when you get an email from someone in Nigeria, who pretends to have been involved in some sort of coup de etat or related to some bigwig or something and says he's got the loot and needs a place to hide it, like your bank account and then they butter you up saying they got your name because you are known to be honest or some shit. They talk all weird and foreign and misspell stuff, to make you think that THEY are the gullible one.
They offer you a couple of million to store the ten million or so and then when you bite, they try to get your bank account info so they can steal your identity. If you are stupid enough, they'll have you writing them checks (or "advance fees") and they'll just keep stringing you along saying something went wrong and send more money.
Worst case scenario: they get you to fly over there. Never do that. Once you are in their clutches, you're, well, in their clutches.
Nigerian scam letter:
First I must solicit your confidence in this transaction. This is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret. We are top officials of the Federal Government Contract Review Panel who are interested in importation of goods into our country with funds which are presently trapped in Nigeria. In order to commence this business we solicit your assistance to enable us RECIEVE the said trapped funds ABROAD.
The source of this fund is as follows : During the regime of our late head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha, the government officials set up companies and awarded themselves contracts which were grossly over-invoiced in various Ministries. The NEW CIVILIAN Government set up a Contract Review Panel (C.R.P) and we have identified a lot of inflated contract funds which are presently floating in the Central Bank of Nigeria (C.B.N).
However, due to our position as civil servants and members of this panel, we cannot acquire this money in our names. I have therefore, been delegated as a matter of trust by my colleagues of the panel to look for an Overseas partner INTO whose ACCOUNT the sum of US$31,000,000.00 (Thirty one Million United States Dollars) WILL BE PAID BY TELEGRAPHIC TRANSFER. Hence we are writing you this letter.We have agreed to share the money thus:
70% for us (the officials)
20% for the FOREIGN PARTNER (you)
10% to be used in settling taxation and all local and foreign expenses.
A SUITABLE NAME AND BANK ACCOUNT INTO WHICH THE FUNDS CAN BE PAID. PLEASE ENDEAVOUR TO RESPOND BY TELEPHONE OR FAX.