Nigerian Scam

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Definition of 'Nigerian Scam'

The Nigerian Scam, also known as the 419 scam, is a type of advance-fee fraud that typically involves the promise of a large sum of money in exchange for the victim's cooperation. The scam typically begins with an unsolicited email or letter from someone claiming to be a Nigerian government official or a representative of a foreign business. The scammer will offer the victim a share of a large sum of money, often in the millions of dollars, in exchange for their help in transferring the money out of Nigeria.

To convince the victim to cooperate, the scammer will often provide a convincing story, such as claiming that they are the victim of a political or financial dispute and need the victim's help to access their money. The scammer may also provide fake documents, such as bank statements or letters from government officials, to support their claims.

Once the victim has agreed to help, the scammer will ask for a series of payments in order to cover the costs of transferring the money. These payments can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. The scammer will often claim that the payments are necessary to pay for taxes, customs fees, or other expenses.

Once the victim has made all of the payments, the scammer will disappear and the victim will never see the promised money. In some cases, the scammer may even send the victim a fake check that will eventually bounce.

The Nigerian Scam is a very common type of fraud, and it has been around for many years. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that over $100 million is lost to this scam each year.

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the Nigerian Scam:

* Never send money to someone you don't know, especially if you are contacted by email or letter.
* Be suspicious of any offers that seem too good to be true.
* Do not provide your personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card number, to anyone you don't know.
* If you think you may be the victim of a scam, contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

The Nigerian Scam is a serious crime, and it is important to be aware of the risks involved. By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from becoming a victim.

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