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Often they will say they are a military officer (a Colonel, a General, a Sergeant, a Lieutenant or a Captain) who claims to be stationed overseas (in countries like Afghanistan, Lybia, Iraq, Syria, etc) and who wants your assistance to move a large sum of money.
The scammer will eventually ask for some money to be paid to them up front. This is a criminal practice known as “Advance-Fee Fraud” (a.k.a. 419 Scams). Advance-Fee Fraud is best described as an offer of money, merchandise, services, employment, or even romance, but where the victim is asked to pay a fee in advance to obtain whatever is being promised to them by the scammer. The main scam strategy of all advance-fee fraud scams is to try to persuade the victim to send money, and then continue to send more money to the scammer, as many times as possible, until the victim eventually runs out of money and/or goes into debt as a result of losses from the scam.
Please click here to read more about the psychological techniques used to deceive people with these types email scams. The following article on Wikipedia also explains more about Advance-Fee Scams in general: Wikipedia Link