Apparently, the Nigerian scams cost Americans $2 billion annually. But we Indians are savvier
Internationally, the most notorious fraud is the "Nigerian Letter" or the "419" fraud named after the section of the Nigerian criminal code it violates. A typical 419 fraud letter offers a huge sum of money to the recipient of the email with variations (highly imaginative ones most often) on what he will have to do to get the money. It could vary from being told that a wealthy individual is being held hostage and will reward those who help transfer of the ransom money to a fake lottery in which the target is told that they have won a large prize but must pay an administrative fee before they can lay their hands on it. And then there are the desperate kin of deposed, filthy rich dictators who, for some odd reason, can't open a bank account without your help.The Nigerian scam is, according to some reports, the third to fifth largest industry in Nigeria. There is even an exclusive website, Nigeria - The 419 Coalition Website, that vows to "fight the Nigerian scam with education" and the United States Secret Service devotes an entire page to it in its website. Despite all this education, the U.S. State Department claims "Americans lose $2 billion annually to white-collar crime syndicates based in Nigeria". Last fortnight, a Nigerian conman was caught in Bangalore trying to swindle a businessman in a typical lottery con operation. But the clever businessman told the Nigerian he would give the money only if he flew down to Bangalore, and when he did, promptly tipped off the police.Four Nigerians were arrested last year in Bangalore in two cases. In one case, three men told businessmen they were interested in investing here because of political problems in Nigeria. As proof of their financial credibility, they would take out a bundle of blank notes, which changed into U.S. dollars when doused with a chemical!B.S.