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.
Once you do send the money however, it is unlikely that the visit will ever actually materialize.
As many people are now catching on to this, many scammers are trying variations of the same scam.
This breed of scams has been around for a very long time and is known as the advance fee fraud.
It has various names such as the Nigerian 419, Nigerian money offer, the Spanish prisoner etc.
Do not send money if you are in a similar situation because it is probably a scam.
Again, most often these scammers will pretend to be a Western man but in reality they will be scammers based in Africa.At the end of the day they all have the same basic plot – there is an emergency and won’t you please send them some money?Rest assured, once you do send the money that is the last you will hear of them and your money.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.These scammers know immigration rules and regulations well and might even cite some sort of visa requirement as their reason for requesting money.