a typical example of this for of exploitation.

Be wary of any sort of email message from someone you don’t know, as you can’t be sure why it was sent. Don’t trust anything that offers you something for nothing, especially over email. Research whatever suspect offers you receive, and it’s even within your rights to hand the correspondence to a fraud prevention and investigation agency.

To find out more about the reverse phone search service that may help you prevent frauds visit

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Desko, Odesi "Nigerian Scams." Nigerian Scams. 1 Jul. 2010. 21 Jun 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Desko, O (2010, July 1). Nigerian Scams. Retrieved June 21, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Desko, Odesi "Nigerian Scams"

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