Scams aren't unique to just the Internet; they've been going on for centuries. One of the most common types is the 419 scam.
I'm sure you've seen the most famous version of this scam at some point. It often involves a Nigerian prince - or royalty of another nationality - trying to move billions of dollars out of his country and offering you a substantial cut to help.
On the surface it sounds laughable, but more than 100,000 people fall for it every year in the U.S. alone.
Many people think the "Nigerian prince" angle is the reason 419 scams are often called "Nigerian scams." That's only part of it, though.
A lot of the scammers you find online are actually based in Nigeria. In fact, the "419" in 419 scams actually refers to the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud.
So it was no surprise when a study from George Mason University showed that more than half of the scammers pulling a particularly sneaky version of the 419 scam on classified site Craigslist were from Nigeria. What was surprising, though, was the number of scammers involved.