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While Nigeria is most often the nation referred to in these scams, they may originate in other nations as well.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.
Much of the time, however, the needed psychological pressure is self-applied; once the victims have provided money toward the payoff, they feel they have a vested interest in seeing the "deal" through.
Some victims even believe they can cheat the other party, and walk away with all the money instead of just the percentage they were promised.
To get the process started, the scammer asked for a few sheets of the company’s letterhead, bank account numbers, and other personal information.
Yet other variants have involved mention of a Nigerian prince or other member of a royal family seeking to transfer large sums of money out of the country—thus, these scams are sometimes called "Nigerian Prince emails".
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.
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.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.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.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 Nigeria.In that con, businessmen were contacted by an individual allegedly trying to smuggle someone that is connected to a wealthy family out of a prison in Spain.An advance-fee scam is a form of fraud and one of the most common types of confidence trick.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 implication that these payments will be used for "white-collar" crime such as bribery, and even that the money they are being promised is being stolen from a government or royal/wealthy family, often prevents the victim from telling others about the "transaction", as it would involve admitting that they intended to be complicit in an international crime.Sometimes psychological pressure is added by claiming that the Nigerian side, to pay certain fees, had to sell belongings and borrow money on a house, or by comparing the salary scale and living conditions in Africa to those in the West.Multiple "people" involved in schemes are fictitious, and in many cases, one person controls many fictitious personae used in scams.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.