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The Nigerian Scam- a greed trap.

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The numbers 419 is becoming infamous. It is also called the advanced fee scam. How it works is that the scammer mass mails, texts or even calls the victim and inform the victim that for some strange reason (accident, lottery win, lucky draw, death of a rich person etc..) they are the recipent of an extraordinary sum of money. Incidentally, why it is called 419 is because the penal code number for this kind of fraud in Nigeria is -419.

Next, the scammer will tell the recipent that they need to channel some money as administration fees in order to free up the money they have won or inherited. The scammers, being very ingenious, will use a variety of methods to hook the victims so it could be anything to get the victim greedy. However, the common thread is that they will always ask for an adminstration fee to get the 'millions' freed up and transfered to you. . A reference about this advanced fee fraud in Wikipedia.

The Youtube video is about another type of scam- the black money scam. This is when they show potential victims a bag of black notes and they will take out a few and dissolve the black notes into a special solution and then hey presto, a crisp US$100 notes emerges. They will then ask the victim to cough up money to buy over the whole bag and the special 'expensive' solution. This again works on the victim's greed.

Recently, in Singapore, there have been a spate of another version of this Nigerian scam by Chinese nationals working from China. Where you receive an international call where the person speaks to you in Chinese and ask you for some details in order to register you for some contest or lucky draw. A few days later, a call will come to tell you that you have won a huge lottery and again, you have to pay administrative costs. So this advance fee fraud has become international. This dated news article gives some more chilling news about how sophisticated some of these fraudsters have become. The latest news I've heard is that some of these fraudsters have even resorted to providing personal details about the victim and using these details to threaten to assassinate and blackmail the victim- 'If you don't pay me, you die'.

More interesting, there have been an even more advanced form of fraud where the scammers poses as secret service agents and get those victims who have already been cheated to get them to give more money to 'help investigate' these fraudsters and bring them to justice (and hopefully recover the money too). Sadly, these 'secret service' agents disappears with the money too. There is an interesting site by the 419 eaters who gives the latest on the war against these fraudsters, wherever they come from and also have some humourous photos of these fraudsters too. The con man getting conned :)

The moral of the story? Do not believe anyone that 'gives' you millions and 'promises' you riches from something you have never entered and never part with money that is supposed to be administrative fees. The best is to ignore and delete the mail.

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