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Once the victim's confidence has been gained, the scammer then introduces a delay or monetary hurdle that prevents the deal from occurring as planned, such as "To transmit the money, we need to bribe a bank official. " or "For you to be a party to the transaction, you must have holdings at a Nigerian bank of 0,000 or more" or similar.

This is the money being stolen from the victim; the victim willingly transfers the money, usually through some irreversible channel such as a wire transfer, and the scammer receives and pockets it.

Often a photograph used by a scammer is not a picture of any person involved in the scheme.

Multiple "people" involved in schemes are fictitious, and in many cases, one person controls many fictitious personas used in scams.

According to Cormac Herley, a Microsoft researcher, "By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible, the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select." In Nigeria, scammers use computers in Internet cafés to send mass emails promising potential victims riches or romance, and to trawl for replies.

They refer to their targets as Magas, slang developed from a Yoruba word meaning "fool".

For example, in 2006, 61% of Internet criminals were traced to locations in the United States, while 16% were traced to the United Kingdom and 6% to locations in Nigeria.

One reason Nigeria may have been singled out is the apparently comical, almost ludicrous nature of the promise of West African riches from a Nigerian prince.

The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster requires in order to obtain the large sum.

The sums involved are usually in the millions of dollars, and the investor is promised a large share, typically ten to forty percent, in return for assisting the fraudster to retrieve or expatriate the money.

Although the vast majority of recipients do not respond to these emails, a very small percentage do, enough to make the fraud worthwhile, as many millions of messages can be sent daily.

Other official-looking letters were sent from a writer who said he was a director of the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

He said he wanted to transfer million to the recipient’s bank account – money that was budgeted, but never spent.

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  1. More than a week later, she got this message “Thank you so much for the e-mail and I am really sorry for the delay in reply, I don't come on here often I really like your. Most dating fraud originates in Nigeria and Ghana, as well as in Malaysia and England, two countries with large West African communities. In 2004.

  2. Jul 3, 2015. I'm very wary of any man now.” Melinda is one of a significant number of Australians tricked by online romance scams and frauds. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Targeting Scams Report, released in May, revealed 91,637 Australians made scam reports in 2014. Online dating.

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