I’m Not Really Royalty: The World Of Nigerian Internet Scams

Times Staff Writer Oct 20, Nigerians use computers in an Internet cafe in Lagos. Most recipients hit delete, delete, delete, delete without ever opening the messages that urge them to claim the untold riches of a long-lost deceased second cousin, and the messages that offer millions of dollars to help smuggle loot stolen by a corrupt Nigerian official into a U. But the few who actually reply make this a tempting and lucrative business for the boys of Festac, a neighborhood of Lagos at the center of the cyber-scam universe. The targets are called maghas — scammer slang from a Yoruba word meaning fool, and refers to gullible white people. Samuel is 19, handsome, bright, well-dressed and ambitious. He has a special flair for computers. Until he quit the game last year, he was one of Festac’s best-known cyber-scam champions. Like nearly everyone here, he is desperate to escape the run-down, teeming streets, the grimy buildings, the broken refrigerators stacked outside, the strings of wet washing. It’s the kind of place where plainclothes police prowl the streets extorting bribes, where mobs burn thieves to death for stealing a cellphone, and where some people paint “This House Is Not For Sale” in big letters on their homes, in case someone posing as the owner tries to put it on the market.

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

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:

Romance Scams works by checking every part of the dating website available online. There are more than 2, different dating websites today in the US alone. But every single year, there are 1, new online dating services opening and based on the estimate, there are 8, competitors all over the globe.

Perth A Perth woman who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in a Nigerian online romance scam has recovered part of the money after a police investigation. The woman, who only wants to be known as Jenny, is the first known WA romance fraud victim to receive any money back. The Nigerian scammers had stolen a photo off a website and had created a fictitious profile for Gary, who claimed to be in love with her and needed money for a business-related crisis.

Jenny, online scam victim Detective Sergeant Dom Blackshaw has confirmed that the major fraud squad has been working with Nigerian police, who have arrested a suspect and charged him with obtaining money under false pretences. Online scam victim feels ‘lucky’ Jenny said she had resigned herself to the fact that she would never see the money again and felt like she had won the lottery after her bank agreed to recall several payments of money she sent to the conman.

It’s when a person has a little chink in their armour that someone can get in, and it festers and they make the most of it.

Signs of an Online Dating Scam

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. The scammers spend their day trolling the dating sites and chat rooms for contact emails, and then send off thousands of fraudulent letters and emails awaiting the victim’s replies.

They are offering the chance of finding true love and happiness, and there are plenty of takers!

FBI Warns of Online Dating Scams But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money.

The details of the vehicle, including photos and description, are typically lifted from sites such as Craigslist , AutoTrader. An interested buyer, hopeful for a bargain, emails the fraudster, who responds saying the car is still available but is located overseas. Or, the scammer will say that he is out of the country but the car is a shipping company. The scam artist then instructs the victim to send a deposit or full payment via wire transfer to initiate the “shipping” process.

To make the transaction seem more legitimate, the fraudster will ask the buyer to send money to a fake agent of a third party that claims to provide purchase protection. The unwitting victims wire the funds and subsequently discover they have been scammed. In response, auto sales websites often post warnings to buyers, for example, those on Craigslist which warn not to accept offers in which vehicles are shipped, where funds are paid using Western Union or wire, etcetera, requesting those postings to be flagged as abuse.

Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami were popular targets of scammers perpetrating charity scams; other more timeless scam charities purport to be raising money for cancer , AIDS or Ebola virus research, children’s orphanages the scammer pretends to work for the orphanage or a non-profit associated with it , or impersonates charities such as the Red Cross or United Way.

The scammer asks for donations, often linking to online news articles to strengthen their story of a funds drive. The scammer’s victims are charitable people who believe they are helping a worthy cause and expect nothing in return. Once sent, the money is gone and the scammer often disappears, though many attempts to keep the scam going by asking for a series of payments. The victim may sometimes find themselves in legal trouble after deducting their supposed donations from their income taxes.

United States tax law states that charitable donations are only deductible if made to a qualified non-profit organization.

Ghana Scams

Advertisement Ibrahim wound up earning some trust through another method: They sent me a series of pictures and I just showed them. They like me because I do that free of charge.

Beware of Online Dating Scams FBI San probably based on personal information you uploaded on dating or social media sites. The pictures you were sent were most likely phony lifted from other.

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.

Advance Fee Scams

Some scam messages ask for business, others invite victims to a website with a detailed pitch. Many individuals have lost their life savings due to this type of fraud. Email scams[ edit ] Advance-fee fraud: Among the variations on this type of scam, are the Nigerian Letter also called the fraud, Nigerian scam, Nigerian bank scam, or Nigerian money offer.

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.

A Multimillion Dollar Industry The internet has revolutionized modern romance and dating, and online scammers are taking full advantage of the anonymity that online dating offers. Angelita Felixberto bootsfelixberto Feb 20, at 9: You have the greatest soul, the noblest nature, the sweetest, most loving heart I have ever known, and my love and admiration for you have increased so much since we’ve known each other that it still amazes me.

You are more wonderful and lovely in my eyes than you ever were before; and my pride and joy and gratitude that you should love me with such a perfect love are beyond all expression. The sweetheart scam was born In , Barb Sluppick met an Englishman through one of her online message groups. He said he lived in Arizona but was working in Virginia. Though she was at times leery because she’d never actually met him, the romance blossomed.

Then the Englishman needed a little help cashing checks. During their first phone call, Barb said, she got sick to her stomach when instead of the proper British accent she expected, the voice was of a Nigerian man. The man eventually acknowledged that he was from Lagos. Theresa Smalley fell in love around that same time. In his picture, Richie was a bearded guy curled up on a couch with his cat. He sent her chocolates, a teddy bear, and an “I love you” balloon for Valentine’s Day.

Smalley was smitten, and she couldn’t wait for Richie to visit her in Ohio after he finished his job

The Latest in Internet Scams: Sex, Lies and Viruses

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.

Dating sites in nigeria scams. Naijasweetheart. Men on internet scams and internet scams target the victim, says romance scams target the most of thousands. Avoid romance scam aka nigerian fraudsters who were later convicted. Get in nigeria dating site and dating scams soldiers stolen identities. Plus a job site we want to the fraud is a soulmate.

It has a population of approximately 4 million people, and despite its outward appearance, is a very modern country, although Moroccans hold strong to their traditions. Morocco is also a predominantly Muslim country, although it feels far more like a secular Middle Eastern country i. From a male perspective some of the most beautiful women in the world live in this cultural melting pot. Morocco can be a great place to meet single girls because it’s not as popular a destination as Vietnam or Latvia for guys actively looking for an overseas girlfriend, or wife.

Plus there’s also the fact that Moroccan women are actively looking to meet guys from Europe or North America. Moroccan women embody the mystique of North Africa, with looks and bodies that wouldn’t look out of place at a Parisian fashion show. There’s a touch of the djinn about them, and this is exactly what makes them so attractive.

In fact, you’ll find that even though it’s a Muslim country girls have zero problems just walking right up to you and making conversation.

Beware Nigerian Online Dating Scams