A rich relative, hitherto unknown, has died in Africa leaving millions of dollars unclaimed. An African “lawyer” wants you to inherit – but you first have to pay fees via Western Union. Fake money picture often sent by the fraud criminals. These are what they call “trunk boxes”. The criminals will send junk mail using anonymous e-mail addresses they picked up from Yahoo, Hotmail, Myway, Netscape and other mail service providers. They might say that they represent a toppled African dictator, or a bank administering the estate of a rich expatriot who died in a “ghastly accident”. Millions of dollars would be released when you forward your bank details along with current address and telephone number. They will say something like “Remember to keep this information top secret”. They actually mean to say that they don’t want you to mention their approach to the police or the writer! They like to call themselves doctor, barrister, pastor or engineer and often pretend to be women.
Nobody wants to be scammed yet most people are not quite sure what to look out for. These are examples of some of the most notorious scams in the world of online dating and on the internet in general. Armed with their fake identity, the scammer proceeds to forge a bond with you. They often communicate with you for weeks and months so you think you are getting to know them better while it is actually all part of their master plan.
Spotting Online Dating Scams | Scam-Free Dating Sites. Ghana, Ukraine, South Africa, Jamaica, or Brazil), so keep an eye out for a lot of broken English and weird word choices. If a match’s profile and messages are missing a lot of words, commas, and periods, that’s a red flag.
Romano, 53, from Lynbrook, N. On the advice of friends, she joined Match. She soon found herself chatting online with a man named “Austin Miller. When Miller sent her a picture of himself in uniform, Romano was impressed. She thought, “Wow, I hit the jackpot. He was a nice-looking guy,” Romano said. As Romano and Miller stayed in touch, Romano found herself falling “deeper and deeper” into the online relationship. When Miller asked for a new laptop, she was eager to help a soldier in need.
Miller instructed Romano to send it through FedEx to Ghana. Romano said she was a little suspicious of the mailing address — Ghana is a continent away from Afghanistan — but Miller told her that a man in Ghana would ultimately deliver the laptop to him.
Mailing addresses and names used by Nigerian scammers
There are a lot of false profiles out on the dating sites. The false ones are typically free member parasites and not usually paying members. They are on there to flirt with you and try and get you to come to some other dating site. But some are trying to steal your heart to get to your money. This person has posted a picture of themselves and they are gorgeous! Their profiles says something like:
Re: dating scams 12 Mar , i was wanting to no, that the pic that the men show of themselves young and fit, one i was talking to was very light skinned and he said he wanted me to come to ghana, accra, i asked for a address and he gave me p.o. box, and he says he is a us citizen and with flght and visa and passport for him and his.
The scammers may just have lit upon the perfect crime: They sit at computers safely overseas, hunting for their prey on social networks, and they rarely get caught. Jones is a victim too: His name and photos were stolen to create the fake identities used in romance scams. The odds of recovering that money, the bureau notes, are very low. Some of the money scammed by international criminal networks even winds up in the hands of terrorist operations like Boko Haram, according to Interpol.
This is crazy, I know! We also talked with members of a cottage industry that has sprung up to support the defrauded: And we spoke to FBI investigators, academics and researchers who study cyberfraud. Like Warnack, she still struggles emotionally to accept what happened. The two men in Nigeria pleaded guilty for their roles in scamming the Texas woman in July and were sentenced to three years in prison. Over the next two years, she sent more money in response to each new story he told her, she said, because, after all, they were in love.
One more step
Here’s how it happened. Before she knew it, her savings were gone. And the man of her dreams? He might not even exist. A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December , under the subject line:
Online Dating Scammer will ask for your money, for financial help for any number of reasons, but it will not happen immediately. Almost always, they will ask you to send money using an untraceable source such as a telegraphic money transfer like Western Union.
Pinterest Fake UN card Agbonifoayetan to con his victim. The convicted fraudster Agbonifoayetan posed as a diplomat called Christopher Williams and used a forged United Nations diplomatic card to collect money from two women who had been persuaded that a marine called General James Krulak in one case and General James Raul in the other wanted to move to the UK and marry them. Miles says that after coaxing the victims offline, the typical fraudster will ask for money after a couple of weeks, initially for small amounts.
He may say he expects to come to the UK in the coming weeks but plans will be interrupted for some reason — such as a hospital bill being more than expected — and more money will be requested. Identifying women who have the money to make the fraud worthwhile is the result of an elaborate series of questions designed to elicit the key financial information. In some cases, the victims may be unknowingly talking to more than one person and being asked a set list of questions.
Their operation can be a large-scale skimming exercise, trying the same fraud on 20 or 30 people at any one time in the hope of securing a victim. The social engineering is quite remarkable.
In , the FBI received more than 5, romance scam complaints. Feel free to use the links below if you want to jump ahead in the article. A significant number of scammers are from other countries usually Russia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ukraine, South Africa, Jamaica, or Brazil , so keep an eye out for a lot of broken English and weird word choices.
You could try to prove they are who they say they are by making a game of it.
Victims can report the scam to the FBI at and might also consider alerting the dating website on which the scammer was encountered. The anonymity of the internet means that the U.S. citizen cannot be sure of the real name, age, marital status, nationality, or even gender of the correspondent.
While most African singles looking for a date online are genuine, it cannot be denied that many online dating scams originate in African nations such as Nigeria, Ghana or Ivory Coast due to the low per capita income, high rates of unemployment, high rates of corruption and ineffective policing in these areas. The money extracted from victims in North America, Europe and Australia translates to huge fortunes for the scammers who are willing to put weeks or months of work into getting a good payout.
Both men and women are targets. Many scammers are well educated and all are heartless so read on for common African online dating scams and protect yourself. After some time, “William” has to travel to Nigeria or Ghana for some reason e. Soon enough there is some sort of “emergency” with either the child suffering from a brain hemorrhage or “William” suffering a life threatening accident. You will then be requested to send a large amount of money for treatment and promises that you will be paid back ASAP.
One more step
Citizen Services Romance Scams U. Correspondents may cultivate the relationship for several months before asking for money, but if they are after your money, eventually they will ask for it. Before you send any money to Ghana, please take the time to do your research and inform yourself.
Answer of One for the good guys, recently I was duped by a dating scam upon arrival in Ghana I could not give a destination address and immigration would not let me pass I told them that she was waiting for me on the other side and would provide an address we.
Advertisement About Nigerian scams After they establish some lovely correspondence with you, fall in love and maybe even send a couple of cheap presents, they will either: They will send you the Money Orders or checks and ask you to deposit them into your bank account and then wire the money to them via Western Union. Usually they say to keep some money for your trouble. Needless to say, those Money Orders or checks are no good, and not even worth the paper they’re printed on.
If you cash them or deposit them into your account, Money Orders or checks will come back after few weeks as fraudulent and you will be responsible for paying back the money to the bank and sometimes even charged for passing counterfeit instrument. There is also a re-shipping scam, when they will ask you to re-ship goods for them. These goods are purchased with stolen credit cards.
Never re-ship anything for strangers, especially to Africa. There is a reason why online merchants usually don’t ship there. Then there is a recovery scam – a scammer recontacting you pretending to be FBI, EFCC or any other authority, telling he can help you recover your money All types of scams are described in details on Romancescam.