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The gist of the Nigerian Letter Scam (aka the 419 scam) is that somebody writes you a letter (either via regular mail or via email) telling you that they're going to let you share in some huge sum of money that they need your help in getting out of the country... say about $30,000,000 that they want to get out of Nigeria. Your share is typically 25%, which would certainly make a nice contribution toward your retirment nest egg.

The FBI asked people to send Nigerian Letter Scams to them; between May 2000 and August 2001, they received 650 of them and analyzed about half of those. You can read a summary of their analysis at http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/strategy/nls.asp.

Any web search for "nigerian letter scam" or "419 scam" should get you plenty of hits, but in case that's too hard, you can look at the links below:

Here's my correspondence regarding one version of the scam:

Here's some more of these:

links


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