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West Africa Takes Lead in Combating “419 Scams (Nigerian scams)”

Advance fee fraud is one of the most common and notorious scams. Also known as “419 scams” or “Nigerian scams,” advance fee fraud usually comes in the form of an e-mail designed to deceive people into believing that they stand to receive a large sum of money if they pay a smaller sum of money up front to realize a sizeable payoff somewhere down the road.

Common forms of this fraud include claims that you just won a fictitious lottery, you received an inheritance from a relative you’ve never heard of or there’s someone stranded in a “foreign” country with a large sum of money and they need your help getting back into the country.

These scams are often associated with West African nation of Nigeria, and have damaged Nigeria’s reputation but the country is stepping up to confront the problem.

This week in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, hundreds of people will come together from all over West Africa and around the world to help combat this problem at the first West African Cybercrime Summit. With the vice president of Nigeria in attendance, participants will examine the advance fee fraud problem, and work to further legitimate economic opportunities and alternatives for West Africans.

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