Online Dating Frauds Number 1 – The Nigerian

Online dating scams are vast and various in form. Probably the most recognized and widely used is the one known simply as the ‘Nigerian’ scam. The reason it is so named essentially comes from the part of the world in which it is thought these scams originated.

The scammer begins the roost by posting an attractive photo (usually of an attractive professional model stolen off the Internet) and fake profile on a dating website. This will be followed up by mass messaging a number of members with a pre-written copy of a message. Typically the scammer will show particular interest in the profile of the victim and makes a request to learn more about them. It’s not unusual at this point for the scammer to provide a generic email address to the victim from somewhere like Hotmail or Yahoo.

If the scammer gets a reply the con is on! The communication will begin with extreme interest in the victim usually in a broad nature as in all likelihood they have several victims on the hook at any one point in time. Once devoting himself or herself to the victim in a ridiculously short space of time the game begins. He or she will suddenly make claims as to how bad their situation is or that they have been in an accident or that a family member has fallen ill. The scammers’ story will no doubt be very emotional and quite easily gain sympathy and affection from the unsuspecting victim.

The scammer gradually lures the victim away from the chat facility provided by the dating website to some external means such as personal emails, instant messaging, even telephone calls, or perhaps webcam. Never will the scammer expose their faces on the web cam but they may take photos of the victim and even lure them into getting naked with false promises of more to come. It’s not unusual for a scammers’ web cam to be ‘not working’ or ‘broken’. At a later point in time the scammer may demand money by threatening to expose the victims naked photos on the Internet.

No matter what the story is, after a period of establishing trust, romance, and desire, the scammer will ask for money to be sent in forms such as cash, money orders, even merchandise, or currency exchange via a telegraphic money transfer service like a telegraphic transfer.

Typically at this point the fraud will either be perceived by the victim, the victim will pay or the victim simply advises they are unable to pay because they can’t afford to. If any form of payment is made the scam will continue until the cash flow stops. If no payment is made several blind attempts will be made to make the victim feel guilty. The scammer may even resort to angry messages of hatred or threats.

This first scam that I have written about here today is probably the most common. There are many more and I will write about these scams in my upcoming articles. One upcoming article in particular will shock you. It relates the story of a close friend who was caught up in a scam after meeting what seemed to be a nice young girl on one of the Asian dating sites. This story is a classic example of what to be on the look out for in order to avoid these situations yourself. I will also relate some personal experiences involving these scams as I have had my share of ‘run-ins’ with these questionable characters. I hope this and my future articles will help you to avoid the heartache that many have endured from the darker side of online dating and that your future search for love and friendship will be fruitful.

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