Nigerian scam is one of the most common types of scam currently hitting in-boxes. They are called Nigerian scams since the first wave of them came from Nigeria and the ’419’ part of it comes from the section of Nigeria’s criminal code.
The scammers initially contact you through email or letter, representing a foreign government or agency. Then an offer is made to you to transfer millions of dollars in “over invoiced contract” funds into your personal bank account. You will be requested to send banking account information, telephone/fax numbers to help them transfer the money.
You are then asked to make payment for taxes in order to release the money out of the country to your account. The payments will initially be a quite small amount, but once paid they will make up new fees that require payment and you will end up with nothing but loss.