From ZDNet News: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=st...1/tc_zd/5108178
Six arrested over 'Nigerian e-mail' fraud
Tue May 21, 5:43 PM ET
By Graeme Wearden, ZDNet News
Six people were arrested in South Africa over the weekend on suspicion of being involved in the infamous "Nigerian" e-mail and letter fraud.
Four of those detained were Nigerian, one was Cameroonian and the sixth was South African. Police in South Africa believe that the six are part of an international fraud and drug-dealing cartel, sending out thousands of e-mail and letters in an attempt to defraud.
Potential victims receive a letter -- or, more recently, an e-mail -- telling them that the sender is trying to move a large sum of money and offering them a substantial percentage of the cash in return for letting it be deposited into their bank account.
Often the perpetrators claim that the Nigerian government is paying out this money in return for a completed contract, while other versions claim to involve insurance payouts after airplane crashes.
People who express an interest are then told that they must first hand over an amount of money to cover expenses such as banking fees and administrative costs. These "advanced fees" often cost a bundle; there are cases where U.S. victims have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.