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Another variant of the scam, dating back to circa 1830, appears very similar to what is passed via email today: "Sir, you will doubtlessly be astonished to be receiving a letter from a person unknown to you, who is about to ask a favour from you...", and goes on to talk of a casket containing 16,000 francs in gold and the diamonds of a late marchioness. It then asked what to do with profits from a .6 million investment, and ended with a telephone number.Other official-looking letters were sent from a writer who said he was a director of the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

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“If you pay for a scammer’s con with i Tunes gift cards it’s nearly impossible to get your money back.

Don’t ever believe the scammer’s lies, no matter how convincing they sound—hang up on their calls and delete their emails immediately.” People targeted by scammers asking for i Tunes gift cards as payment can report the scam to Scamwatch.

While Nigeria is most often the nation referred to in these scams, they originate in other nations as well.

The scam has been used with fax and traditional mail, and is now prevalent in online communications like emails.

To get the process started, the scammer asked for a few sheets of the company’s letterhead, bank account numbers, and other personal information.