The majority of Internet users from around the world have received at least one or more e-mail in which some unknown person claims that he/she is in possession of millions of US dollars, and is soliciting the assistance from some person elsewhere to assist in the transfer of these millions of dollars to another bank account. In return, generally the reader of the e-mail is offered 10% of the funds in return for his/her assistance.
Unfortunately, many people from around the world fall victim to these scam letters. In fact, these scam letters are the cause of this scam being the world’s second largest crime responsible for losses exceeding billions of dollars from around the world.
The Nigerian 419 scam is in fact an Advance Fee Fraud scam. In these types of scams the victims are generally required to pay upfront fees for a product or service, which will never be delivered.
This scam was called the Nigerian 419 scam, after the Nigerian penal code prohibiting advance fee fraud. It is believed that the first Nigerian 419 scam originated in the early 1980’s, where some of the first reports originated from the United States. Investigations at the time concluded that the letters received originated from Nigeria.