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Such people, who may be real but impersonated people or fictitious characters played by the con artist, could include, for example, the wife or son of a deposed African leader who has amassed a stolen fortune, a bank employee who knows of a terminally ill wealthy person with no relatives, or a wealthy foreigner who deposited money in the bank just before dying in a plane crash (leaving no will or known next of kin), and similar characters.

The money could be in the form of gold bullion, gold dust, money in a bank account, blood diamonds, a series of checks or bank drafts, and so forth.

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.

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

While Nigeria is most often the nation referred to in these scams, they originate in other nations as well.

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.

To help persuade the victim to agree to the deal, the scammer often sends one or more false documents bearing official government stamps, and seals.

419 scammers often mention false addresses and use photographs taken from the Internet or from magazines to falsely represent themselves.

One variant of the scam may date back to the 18th or 19th centuries, as a very similar letter, entitled "The Letter from Jerusalem", is seen in the memoirs of Eugène François Vidocq, a former French criminal and private investigator. One of these, sent via postal mail, was addressed to a woman's husband, and inquired about his health.

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Christopher lee craigslist dating scandal introduction

Christopher lee craigslist dating scandal

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