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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.

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.

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 standard scam story then starts to unfold as your online date suddenly has some sort of emergency in Nigeria or Ghana.

Again, most often these scammers will pretend to be a Western man but in reality they will be scammers based in Africa.While online dating sites work hard to eliminate scammers from their sites, unfortunately some continue to be very deceptive and get past the fraud checks so it is important to be aware of what a potential scammer might attempt to do.Nobody wants to be scammed yet most people are not quite sure what to look out for.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".

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