Nigeria 419 Scams Research Paper

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As the famous Will Smith once said in his 2015 film, Focus, “There are two kinds of people in this world. There's hammers and there's nails.” Interestingly enough, the truth to that statement could not be emphasized more as with the case of digital crimes involving advance fee fraud scams. In the digital age of the 21st century, “hammers” have enthusiastically adopted computers as their newfound weapon against the “nails” of the earth. It is no secret that digital crime is on the rise and has been ever since the days of phone phreaking Ma Bell. These days, the newest scourge on the pockets and psyches of the average, gullible civilian is the advance fee fraud scam, also known as the Nigerian 419 scam. This paper attempts to further explore this infamous phenomenon in terms of its origin and history, type and design, modern usage, geographical and financial impact, and ultimately its prevention. The roots of advanced fee fraud scams can be traced back to the 16th century during which a con known as the Spanish Prisoner confidence trick was steadily infecting Europe. In its original form, the con man would inform his victim mark that he or someone of close association was a person of great wealth who just happened to be imprisoned in…show more content…
Currently, there are several variations of the scam in circulation; of which three major ones include advanced fee fraud, debt elimination fraud, and the Nigerian 419 scam. As elucidated above, advanced fee fraud includes any scam that in exchange for an upfront fee, promises to send the victim money, products, or services. In addition to this, whatever the rip-off artists call the upfront fees (membership fees, participation fees, administrative or handling fees, taxes) all have one thing in common: the victims never see their money, or the scammers,
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