The latest news on romance scams

Recently, I heard yet another story of a woman connecting with a scammer on a legitimate dating site. These men are con artists who will find a way to touch your heart and your pocketbook without a second thought. But, there are certain clues you need to be aware of that will tip you off to potential scammers. Scammers feed off specific clues you put in your profile. Be aware of sounding needy and lonely in your profile. It makes you perfect prey for scammers looking to hook you into their scams. He might tell you that he lives in a metropolitan city in the U. Most of these men live in poorer countries around the world where jobs that pay well are scarce. He knows this and uses it to his advantage to hook you.

Ghana / West Africa Romance Scammers

Since the large adoption of the internet, the online dating industry moved to set a new standard in the way we find our soulmates. And it worked. According to a study from the University of Chicago, compared to marriages between couples who meet in real life, marriages between couples whose relationships are formed through an online dating site are more likely to last. Unfortunately, with the rise of online dating services came the birth of romance scams. Romance scams target wealthy women, sometimes widows, who are looking for a new relationship and men who are looking for extra-marital relationships.

U.S. citizens should be alert to attempts at fraud by persons who profess Affairs also has additional information on Internet Dating and Romance Scams.

We, humans, can become an easy target for malicious actors who want to steal our most valuable personal data. Criminal minds can reach these days further than before, into our private lives, our homes and work offices. And there is little we can do about it. Source: Federal Trade Commision. For this reason, we need to know what are the most popular techniques malicious actors are using to get unauthorized access to our private information and financial data.

Use the links below to quickly navigate the list of online scams you need to stay away from right now. Phishing scams continue to evolve and be a significant online threat for both users and organizations that could see their valuable data in the hands of malicious actors.

Ten tips to avoid being scammed on dating sites

You may think you spend a lot on flowers or chocolate, but losing money in a romance scam would cost you even more. What do we mean by romance scams? Usually they want the money by wire transfer or gift card.

Specifically, scammers posted fake profiles on dating sites and waited for victims to send them an email, which allowed scammers to then.

Thanks to online dating scams, each year thousands of Americans who are searching for love end up with nothing but a broken heart and an empty wallet. While online dating and social media sites have become increasingly popular tools to find love and friendship, they’ve unfortunately also become popular tools for fraudsters known as romance scammers. These con artists create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money. According to the Better Business Bureau, victims in the U.

Older users, in particular, are more often targeted by this type of scam — and most don’t realize they are a victim until it is too late. We also have information about how to report a dating scammer if you or someone you love has fallen victim to one. Romance scammers are experts in social manipulation and can sound very convincing.

Many of the signs of a romance scammer are subtle and insidious because the scammer is trying to build trust before they exploit you. Often times, the first sign of an online dating scam shows up when a romance scammer expresses strong emotions in a relatively short period of time. Guard your personal information carefully, and be wary if a new love interest asks for personal details soon after contact.

Be suspicious of anyone who asks you for financial assistance, no matter how dire their circumstances seem to be. Often times, scammers convince victims to leave the dating site and use personal email or instant messaging to continue communication.

Romance scams will cost you

A good friend of mine told me he was talking to a British 33 year old woman living in Accra Ghana with whom he met through and online dating site. She fell in love with him and her parents called him and told him that she wants to come visit him in America because she loves him. He asked me to find her a ticket but he didn’t do so and suddenly she bought a ticket and showed him.

I looked up he ticket which didn’t have flight numbers but had correct flight arrivals the bar codes on the ticket looked exactly like the bar codes on a ticket that I found as a fraud online. He was excited for her to come but 10 hours later she text hime to say she was detained in Mexico because she smuggled her gold bars through illegally and needs to pay a fine so she can come into the US with those gold bars.

Dating and romance scams are fast-growing areas of fraud online and which you need to click on, worry – A Nigerian ‘scam factory’ exposed.

Correspondents may cultivate the relationship for several months before asking for money, but if they are after your money, eventually they will ask for it. Before you send any money to Ghana, please take the time to do your research and inform yourself. Start by considering the fact that scams are common enough to warrant this warning. Next, look over this partial list of indicators. If any of them sound familiar, you are likely the victim of an internet scam.

We advise U. Many Americans have reported losing thousands of dollars through such scams. In the event you do lose money, be warned that your chances of getting it back are almost nil. Furthermore, this type of crime is not a priority for local police and it is difficult to prosecute these cases. The Embassy can offer a sympathetic ear, share information on protecting yourself against such scams, and help you determine if your situation is real or fraudulent, but cannot do much else.

Victims can report the scam to the FBI at www. The anonymity of the internet means that the U. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you suspect you may be the victim of a scam, please read through our information on Resources for Victims of International Financial Scams.

Meet the scammers: Could this be your online lover?

Romance scams involve the promise of romantic companionship or love, but end up resulting in loss for the person who is scammed. Romance scams typically involve obtaining money or other items of value through false pretenses. Trust is gained by pretending to be a potential romantic partner. There are many different kinds of romance scams, some of which take place internationally, and dating fraud of any type can result in criminal charges for those who are accused of operating scams.

largely reputable online dating site for just three days, when she delivered her tale of woe about a However, hundreds of lonely South Africans are being taken.

If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. However, not everyone who creates a profile on these sites has honorable intentions. Most dating scams start innocently enough. Scammers contact victims via social media sites or through email, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection—such as an introduction at a wedding or other large gathering. Other scam artists make their fake profiles look as appealing as possible and wait from victims to reach out and begin the conversation.

Once a scammer has you hooked, the possibilities are limitless, but here are a few of the most common variations:.

The FBI’s Nigerian email scam ring bust shows how the billion-dollar global fraud has evolved

While most African singles looking for a date online are genuine, it cannot be denied that many online dating scams originate in African nations such as Nigeria, Ghana or Ivory Coast due to the low per capita income, high rates of unemployment, high rates of corruption and ineffective policing in these areas. The money extracted from victims in North America, Europe and Australia translates to huge fortunes for the scammers who are willing to put weeks or months of work into getting a good payout.

Both men and women are targets. Many scammers are well educated and all are heartless so read on for common African online dating scams and protect yourself. Scam Warning Signs. This is the most common scam in online dating.

Many phony nigerian romance scams. Miami – single charming ukrainian dating sites that ask you will this pursuit by international investigator discusses online.

These are external links and will open in a new window. Organised criminals will be exploiting loneliness during lockdown to take money from romance scam victims, a charity has said. Victim Support said people’s increased confidence in using the internet to meet and talk leaves them vulnerable. One has spoken of how her “heart ruled my head” when sending money to the man she thought she loved.

But, as the virus started to spread, she believed he was in a country heavily affected, giving him the opportunity to trick more money out of her. She was also feeling the kind of loneliness common among many vulnerable people during the current crisis. She said they spoke morning, noon and night for five months about a shared love of music and family. But the man she thought was an American living overseas was, in fact, a organised criminal gang working shifts to private message or speak to her over a crackly line.

After about a month, Arnold told her stories such as suffering from an accident, his need for a working laptop, and business problems.

For Richer Or Poorer? Romance Scams Are Leaving More Online Daters Broke

A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.

Number of cases rose from to in only two years.

If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. 49 million Americans have tried dating sites, reports Statistic Brain Research.

While 14 arrests have been made, a count federal grand jury indictment unsealed on Thursday Aug. The unsealed indictment shows the evolving tactics of online fraudsters which has seen them continue to dupe unwitting victims despite numerous awareness campaigns about the online scams. Through business email compromise scams BEC , fraudsters use hacked email accounts to convince businesses or individuals to make payments that are either bogus or similar to actual payments owed to legitimate companies.

As part of the scam, fraudsters learn about key personnel in companies who are responsible for the payments as well as the protocols necessary to perform wire transfers in various companies and then target businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments, Paul Delacourt, FBI assistant director in charge of the case said in a press briefing. Before his arrest, Okeke had posed a successful entrepreneur and was featured on a Forbes under list as well a BBC Focus on Africa program.

With long-running romance scam tactics through dating websites already well-known, fraudsters have gone as far as impersonating US soldiers and then seeking lovers on social media, particularly Facebook. In some cases, rather than being asked to send money, victims of romance scams are deployed as money mules whose banks accounts are used to move illicit funds or are talked into opening accounts on behalf of criminals.

US law enforcement have recently received complaints of such scams in all 50 states in the US, authorities also say. The high profile arrests have also triggered extreme reactions among Nigerians at home and abroad, many of whom daily experience the cost of national stereotyping that comes with the well-covered activity of online fraudsters, particularly with the wide spread of email scam attempts.

70+ common online scams used by cyber criminals and fraudsters

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. A report from cybersecurity company Agari claims to expose one corner of the multimillion-dollar romance scam industry: a Nigerian fraud ring it dubs Scarlet Widow.

While most African singles looking for a date online are genuine, it cannot be denied that many online dating scams originate in African nations such as Nigeria.

Do you have questions about your vision health? A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable.

This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment. But he or she seems smitten and eager to get to know you better, and suggests you move your relationship to a private channel like email or a chat app. Over weeks or months you feel yourself growing closer. You make plans to meet in person, but for your new love something always comes up.

Men in California oversaw a romance scam that targeted women worldwide, feds say

By Mercury Reporter Aug 19, Dating scams are a fast-growing area of cybercrime — rising by a third year-on-year in some countries, and ranging from fraud, to identity theft to malware attacks, says Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET South Africa. Fake wedding invitations has been a standard spam attack for years, but cyber criminals have begun to play longer, more complex games to lure in victims.

Each year, hackers, mostly based in Africa, successfully scam According to Consumer Reports, most online dating websites don’t vet users.

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Internet Scamming in Ghana


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