This is a scam in which a victim is persuaded to part with money on the fraudulent promise of obtaining a larger sum in the future. The scam takes the form of a letter, fax, e-mail, or other communication that asks for a (relatively) small ‘investment’ from the victim, needed to unlock funds in another country, on the promise of future riches. Such swindles originated in Nigeria and the name is derived from the relevant article of the Nigerian Criminal Code that makes it illegal to obtain property by false pretences. They later spread to other parts of Africa.

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