Alternatively referred to as the Africa scam or Nigeria scam, the 419 scam is named after the penal code that it is prosecuted under in Nigeria, Africa. The 419 scam is done over e-mail or fax telling the recipient they've won the lottery or in contact with a businessman, official, widow, etc. who needs help withdrawing money. Often this is a large sum of money, e.g., several hundred thousand or several million dollars, that you're promised in part or whole.
Example of the 419 scam
The scams always involve one or more of the below tactics.
- You must make a small deposit to help with the withdraw of the large sum of money from the account.
- The money needs to be transferred to a different account, which requires you to provide your bank or account information.
- You must cash a check or cheque that is sent to you.
- The deal must be done in secret and you cannot tell anyone.
As always, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. If you receive this scam, we suggest you delete the e-mail.