The Nigerian scam is a fine example of the stupidity and greed of both these "hucksters", and those individuals who are suckered in by the scam.
Now, you would think that these emails were so obviously a scam; that no one would be taken in by them. However, regrettably this is not so; in my experience of fraud investigation you should never underestimate the stupidity, arrogance and greed of your fellow human beings.
The scammers manage to con, a not insignificant percentage of, the stupid and greedy out of some quite sizeable amounts of money. Indeed, such is the success (a testament to the "human condition"), that the number of these letters is on the increase. I find that I now receive more of these emails, than those offering penis enlargement and the more bizarre forms of sexual gratification.
The people who perpetrate this crime are, to use a technical term, scum. The criminal enforcement agencies around the world are doing their best to track them down, but as long as there are stupid and greedy people prepared to open up their bank accounts to these "Hucksters"; there will always be some form of "Nigerian letter".
Even the Nigerian government is trying to outlaw this practice. They have passed a law, known as the 419, banning them.
I have now started to keep a log of the letters I receive from these people, which shows the variety of ludicrous stories that are used to extract money from the greedy and stupid.
I would take this opportunity to remind all of you, that before taking any financial investment decision; you should consult a reputable independent financial adviser and lawyer.
Remember if it sounds too good to be true, then it is!
If you have been a victim of one of these schemes, please forward appropriate written documentation to the United States Secret Service, Financial Crimes Division, 950 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20223, or telephone (USA) 202-406-5572, or contact by e-mail.
If you have received a letter, but have not lost any monies to this scheme, please fax a copy of that letter to (USA) 202 406-5031.