Faking it — scammers’ tricks to steal your heart and money

I lucked out with an amazing fixer. As a newswire reporter focused on the terrorist group Boko Haram, he was able to provide crucial context for my story. Before that, he used to hang out with nomadic cow-herding kids, children who sell bottled water by the roadside, and budding scam artists. I told Michael I wanted to interview his scammer friends. A scam email I received recently. He did not send money for me. I keep on enjoying with my girls here. Over the past decade or so, the United States has cracked down on Nigerian Internet scams. Western Union, for example, would not allow me to wire my Nigerian fixer an advance portion of his pay because, the operator told me, I was likely the victim of fraud. Still, Nigerian fraudsters manage to dupe Americans into forking thousands of dollars over to complete strangers each year.

Nigerian Romance Scams

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! The Nigerian dating scams are hugely profitable. The Nigerians call them ‘maghas’ which is slang for gullible white people.

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.

Nigerian Dating Scam – I’ve been there by Catherine Sheffield, UK I am a widow and after just over two years my friends told me to try internet dating. As I was in my 40’s I thought I would join a site for over plus dating which you pay a subscription for and I thought would be safe. I started chatting to a guy who said he was english born but his father was american.

He was working for the united nations as an orthapedic surgeon which I thought was a bit of a story but I went along with it. We were chatting for a few weeks and he suggested going onto messenger as it would save money on subscriptions. He told me things like he was also a widower and told me about his wife etc. This went on for 3 months. I gave him my mobile and he rang me each evening and we would chat for 5 or 10 mins at a cost to him not me.

He even rang me when I was on holiday in Spain. When I came back we chatted for another couple of weeks and then he asked me for some money so that he could home and we could be together.

What You Need To Know About Nigerian Scammers

One of the current schemes involves a scammer contacting someone who has an item for sale on the Internet. They ask that the seller return the difference. By the time the check clears and is discovered to be counterfeit, the seller is out a couple thousand dollars. The target is usually a person selling a relatively expensive item on the Internet, or possibly even in newspaper classified ads.

One of the longest running scams by mail and the Internet, the Nigerian ” scam (named after the section of the Nigerian code dealing with financial fraud schemes), alleges a wealthy business owner or government official needs help transferring millions of dollars out of his country in exchange for a percentage of the funds for your help.

History[ edit ] The modern scam is similar to the Spanish Prisoner scam which dates back to the late 18th century. In exchange for assistance, the scammer promised to share money with the victim in exchange for a small amount of money to bribe prison guards. There are many variants of the letters sent. One of these, sent via postal mail, was addressed to a woman’s husband, and inquired about his health. According to Cormac Herley, a Microsoft researcher, “By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible, the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select.

They refer to their targets as Maghas, slang developed from a Yoruba word meaning “fool” and referring to gullible white people. Some scammers have accomplices in the United States and abroad that move in to finish the deal once the initial contact has been made. The details vary, but the usual story is that a person, often a government or bank employee, knows of a large amount of unclaimed money or gold which he cannot access directly, usually because he has no right to it.

The money could be in the form of gold bullion , gold dust, money in a bank account, blood diamonds , a series of checks or bank drafts, and so forth. The sums involved are usually in the millions of dollars, and the investor is promised a large share, typically ten to forty percent, in return for assisting the fraudster to retrieve or expatriate the money. Although the vast majority of recipients do not respond to these emails, a very small percentage do, enough to make the fraud worthwhile, as many millions of messages can be sent daily.

To help persuade the victim to agree to the deal, the scammer often sends one or more false documents which bear official government stamps , and seals.

Dating & romance

However, for the numerous that have fallen victim to this scheme, they have lost thousands of dollars, their life savings, and in some cases, their lives, when trying to get their money back. From cyber boiler rooms all through out Nigeria, scammers zero in on their prey with their Nigerian dating scam. These scammers spend hours extracting thousands of American e-mail addresses, sending off fraudulent letters, and then wait for hundreds of replies each day.

Recently there are also Nigerian scams originating from Malaysia, China, India, Turkey, Spain, Cyprus, Egypt, as that’s where Nigerians are located since they can easily get to these countries without visas or on the student visas.

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.

The standard scam story then starts to unfold as your online date suddenly has some sort of emergency in Nigeria or Ghana. The stories may range from a businessman having an accident while in Nigeria for work to a helpless woman being stranded in Ghana; from asking for charity donations for Africa to a family member having a brain hemorrhage while in Africa. Rest assured, once you do send the money that is the last you will hear of them and your money.

Once you do send the money however, it is unlikely that the visit will ever actually materialize. As many people are now catching on to this, many scammers are trying variations of the same scam. 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. However, there is usually a last minute glitch and they will request you to send them a large amount of money without which the trip will be impossible.

These scammers know immigration rules and regulations well and might even cite some sort of visa requirement as their reason for requesting money. You might find their reasons actually check out and send them the money but in all likelihood, you have been scammed of your money. Medical Emergency Scam Another common scam one comes across in online dating is the medical emergency scam.

Learn Why Is Full Of Fake Profiles

A new study has raised concern, as more children are talking to and meeting people they meet online, with dangerous consequences. When Morrison suggested that her suitor put his daughter on a plane to get better medical attention at home — and even offered to pick the girl up at the airport — a new crisis struck. By then, Morrison knew she was dealing with a scammer.

People on the pictures are not associated with scammers in any way, they are just victims of identity theft. If you are contacted by somebody using these pictures on a dating site or a social network, you are being complete scam reports on scammers using these pictures you can find on , this is just an overview.

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. They write in a laughable cod legal style and love to use words like “modalities” and “fiduciary”. The fraudsters will often include a link to a news website with details of a plane crash or some other tragic event. If you were tempted to reply to such mail, you would soon be asked to pay a “processing fee” of several thousand euros or the equivalent in dollars. If you are based in Europe, you might be invited to hand over the money in Amsterdam or pay via an untraceable Western Union service.

Dating & romance

VB Summit Oct 23 – 24 Dabble in online dating? It turns out that the crippling fear of an awkward first date is the least of your troubles. The scam typically works like this:

Impostor scams can flourish wherever the Internet exists (Eastern Europe and Russia are also hot spots), but most dating fraud originates in Nigeria and Ghana, or in countries such as Malaysia and the U.K., which have large communities of West African expatriates.

However with scamming quickly turning into a global epidemic, law enforcers across the world are sitting up and taking notice. Scam victims now have the chance to report scammers and there is a chance for the offenders to be arrested as well. Cease Communication If you suspect a potential scammer or have even been scammed by someone, the first thing you need to do is cease all communication with the scammer.

Instead, take the matter to the relevant authorities. Report to Dating Site You must report the scammer to the dating site owner and administrator. File A Complaint It is important that you file a complaint with the police or other relevant law enforcement authorities in your country. Unlike a few years ago, there is now a chance that the person who scammed you may be arrested. While you may or may not get your money back, at least your scammer will be behind bars.

With the increasing number of scammers from Nigeria, the Nigerian law enforcement authorities are working in conjunction with police from across the world to ensure scammers receive the punishment they deserve. Provide Evidence In order to report a scammer, you must have proof that the person has tried to or has scammed you. This proof can be in the way of emails, chat conversations, text messages, letters or anything else that proves that the scammer requested money and subsequently robbed you off your money.

When filing your complaint, be sure to attach this evidence to your official complaint. The Police Contacts You After receiving a complaint from you about a scammer, the police will get in touch with you to get more details about the scam, the scammer, your communication with them etc.

Nigerian dating scam database with photos of scammers

Email Sh’reen Morrison had been on an online dating site for only a few weeks before she realized that something was seriously wrong with the man who had been actively pursuing her by text message and email. They’d hit it off right away, and he said he lived just outside of Phoenix, which seemed relatively proximate to a woman in remote Yuma, Ariz. But meeting in person was always a problem.

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 Nigerian dating scams are hugely profitable. The Nigerians call them ‘maghas’ which is slang for gullible white people.

Advance Fee Scams Overview Advance fee scams are designed to trick people into sending their money and personal information to criminals. These scams have been around in various forms for decades. In fact, they predate the Internet. Advance fee scams are commonly distributed via email, social media messages, and SMS.

Occasionally, they may still be sent via surface mail and fax. In years gone by, a great many of these scam messages were sent from the African nation of Nigeria. These days, it is certainly not only Nigerian based criminals that send the scam messages. They may be sent from many different locations around the world. In spite of the longevity of these types of scams and the large amount of publicity that they have received, many people still fall for them every day.

Each year, substantial sums of money are lost to such scams. People who get involved in these scams can also become victims of identity theft if they have sent personal and financial information to the criminals.

Woman Discovers She Has Spent $1.4 Million in Possible Love Scam — Dr. Phil