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Review of 419 Scam:
Exploits of the Nigerian Con Man
by Charles Tive

The first time I received an e-mail from a stranger in Nigeria promising me millions of dollars, I read it, intrigued at why a complete stranger halfway around the globe would seek me out and offer me, another complete stranger, millions of dollars, if only I would provide them with my bank account numbers.  Luckily, I am not as gullible as to fall for such a hoax, but many people each year do fall for this trap.

The title takes its name from the part of the Nigerian criminal code that deals with fraud (Section 419).  Charles Tive is a Nigerian investigator of the various crimes of perpetrated by con men based in Nigeria.  This first-hand insight has allowed him to assemble this look at the means by which the criminals perpetrate their crimes. 

The book begins by providing the reader with insight into the historical background of Nigeria.  Corruption has always been part of Nigerian culture, but as the author explains, corruption will have to be overcome if Nigeria is to be successful in the modern global marketplace.

Then, the book explains the various tricks used by the con men in perpetrating their hoaxes.  In addition to the "Advance Fee Fraud" (the traditional scam seen in the West), Nigerian con men also engage in money laundering, insurance fraud, identity theft, counterfeiting, and various other crimes.  And if we thought the countless e-mails, faxes, and letters received in the West were bad, they are nothing compared to the degree with which the con men commit the scams against people in their own country.

This book not only does a good job of explaining the various crimes and how they are committed, but it also provides references to the Nigerian laws and international efforts aimed at curbing the amount of corruption.

Charles Tive is obviously a man who loves his country and wants to see them move beyond this climate of corruption and scams.  Nigeria, with its wealth of natural resources, could be a serious international economic power, if only its climate of fraud and corruption were not holding it back.

This book not only showed me a different side of the Nigerian con men and allowed me to understand how they operate, but it also showed me a different side to Nigeria.  This book showed me that there are people on both sides of the Atlantic who want to see this scam stopped, and are not only committed to seeing  the scams and cons end, but also to see that economic prosperity and political stability return to Nigeria.  The book was very interesting and enlightening, and now I have seen a different side to Nigeria from the one that sends fraudulent e-mails to my inbox every other day.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how such a fraud could be so prevalent and also the methods used in getting so many gullible people to fall victim to this terrible crime.  The 419 scam is so prevalent, that this is a must-read for anyone pursuing any business interests in Nigeria.  Yet, more importantly, this book shows the terrible effect that the 419 scam has on the people of Nigeria and their place in the global economic marketplace.  I also recommend it to anyone who is studying modern-day Western Africa and international business.

If anyone is interested in purchasing the book, the book is ISBN 978-052-419-3 and you can contact Mr. Tive for more details at charlestive@hotmail.com