Apr 4, With the explosive growth of online dating, Nigerian scammers now have dating profiles. They pose as potential matches for vulnerable singles. Jul 20, Using fake profiles on online dating sites and social networks, including Nigerian scammers are dubbed “Yahoo boys” because of their. Oct 18, The new Nigerian scam PM ET Wed, 18 Oct | Think Nigerian It all began with scripts blasted out on dating websites. N.J.'s online boyfriend sent her a box of phones and asked her to mail them to Africa.
Dating & romance
This is definitely a scam because the police no matter which country will never request money to catch a criminal! The Most Likely Victims According to FBI data, 82 percent of romance scam victims are women and women over 50 are defrauded out of the most money. Or the alternative is to say their wallet has been stolen, hotel owner holding their passport, custom officials need to be bribed, new plane tickets are needed, they have been victimized and put in jail and need money to bribe their way out, or they need money for an operation etc.
Nigerian internet scam on dating sites - MORE IN Wellness
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. The Most Likely Victims According to FBI data, 82 percent of romance scam victims are women and women over 50 are defrauded out of the most money.
Using fake profiles on online dating sites and social networks, including Facebook, scammers troll for the lonely and the vulnerable. They promise love and marriage and build what feels like a very real relationship to the victim. Someone who has fallen for a scam before is a favored mark. Those names and identities are often sold to other criminals. A Federal Trade Commission study published in found another telling commonality among all kinds of fraud victims: And should they wise up, they may be threatened and blackmailed by their faux lovers.
The scammer may even admit the crime to the victim, but then swear he has actually fallen in love with her. Those who believe the excuses and stay involved may enter into a new level of danger as the scammer begins to groom them to launder stolen money, deliver drugs or scam others. More than one woman has wound up charged with crimes.
Victims live around the globe. Ruth Grover, who lives in northeast England, runs ScamHaters , a website that posts warnings about online profiles that appear to be scammers. Many victims there and elsewhere are not wealthy and must borrow the money they send to the scammers. While Nigerian scams targeting an international audience in particular predate the internet, as The Guardian reported in January, the advent of social networks and email has broadened the potential victim list and changed the game.
These scammers are not just young people set on a career criminal path. The video shows luxury cars bearing license plates for each day of the week, beautiful women and expensive liquor on tap, and dollars carelessly tossed on the floor like confetti.
Many of the early online scams were run out of pay-per-hour internet cafes, some of which would even shut down to the public while the larger scamming operations took over. With better and cheaper internet connections these days, scammers can often work from home. They cast a Vodun spell, which is akin to voodoo, to essentially hypnotize their victims into giving up the money. Scammers often work in teams of five or six, with each member playing a specific role, according to experts who study and prosecute online fraud.
One person opens communication as the faux lover. Teammates sometimes impersonate a doctor or a nurse demanding to be paid after a medical emergency. Or they pose as work associates or friends of the paramour, to whom the victim can send the money.
It is all scripted: The criminals can download their scripts off plenty of online sites. Last year, a year-old British woman was sentenced to two years in prison for being a scriptwriter for romance scammers. One script she wrote tried to capitalize on an American tragedy. The scammer was supposed to say: He made it out of the collapsed building but he later died because of heavy dust and smoke and he was asthmatic.
When the victim seeks a face-to-face meeting, the script offers creative ways for scammers to say no or to cancel later. Sometimes thousands of phony online identities are created from one set of stolen photos. Soldiers represent protection, another appealing trait. The Army Criminal Investigation Command CID receives hundreds of complaints a month from victims who say they formed an online relationship with someone claiming to be a U.
There are no circumstances in which a member of the U. When it comes to photo theft, rank offers no privileges. Campbell was the top U. Campbell, now retired , took to Facebook to warn people after he and his staff uncovered more than fake profiles using his image in the first six months after he took over the U.
Jones Without his knowledge, Dr. Of course, men who are drawn into these scams come from many walks of life. In the case of Dr. A good part of his life is spent dodging these heartbroken women, some of whom who think he personally ripped them off.
One woman made an appointment for hypnosis with his New York office. She showed up with color printouts of his photos that she believed he had sent her. When Jones posted on his real Facebook page that HuffPost wanted to speak with women who had been bilked by scammers using his name, more than 50 responded in less than 24 hours. He also posted this public service announcement on YouTube about how to avoid being scammed. The Facebook photos of Las Vegas resident Michael Besson were also stolen and used to create hundreds of fake profiles on Facebook and other sites.
One woman from a small town in Illinois showed up at the door of his home, he said. He said his motive in speaking publicly was simple: Courtesy of Michael Besson This photo of Michael Besson with his daughter has appeared on hundreds of scammers' profiles. Scammers Play In Social Media Social media and dating sites, where people volunteer details about their personal lives, are a natural habitat for scammers.
Dating sites appear to be aware of the role they play, however unintentionally, in romance fraud. It is standard for such sites to disclaim any responsibility for fake profiles that appear. An industry executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told HuffPost that some sites fight back surreptitiously. They are offering the chance of finding true love and happiness, and there are plenty of takers! However sooner or later, the vulnerable hearts receive requests that will ultimately lead to financial losses and heartbreak.
The scammers choose chat rooms and dating sites because the person in love offers the chance of the biggest payoffs. How Does the Scam Work? The Nigerian dating scams are often not easy to detect as the scammers are often highly educated, have exceptional patience and they do their homework! The scammers start by stealing a photo from an internet site. They prefer to use images of white people capitalising on stereotypes and perceptions. The photos are usually of beautiful people and the quality of the photo is high.
If you think you are being scammed, go to this site and browse all the photos to see if the person you are communicating has a photo on this site. Then you will know for sure it is a scam! However they also use photos taken from profiles of other people on dating sites, so remember that the photos that scammers use are not photos of themselves - they are photos of innocent victims.
They also use many aliases, emails, photos, gender, age and sexual orientation in order to cast their net to catch as many victims as possible. Often the scammers use attractive female photo profiles because lots of men will respond to an attractive woman's personal ad based on the photo alone. They also tend to target middle-aged people looking for stable relationships. The rationale is that this type of person is likely to be more desperate, gullible and financially stable.
They then post ads with fake profiles on online dating sites. They also lurk in chat rooms and social networking sites as well as Christian and other religious-based dating sites.
They then spend months chatting up and luring their naive targets with online intimacy. They often pretend to be foreign specialists [from the US, UK or Canada, but can be any European country]temporarily working in Nigeria or other African country.
A slight twist is is when the scammer pretends to live in the same country as the victim, and once a relationship has developed, then advise they are required to go to a west African country on an assignment.
Some of the sophisticated scammers send cheap presents such as flowers or candy [from stolen credit cards] to capture the hearts of lonely women. Then they choose one of two approaches. They either advise that their employer pays them with Money Orders and they can't cash them in Nigeria or are having trouble cashing them.
Then they convince their soul mates to bank them into their bank account and then wire them the money via Western Union. They are often told to keep some of the money for their trouble [which helps to build trust and also helps make them an accessory to the crime!