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These scams have come to be associated with Nigeria due to the massive proliferation of such confidence tricks from that country since the early 1990s.Originally the schemers contacted mainly heads of companies and church officials, often by fax or postal mail.

Among the variations on this type of scam are the Nigerian Letter (or 419 fraud).

The most visible form of advance fee fraud today is the Nigerian Letter or 419 fraud, named after the section of the Nigerian criminal code that it violates.

Singles looking for love online should be on the look out for this scam. Indeed, the Nigerian scam artist is a whole different breed. Plus, some of them could rival an Oxford English professor in language prowess, especially written language.

For one, he (or she) is usually of a higher education level, often a college or university graduate or higher. The scammer posts a fake profile on a dating site, and often multiple dating sites.

They also use pictures of foreign models and celebrities not known in the target country.

Photographs from other dating profiles have also been known to be used.

The popularity of online dating has caused an increase in dating scams.

Perhaps the most known is the Nigerian dating scam.

The Nigerian dating scams target the lonely and vulnerable.

The most common comment of victims who think they have found the love of their life is "I can't believe I was so stupid!

" From internet cafes all over west African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal etc scammers are zeroing in on their prey - singles looking for love online. The Nigerians call them 'maghas' which is slang for gullible white people.

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