The Con Within Online Romance Sites
The Scams from West Africa: Ghana, Nigeria
Finding your true love, soul mate, on any Internet romance site, is chancy. What are the odds, you will be able to do this? Many online dating sites try to use various techniques to match people with similar traits. This is about as best as online dating can do and it helps, but the only way is to meet and greet and go from there. All the videos, phone calls, texts, photos, using Skype, can only go so far and it is not free of deception that scammers could use. Even the people you meet online may not be what they actually look like presently but that is minor when compared to scams to feed on your loneliness and search for love.
These scam groups or individuals are skilled in getting you to send money. The person you fell in love with online may not even exist, it could be a facade, some photo of a hot woman or man. Everything seems real on this valid dating site because there are real seekers on it also. It could be on Tastebuds, Match or whatever. Most scams or scam groups involve finding single or divorced, lonely men at any age. You may have listed yourself on a dating site and a woman, a beautiful woman, contacts you. You start to have a continuous conversation over a long period of time that could be up to 2-3 weeks. They may ask you to download a special texting app like, Whatsapp, or other, instead of communicating via the online site, email, or phone texting. There is nothing bad about this, it is just much more direct and faster. The scammer will converse innocently most of the time, both of you share the usual personal information but you may sense something odd if they don't always answer or answer in a vague manner. If you ask for proof of something they have claimed, they will be irritated and defensive, they will try to reverse the request on you in some manner.They may say they work at a certain place and after you check, that is not so. You may notice photos claiming to be this person, yet, there are subtle differences. If you ask about them, they will say, the photo was taken years ago. Yet, certain physical features just seem different. Your hunch may be right- the person is not the same one. The only way to prove it is in person or via live video. If they resist about using webcam or Skype, think, fraud. You can also during a chat session ask for them to send two selfies within two minutes. This can also reveal who you are chatting with because if they refuse or cannot, think fraud. If they resist in talking to you on the phone, think fraud. If a phone number contains 233 in the prefix, it is from Ghana.
The thing about online romance sites is that a beautiful woman or man you see may not even be a that man or woman. Behind the woman could be a man who posted photos, or vice versa. As the online romance blooms using texts at all times in a day, everyday, the conversation usually turns to sex talk or explicit photos or requests for them. For the scammers, this helps develop intimacy between them. Suddenly, you are being told your her "baby", "love", "honey" etc. Once the scammer has developed this sense of love through texts and photos, their real purpose seeps in: money. Truth will prevail with time, as time actually plays against the scammer, because lies will build up and harder to remain valid. You will notice that the conversations begins to taper off and always gets around to talking about how they need money. Some scammers may eventually just drop you or if you sent money, state they don't need it, especially if it was small amounts.
The money aspect is all they want, but they are clever about asking for it. They first state a reason that seems valid, maybe a donation to UNICEF through them, a sudden need for money because their credit card has been blocked do to a problem, they are in another country and broke. They may ask just for a small amount at first. If you tell them you think it is a scam, they become very defensive, angry and state, "Do you think I am scammer, I have money but I can't access it". You can send money using Ria, Western Union or MoneyGram, to anywhere in the world. They do this so you back down. If you said, "Yes, I think you are scammer", they become even more angry.
You are not automatically dropped if you do not send money the first time, the scammer will continue to "work" you through texting for days before asking for money again for the same or different reason. This could go on for days. They want to text for hours so you gain their trust of what they say. If you send money, nothing happens, and the romance continues on for time, but usually by the end of two weeks of texting daily, they request a large sum of money, like, over $1000 or more. Again, the reason seems legitimate. Once you refuse this, the love affair seems to fade quickly, But, it may not end. Your phone number could be handed over to another hot person who contacts you out of the blue because your number just appeared in their contact list. This could indicate this is a scam ring, like those in Ghana and elsewhere, where a group of women work their clients met online. If a person resists paying, the number is given to another to work for the same reason-in this case, the whole process starts over. If you are indecisive about sending money, they will increase the pressure on you with love talk, sweet talk. They may even call you many times because of some deadline that the money is needed for.
But, the bottom line for this love affair is to get your money. Just do your due diligence about a person you meet online. Run background checks online. Do videos or Skype. Ask for selfies. You will be stunned about the number of women scamming men out of money in this world. The scamming rings get a percentage of what they collect, it is their job to make you feel love and not alone. They do it well.
- Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) | Home
- Dating scammer Esther Ansomaa from Accra, Ghana - Page 146
- Nigerian Cyber Scammers - LA Times
FESTAC, Nigeria — As patient as fishermen, the young men toil day and night, trawling for replies to the e-mails they shoot to strangers half a world away.