Nigerian dating scam

Nigerian scam comes in many forms: 419 scam, when they offer to transfer millions of dollars into your bank account, or lottery scam, when they tell you that you've won something in some bogus lottery.

However, Nigerian dating scam (or romance scam), besides just asking for money for their studies, sick relatives, etc.. usually involves this scheme: the scammers upload fake attractive photos, in most cases of white people. They pretend to be the foreign specialists working in Nigeria or Ghana (usually originally from US and UK, but it may also be Canada, Australia or any other European country).

After they establish some lovely correspondence with you, fall in love and maybe even send a couple of cheap presents, they will either:

a) be almost on their way to meet you, but something will happen to them: they will get robbed, beaten, get into the hospital, or other misfortune will happen and of course you will be their only contact to ask for financial help, or:

b) tell you that their employer pays them with Money Orders, and they can't cash them in Nigeria. They will send you the Money Orders 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 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 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. Never re-ship anything for strangers, especially to Africa. There is a reason why online merchants usually don't ship there.

There are also military scams (for God Sake, there are NO American Generals browsing dating sites and NO military man will EVER ask you for money. Then there is a recovery scam - a scammer recontacting you pretending to be FBI, EFCC or any other authority, telling he can help you recover your money... but for a fee, of course. And finally there is a "stuck parcel" scam, when they supposedly sent you goods/gifts, but they got stuck somewhere on the way (for example, on the customs) and you have to pay to "customs"/bogus shipping company to get them.
When we say "Nigerian scam", it doesn't mean it originates from Nigeria only. It may also originate from any other West African country, like Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal etc.. But recently Malaysia became a real hotspot for Nigerian scams. There is a huge Nigerian cell operating out of Malaysia, targeting mostly Asian women. Please keep in mind: all these white engineers supposedly from the UK, but appearing in Malaysia, with awful spelling are in reality Nigerian scammers.

Where do scammers get their photos from? Many of their photos are taken from the modeling sites... Female pictures are almost always of the Internet porn models. But with male pictures, recently they started shifting from modeling pictures and mostly send pictures of ordinary men: either of their ex-victims or stolen from social networks, like myspace, tagged or facebook. Please visit our new picture blog Scamdigger, to see if a pic in question has been known to be used in scams.

You should always keep in mind: the photos you see on the scammers profiles ARE NOT the actual faces of people who are scamming you! It is very important to understand that you are NOT looking at the photos of scammers, those are photos of innocent people that scammers use, and in a way those people are victims too. To see how scammers look like in reality, please check our hall of shame, Scammers 4 real.

The scammers have many faces: not only they frequently change names, e-mails and photos, but they may list themselves on different dating sites as being of different gender, race, age, location and sexual orientation.