THE CLASSIC Nigerian fraud involves a letter, fax or e-mail to a prospective victim, promising a quick and generous return (often 20 percent or more) if he or she provides the scammer with his or her bank account numbers. The scammer says he or she needs American bank accounts to allow transfer by wire of several million dollars scammed from the Nigerian government. Once the scammer has the victim's account number, he or she cleans out the account by means of bank drafts, and the money is out of the country and gone forever. This is a $5 billion worldwide scam which has been operated since at least 1989 under successive governments of Nigeria. It is also referred to as advance fee fraud and 419 ...

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