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Yes, Nigerian scam artists, like the ones who send you emails purporting to be from an African prince who will pay you to help him move million into your country, and all you have to do is give him your bank account number.

The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money.

Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce.

He said there was no way that his dudes would talk for less than $600. So I offered $100 for a rare glimpse at the human faces behind the syntax-challenged spam. I sat down with Sheye and Danjuma* on the back patio of a fancy duplex in an upscale neighborhood in one of the country’s main cities, and the two dished on their craft, constantly interrupting each other as they downed bottles of Nigerian Star lager and chain-smoked.

Though they lie for a living, Sheye insisted, “We are telling you the fact and the truth.” Sheye and Danjuma have a name for the advance-fee email scams, in which victims agree to to send money to a stranger, banking on the promise of love or fast money.

This might be for requests for gas money or bus and airplane tickets to travel to visit the victim, medical expenses, education expenses etc.

There is usually the promise that the fictitious character will one day join the victim in the victim's country.

In some senses, Aransiola reveals the Yahoo Boys to be much as expected.

They tend to be in their 20s and, since the scams often require computer skills, have an undergraduate education.

Journalist Sarah Lacy tracked a few down and reported that times are hard, in part because westerners have become suspicious of emails that offer them massive lottery wins.

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