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.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".Variations of these include them needing surgery they can’t afford, treatment for their son’s brain tumor or you may even get a call from someone pretending to be a doctor telling you your partner has been in a serious accident and you need to send money so they can start treatment.
It has various names such as the Nigerian 419, Nigerian money offer, the Spanish prisoner etc.
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.
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.
These scammers know immigration rules and regulations well and might even cite some sort of visa requirement as their reason for requesting money.