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This breed of scams has been around for a very long time and is known as the advance fee fraud.
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.
Instead of asking you to send them money for their ticket, they will instead send you scanned copies of a ticket to convince you they are genuine and are really coming to visit you.
You might get an email apparently from the Nigerian police telling you they have closed in on the scammer and need a payment from you before they can arrest him.
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.
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.