Nigerian Scam

Nigerian Scam
A scam where the sender requests help in facilitating the transfer of a substantial sum of money, generally in the form of an email. In return, the sender offers a commission, usually in the range of several million dollars. The scammers then request that money be sent to pay for some of the costs associated with the transfer. If money is sent to the scammers, they will either disappear immediately or try to get more money with claims of continued problems with the transfer.

Also known as "advance fee fraud" and the "419 fraud."

This specific type of scam is generally referred to as the Nigerian scam because of its prevalence in the region, particularly during the 1990s. There is also a section of the Nigerian criminal code, Section 419, that makes this type of fraud illegal. However, this scam is not limited to Nigeria and is also perpetrated by many organizations in many different countries around the world. The origins of this scam are widely debated with some suggesting it started in Nigeria during the 1970s, while others suggest its origins go back hundreds of years to other confidence scams such as the Spanish prisoner scam.

The scammers hope that the commission offered will be enticing enough to compel the recipient to take the risk of sending thousands of dollars to a stranger. The reasons given for the transfer can differ from a government freezing an account to the existence of an account with no beneficial owner. When it comes to this type of request, however, it is important to remember that if anything sounds too good to be true - it usually is.

Warnings signs of a Nigerian scam include a U.S. currency account in a foreign country, odd spelling and language in the body of the email and a promise of substantial compensation for little effort.

Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nigerian scam — noun An attempt to defraud by sending out large amounts of emails stating that the recipient has inherited a vast fortune, but will need to supply banking account details, or to send payment for fees, before the inheritance can be passed on. Syn …   Wiktionary

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  • Nigerian organized crime — Nigerian organized crime, or Nigerian OC, may refer to a number of fraudsters, drug traffickers and racketeers of various sorts originating from Nigeria. Nigerian criminal gangs rose to prominence in the 1980s, owing much to the globalization of… …   Wikipedia

  • Scam letters — A scam letter is a document, distributed electronically or otherwise, to a recipient misrepresenting the truth with the aim of gaining an advantage in a fraudulent manner.The origin of scam lettersCurrently it is unclear how far back the origin… …   Wikipedia

  • scam baiting — (SKAM bay.ting) pp. Teasing a scam artist particularly someone running the Nigerian advance fee fraud scheme by feigning interest in the scam and forcing the scammer to perform silly or time wasting tasks. Also: scam baiting. scam baiter n.… …   New words

  • Scam baiting — El scam baiting (del inglés scam, «estafa», «timo» y baiting, «tentar», «tender una trampa») es una actividad que consiste en simular interés en un fraude por correo electrónico o estafa nigeriana con el fin de manipular al estafador para hacerle …   Wikipedia Español

  • scam — ● ►en n. m. ►SECU Tentative d escroquerie menée par courriel. Cela a commencé par les nigerian scams , dans lesquels vous deviez envoyer de l argent liquide au Nigéria pour qu un gentil correspondant puisse débloquer une énorme somme d argent. En …   Dictionnaire d'informatique francophone

  • 419 scam — (four one nine scam) n. A fraud, particularly one originating in Nigeria, in which a person is asked for money to help secure the release of, and so earn a percentage of, a much larger sum. Also: 419 fraud, 419 scheme, 419 con. 419 n., adj.… …   New words

  • 419 scam — n. A common scam named for a section of the Nigerian criminal code in which scammers persuade victims to send them large sums of money in order to receive promised large payoffs that never arrive. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing,… …   Law dictionary

  • Advance-fee fraud — African sting An advance fee fraud is a confidence trick in which the target is persuaded to advance sums of money in the hope of realizing a significantly larger gain.[1] Among the variations on this type of scam are the Nigerian Letter (also… …   Wikipedia

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