While Nigeria is most often the nation referred to in these scams, they originate in other nations as well.
There are many variations on this type of scam, including the 419 scam, the Spanish Prisoner scam, the black money scam, Fifo's Fraud and the Detroit-Buffalo scam. The scam has been used with fax and traditional mail, and is now prevalent in online communications like emails. The number "419" refers to the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud, the charges and penalties for offenders.
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Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.
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