The “Nigerian prince” scam, also called the”419″ scam (named after Nigeria’s criminal code for fraud), is one of the internet’s first and most devastating scams.
For those still unfamiliar:
The scammer introduces themselves through email/phone as a person of royalty who wishes to donate an enormous amount of money. The only requirement is that you pay for the money transfer.
In the version that became omnipresent on the internet from the 1990s, the benefactor is a royal, business executive or government official whose fortune is hostage to political unrest, corruption, or war.
Needless to say, when you do pay for the transfer, your Nigerian “prince” will drain your accounts dry or string you along for an increasing number of fees, until you eventually figure out what’s happening- but at that time you would’ve already lost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Although an old scam, in 2018 alone, the 419 scams have been theorized to have stolen $700,000 from the families of the gullible.
Look out and protect yourselves!