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Similar to the Spanish prisoner scam where the scamster promises to share his fortunes with the victim in exchange for money to bribe the prison guards, the Nigerian 419 has fully come into its own thanks to the availability of email.A scam victim will usually receive an email making an offer of a large sum of money.The money could be cash, gold bullion, blood diamonds, gold dust, checks etc.The sums usually run up to millions of dollars with the victim being promised a huge chunk of it for their "help".The standard scam story then starts to unfold as your online date suddenly has some sort of emergency in Nigeria or Ghana.The stories may range from a businessman having an accident while in Nigeria for work to a helpless woman being stranded in Ghana; from asking for charity donations for Africa to a family member having a brain hemorrhage while in Africa.This is a common ploy used by Russian and Filipino scammers to rob you off your money.The general storyline is she will want to come visit you but does not have enough money and will ask you to send her money to help pay for the plane ticket and/or visa.
You might find their reasons actually check out and send them the money but in all likelihood, you have been scammed of your money.
Nigeria and Ghana are notorious for their scammers and hence most people probably wouldn’t pursue a relationship with someone from one of these countries.
These scammers are well aware of this and therefore often pretend to be from the USA/ UK/ Australia/ Canada or some other Western country.
The subject lines often read something similar to "From the desk of Mr [name]" or even "Your assistance is solicited".
While the stories may vary slightly, the general plot then talks of a person (usually a corrupt government employee) who has come across a large sum of money and needs your assistance to get the funds out of the country.