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.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.If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim, or simply disappears.While Nigeria is most often the nation referred to in these scams, they originate in other nations as well.The scam has been used with fax and traditional mail, and is now prevalent in online communications like emails.The number "419" refers to the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud, the charges and penalties for offenders.Some scammers have accomplices in the United States and abroad that move in to finish the deal once the initial contact has been made.
419 scammers often mention false addresses and use photographs taken from the Internet or from magazines to falsely represent themselves.
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.
Although the vast majority of recipients do not respond to these emails, a very small percentage do, enough to make the fraud worthwhile, as many millions of messages can be sent daily.
In that con, businessmen were contacted by an individual allegedly trying to smuggle someone connected to a wealthy family out of a prison in Spain.
In exchange for assistance, the scammer promised to share money with the victim in exchange for a small amount of money to bribe prison guards.