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! From internet cafes all over west African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal etc scammers are zeroing in on their prey - singles looking for love online. The Nigerian dating scams are hugely profitable. 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! However sooner or later, the vulnerable hearts receive requests that will ultimately lead to financial losses and heartbreak.
The Nigerian criminals were living large for local standards, both at home in Nigeria and in South Africa, where many of the students were living on student visas. At the same time, victims in the U. Others faced financial ruin. The crime ring was brought to justice. Investigators worked with South Africa and Canada to extradite those responsible.
Twelve pleaded guilty and were sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
Three were found guilty at trial and received sentences of up to years in prison. Four defendants remain fugitives, with three last known to be in Nigeria. Because they've been making money hand over fist with relatively little risk to themselves," Nunnikhoven said.
ALL PICTURES ARE STOLEN FROM INNOCENT THIRD PARTIES. In reality, the scammers are Africans from Nigeria and Ghana. People on the pictures are not associated with scammers in any way, they are just victims of identity theft. If you are contacted by somebody using these pictures on a dating site or a social network, you are being scammed. Oct 18, N.J. was not alone. The Nigerian crime ring created a network of what investigators call electronic-mules, or e-mules, across the U.S. These victims unwittingly helped carry out a bunch of money Author: Jennifer Schlesinger. Nov 25, Online romance scams cost Americans millions of dollars every year. Online dating investigation site Social Catfish helps break down how Nigerian dating scam rings operate and how to stay safe Author: AJ Dellinger.
While other West African crime rings exist and often use these romance ploys, this ring also had two scams that were unique, one involving college textbooks, the other prepaid credit cards. So essentially these textbooks companies were getting the merchandise stolen from 'em. And in the end, they were spending their own money to purchase their own merchandise back," said Todd Williams, the Homeland Security agent. As the crime ring operated, they began to get more sophisticated and relied on prepaid cards to move money, instead of e-mules.
Once they were able to acquire those accounts, that in turn would become their infrastructure that they needed to be able to move their illicit proceeds," said Todd Williams. So, what the criminals try to do instead of hook you with that relative that needs help or that Nigerian prince, what they're now doing is trying to spoof the CEO to the CFO," Nunnikhoven said.
pictures most frequently used by male scammers
So, the criminals can easily pretend to be one of these companies. Unlike cybercriminals in Eastern Europe and Asia, West African criminals tend to have less technical expertise. Instead, they use mind games. It's an art," said Nunnikhoven.
To protect yourself from West African schemes, investigators warn not to get involved financially with anyone you have not met in person. Also, check your credit score, bank and credit card statements for unapproved accounts and transactions.
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Remember, scammers use thousands of fake or stolen names for each face they steal. Don't worry about a name, there are hundreds of millions of fake profiles on social media and even more on dating websites. All of these photos were stolen by scammers and found of fake Facebook & social media profiles. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations Internet Crimes Complaint Center Nigerian scammers aren't only posing on internet dating sites waiting for the obvious romance saporiviafrancigena.com may find you where you least suspect it, through an online game, social media platform, by message or email, or using apps of all variety. Pictures most commonly used in scams This is the photo gallery of pictures that are most frequently used in scams. These pictures have been abused by scammers for many years, and in spite of warnings on many scamlists, they STILL keep resurfacing over and over again.
All Rights Reserved. Data also provided by. Skip Navigation. Markets Pre-Markets U. Key Points. Nigerian crime rings are using more sophisticated tactics to steal from their victims. Romance ploys are still common, but one crime ring had a scheme involving textbooks and another with prepaid cards.
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 scams can hurt victims financially for years. In some cases, large companies have been targeted. Once you finally refuse all methods of helping them, they will block you and move on.
Social Catfish was recently able to connect with a genuine Nigerian scammer who was willing to be a whistleblower on the entire scamming industry! He shared behind the scenes information with us and produced files that new Nigerian scammers use. The techniques they use are similar to prompts given to people who work in sales jobs. For each response or question you have, their chart lists an answer which a scammer can say to trick you further.
They have a script about their goals and motivators, if they smoke or drink, their inspirations, if they believe in true love or like sports, etc. The most frightening thing of all is that scammers copy and paste these pre-made replies into messages. We like to imagine that people follow the rules because they want to.
That is true, to some extent. However, in the West African country of Nigeria, the legal climate is very different than in the United States. For the million people who live in Nigeria, there is little oversight for those who scam others. It is common to see a big divide between the rich and poor, with fancy neighborhoods surrounded by slums.
Roughly around 30 percent of their income goes to bribes bribing government officials, those in the financial field, and skirting law enforcement. With so many criminals on their payroll, no one reports the scammers dirty deeds.
Add to this the fact that many Nigerian people live in slums without running water or electricity, and it is easy to see why young people want the life of a scammer.
Some still feel ashamed and hide the truth about what they do from their families, but their crimes help themselves, and their loved ones survive. The EFCC has had some success in arresting crime rings of scammers or fraudulent criminals. However, the problem is by no means solved and is getting worse yearly. The United States F. The Australian government also has a site called Scamwatchwhich lists the total number and type of scams in their area, showing that no country is safe from Nigerian scams.
As you will see through the emails sampled below, many of the warning signs that we talk about are used by actual Nigerian scammers.
What Other Visitors Have Said
Here are the warning signs you should look for, so you are never a victim of this type of fraud. Warning Sign 1: Someone you meet online claims to be out of the state, country, or your geographic area.
Warning Sign 2: They come on too strong and push you to take immediate action or require secrecy. Warning Sign 3: They always have an excuse. They still have an explanation as to why they cannot talk on the phone, access cash, pay you back, or see you, etc. Tip: This is because they are in a hurry for you to trust them and get your cash. Some may use the same generic answers with everyone. Warning Sign 5: If you met them on a game, dating site, or app, they immediately push for you to message them on a separate service.
Warning Sign 6: They have a unique way of writing and talking. They write differently and more formally than most, yet claim to be born and raised in America. Usually, people who are dating and falling in love long distance want to video chat all the time. Tip: If they make excuses as to why they cannot get video chat or talk on the phone, be suspicious.
Nigerian dating scams pictures
Warning Sign 8: Your intuition matters. Warning Sign 9: The biggest red flag is when someone online sends you a request for money. If this happens on a website, block and report that user to the site, app, or forum you met them on.
Filing with the IC3 does not serve as notice to your credit card company regarding unauthorized charges. Contact your credit card company and banking institutions directly. Steve Weisman from Scamicide has the following to say:. There are various red flags to help you identify romance scams. The most important thing to remember is always to be skeptical of anyone who falls in love with you quickly online without ever meeting you and early into the relationship, who then asks you to wire money to assist them with a wide range of phony emergencies.
Here are a few other things to look for to help identify an online romance scam. Often their profile picture is stolen from a modeling website on the Internet. If the image looks too professional and the person looks too much like a model, you should be wary. You also can check on the legitimacy of photographs by seeing if they have been used elsewhere by doing a reverse image search.
Also, be on the lookout for bad spelling and grammar as many of the romance scammers claim to be Americans, but are foreigners lying about where they are and who they are.
Of course, you should be particularly concerned if someone falls in love with you almost immediately. Often they will ask you to use a webcam, but will not use one themselves. This is another red flag.
One thing you may want to do is ask them to take a picture of themselves holding up a sign with their name on it. Also, ask for several pictures because, generally, when the scammers are stealing photos of models from websites, they do not have many photographs. Ask for the image to be at a particular place that you designate to test them further. Many Nigerian scammers ask their victims to send online gift cards. According to a fraud specialist for the F.
All a scammer needs is a digital code or picture of the gift card, and they can immediately use it online. There is a small downside, for the scammer, when a gift card is converted to cryptocurrency on sites like Paxful, some money is lost in the price fluctuations sometimes 40 to 80 cents on the dollar!
Wanting to avoid fees and for those scammers who wish to a bigger payday, they may still prefer to cash or money wire services such as Western Union.
Since Western Union is aware of Nigerian romance scams and the negative impact these stories have on their business model, we reached out to them for a comment regarding this, and they said:.
Western Union takes the issue of consumer protection very seriously - we care about people who use our services. They work hard for their money and this is why we work hard to educate them about various types of consumer fraud and how to help protect themselves.
West African fraud rings are certainly a significant part of the consumer fraud problem, notably those originating from Nigeria and Ghana.
Beware Nigerian Online Dating Scams
It is not, of course, the only region in which we see fraud - it is a relatively small but no-less-important region for our company. Western Union maintains a multi-faceted compliance program, which includes anti-fraud and anti-money laundering components. The program is continually evolving as we work to stay ahead of bad actors and to address new patterns of illicit activity. We are committed to enhancing our compliance programs to detect, prevent, deter and report illicit activity on our network and protect customers who transfer money to friends, family and businesses.
There are a few things we can control in life, and being tricked by a Nigerian scammer in a romance scam is one of them.
The more we practice recognizing scammers, the better we become at noticing the language of scams and putting a stop to being tricked by anyone. We begin to trust and protect ourselves more and respond with our intuition when we meet people online or, even, in person.
We block and report suspicious profiles quickly and notice scam specific language. The more people who speak out, the better.
Crane Hassold, who previously worked as a digital behavior analyst for the F. If you believe you have been tricked or scammed by a Nigerian scammer, do the following immediately:. Learn more here. Our proprietary algorithm will help you quickly look up Nigerian scammers by email, username, phone number, image, and name. You can verify if someone is who they say they are or catch Nigerian romance scams using our reverse image search!
Not sure where to start? Consider having back-up and getting assistance from one of our Search Specialist. They know where to look first!
What does it take for you to fall in love? For most of us, it is the right mix of chemistry, compatibility, and shared interests. Nigerian scammers don't need to have anything in c Read More.
One of the most common types of online fraud is the infamous Nigerian scams. This is one of the oldest internet scams around, and unfortunately, it is more effective than ever.
The Read More. Jennifer Williams was working in the office one day when she came across a comment made on Social Catfish's Instagram page.
It was made from a scammer, and Williams wanted to learn Read More. It was just a normal day at Social Catfish. The marketing team was busy at work, coming up with creative ideas and talking amongst one another. That's when our social media manager Read More. We verify information to confirm if the person that you've met online is really who they say they are. We do in depth checks using our own proprietary online tools to verify things like images, social profiles, phone numbers, emails, jobs and a lot more to make sure that you have the most information about the person that you've met online.
We are the only company doing verification of public information such as jobs, phone numbers criminal checks as well as social profiles and images. General Inquiries: socialcatfish. Which Country are they from? We pride ourselves in sending the best, most useful and entertaining content to our subscribers. Jot down your email and we'll make sure you stay up to date. Sign me up! No thanks, I don't like awesome blogs.