02/02/10 - Article No: 45

Nigerian Inheritance Scams

This article looks at one of the most common types of 419 Nigerian fraud (Advanced Fee Fraud) - the inheritance scam, where victims are told they have inherited lots of money.

The term "Nigerian Inheritance Scams" refers to the variant of Advanced Fee Fraud (or 419 fraud) that begins by claiming the victim has somehow inherited a large sum of money. The typical variants of these inheritance scams are

The Dead Wealthy Client where the email sent by the scammer will purport that a rich client of theirs has died and the scammer is representing the clients bank or accountant. The email will explain that for various reasons, they need to get the money of the dead client out of the country into a foreigners bank account, and the victim was the specially chosen designate. After the transaction is complete the money is divided up between the victim and scammer.
The money will usually be in the millions of dollars. Of course there is no money, and the victim is requested to pay fees in order for the transaction to be complete, which they subsequently lose.

Next-of-kin is where the email will purport that a wealthy distance relation of the victim has passed on and the scammer is representing either a bank or accountant or guarantor of the will (or something similar) and claims the fortune left by the relation has been left to the victim. Again this is fabricated and again the victim is supposed to pay out before receiving the fortune.

Lottery Scams is where the victim is told they have won a lottery they have never entered and told to contact a claims agent to get their winnings. The 'claims agent' then proceeds to tell the victim they have to pay smaller fees in order to get their winnings. Of course again it is all fabricated.

For more information on 419 Nigeran Advanced Fee Fraud and ways to avoid it, read our full article on the subject here.

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