A particular form of Internet based con job is that of using a seemingly plausible story involving large amounts of money, which the sender promises to someone who helps them out. Initially it involves the recipient sending a bit of their own money to the fraudster.
One of the more common frauds in the newspapers is that of the 419 scam whereby someone is sent an email allegedly from someone in West Africa claiming to have millions available with the help of the right foreign party who is able to help get the money out of the country, but often only if they can help with some initial costs. Some people have been defrauded of large sums of money already and some people have also been arrested for perpetrating the scam.
Reporting a 419 Scam (South Africa)
Commander of the 419 Task Team addressing Scams
Telephone: 012 401 3345
Also please fax the Scam documents, especially Nigerian Scammer banking data, to the US Task Force at 202-406-6930 appropriately marked South Africa – Loss ( or No Loss as the case may be ) – For Your Database. Please be SURE to state if there is any US Connection to your 419ers’ operations, particularly if there is US Banking Data on them. You may also email such relevant data to firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer to do it that way.
The South African Police Service maintains a 419 Scams/Nigerian Letters Alert on their website here. For a look at a short Anti-419 Pamphlet issued by and available from the South African Police Service, Click Here