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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.
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".
While Nigeria is most often the nation referred to in these scams, they may originate in other nations as well.
In exchange for transferring the funds out of Nigeria, the recipient would keep 30% of the total.
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.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.The essential fact in all advance-fee fraud operations is the promised money transfer to the victim never happens, because the money does not exist.Some scammers have accomplices in the United States and abroad that move in to finish the deal once the initial contact has been made.This scam usually begins with the perpetrator contacting the victim via email, instant messaging or social media using a fake email address or fake social media account and making an offer that would allegedly result in a large payoff for the victim.