Lovefraud received the following email from a reader
Just want to know if I am right on this. I am communicating with 4 guys on the Internet and all have asked for money. They have all sent me pictures of them and the kids, to prove they are “real.” Also have cell phone numbers.
They are all in Nigeria “working” and seem to have one problem or another.
One has finished his job and has been paid, but cannot cash the check. He wants me to send him money to come home on; I have refused.
One is still working in Nigeria and needs me to repay a loan for him because he cannot send money out of the country…I refused.
One cannot use his credit cards in Nigeria and needs me to send him money to live on down there; I have refused.
The last one had an accident on the job site and needs a new machine to complete the job. He needs $4500. I refused.
All of these are just scam jobs, correct?
Bingo! Congratulations! You get the gold medal!
Yes, these are all scams, and the guys are all con artists. I am so glad that you refused to send money.
Nigeria is a hotbed of Internet scams. You may have heard of the “419 scam.” That’s the “advance fee” scam, there the con man promises you a significant share of a large sum of money — all you have to do is pay a small up-front fee. Of course, you never see the big pot of gold, and your advance fee is gone as well.
The scam is named for Article 419 of the Nigerian Criminal Code, which outlaws fraud. And it’s not the first confidence game invented in Nigeria. According to the New York Times, Nigerians have been running scams for a hundred years.
Who made that Nigerian scam? on NYTimes.com
So, when Internet dating rolled around, these scammers just moved into the next big thing. Anyone who is looking for love online needs to know that these con artists are trolling dating sites 24/2, looking for vulnerable targets.
They pretend to be exactly who you are looking for. “Pretend” is the operative word here, because the profiles they create are totally fake. They steal other people’s photos from Facebook pages and modeling sites. In fact a website called Dating ‘n More has assembled a list of the stolen photos and the con artists behind them. It’s frightening.
Scammers 4 real, on romancescam.com.
Here’s their description of typical online dating scams:
Nigerian dating scam database on Datingnmore.com
Sometimes the con artists get caught. A couple of weeks ago, a Nigerian Internet fraudster, Okekiji Kabiru, was convicted by the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for promising marriage to three women in order to defraud them of American dollars.
Love Fraud: Court convicts man for Internet marriage fraud, on Leadership.ng.
That’s one Nigerian con man convicted, thousands more to go.
The bottom line: Do not send money to anyone you meet on the Internet, from Nigeria or elsewhere. No matter how convincing they sound, it’s a scam.