I AM SHARING THIS BECAUSE I KNOW SOMEONE PERSONALLY WHO BECAME THE PRAY OF 419 SCAM. MY INTENT IS JUST TO AVOID HAPPENING SUCH THING WITH SOMEONE ELSE!
What is 419 Internet scam?
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. Among the variations on this type of scam are the Nigerian Letter (also called the 419 fraud, Nigerian scam, Nigerian bank scam, or Nigerian money offer), the Spanish Prisoner, the black money scam as well as Russian/Ukrainian scam (also widespread, though far less popular than the former). The so-called Russian and Nigerian scams stand for wholly dissimilar organized-crime traditions; they therefore tend to use altogether different breeds of approaches.
Although similar to older scams such as the Spanish Prisoner, the modern 419 scam originated in the early 1980s as the oil-based Nigerian economy declined. Several unemployed university students first used this scam as a means of manipulating business visitors interested in shady deals in the Nigerian oil sector before targeting businessmen in the west, and later the wider population. Scammers in the early-to-mid 1990s targeted companies, sending scam messages via letter, fax, or Telex.
e-mail-harvesting software significantly lowered the cost of sending scam letters by using the Internet. In the 2000s, the 419 scam has spurred imitations from other locations in Africa, Philippines, Malaysia, Russia, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States. In particular advanced fee fraud in the United States primarily originates from the cities of Buffalo and Detroit. The spread of e-mail and easy access to
The number “419” refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code (part of Chapter 38: “Obtaining Property by false pretences; Cheating”) dealing with fraud. The American Dialect Society has traced the term “419 fraud” back to 1992.
The advance-fee fraud is similar to a much older scam known as the Spanish Prisoner scam in which the trickster tells the victim that a rich prisoner promised to share treasure with the victim in exchange for money to bribe prison guards. An older version of this scam existed by the end of 18th century, and is called “the Letter From Jerusalem” by Eugne Franois Vidocq, in his memoirs.
Insa Nolte, a lecturer of University of Birmingham’s African Studies Department, stated that “The availability of e-mail helped to transform a local form of fraud into one of Nigeria’s most important export industries.” (Though in fact, Nigeria’s total exports are more than $65 billion per year; even by conservative estimates, 419 fraud comes to less than 0.5% of this total.)
Please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance-fee_fraud
Below are some sample emails you may receive as a bait in a process to make you the next 419 pray.
TITLE OF EMAIL: BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
CONTENTS OF EMAIL:
REQUEST FOR URGENT ASSISTANCE. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY This message might meet you in surprise. However,it’s just my urgent need for foreign partner that made me to contact you for this transaction. I am a banker by profession in United Kingdom (England) and currently holding the post of Director Auditing and Accounting unit of the bank. I have the opportunity of transferring the left over funds of fifteen and half million pounds (GBP15.5 millions) from our bank deceased customer, late Gerald Smith, who died on Egypt Air Flight 990 along with his wife (Mrs. Betty Smith) and his only daughter (Mrs. Barbara Lee Smith) on a plane crash below, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm in the year 1999. Hence i am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared between me and you in the ratio of 50/40 while 10% will be mapped out for expenses. If you have interest in this my proposal, revert back via the below E-mail or call for further details of the transfer to be forwarded to you as soon as i receive your return mail. Respectfully yours Mr.Smith Williams Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 701 740 8071.