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They then solicit you for money for a charity they run in Nigeria or Ghana. In all likelihood there is no charity and you have been robbed off your money by a scammer. Also known as the advance fee scam this is an oldie but a goody. Supposedly named after a defunct piece of Nigerian Law the scam has been operating in various incarnations for years. The basic idea is that you're contacted by someone who has access to large sums of money and wishes to move them through your bank account. They might say that someone has died leaving millions or they might be a corrupt government official draining federal funds and they want to share this unbelievable fortune with you.
All they need is a sum of your money to get things rolling or to cover bank fees. Victims must be willing to suspend disbelief.
Criminals have also used the services of pre-digital age businesses to help their scams flourish. Western Union employees have even been accused of knowingly participating in those scams. The Justice Department will handle the returning of money. The process for filing a claim has not yet been established.
They essentially fell in love with a photo and turned a blind eye to their own doubts and suspicions, many told HuffPost. They ignored obvious red flags: Victims believe because they want to believe, experts said. A study in the U. They may have successful business or professional careers.
But the study said they tend to be unduly open to persuasion by others and less able to control their emotions. Whitty, the cyberpsychologist, found that many victims were survivors of abusive relationships. To preserve the relationship, they became good at explaining away, or simply refusing to remember, the actions that hurt them. We need to be on our guard both for ourselves and for our friends and family. This ability to suspend disbelief is one reason that con artists prefer to focus on people who have fallen for scams in the past.
If you have any worries that something might be a scam … it very likely is. The subjects of romance scams are often blamed for their own victimization. The victim-blaming is something that needs to change, said Jan Marshall of Australia, a victim herself who now advocates for others through her website Romance Scam Survivor.
Nobody signs up to be preyed upon. There is a small body of research indicating that fraud victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder on par with those who have suffered from violent crime. They develop depression and psychological trauma.
Some have attempted or died by suicide. And some get angry enough at having been scammed that they fight back. The internet is ripe with scam-catchers hoping to educate the public about the dangers out there and spare others from being victimized.
Some former victims find empowerment in scam-baiting, a practice in which they lure scammers and then play along as if they were being fooled. It has an active forum where baiters can swap stories, and it has been recommended on Facebook more than 18, times. This past February, a federal judge in Illinois handed down a year sentence to Nigerian national Olayinka Ilumsa Sunmola, a year-old scam boss based in South Africa, for his role in multiple international romance scams from to After he was indicted in the U. He pleaded guilty to all eight counts of the indictment on March 2, , following two days of trial.
The government has no way of knowing how much money Sunmola and his associates ultimately stole, the U. This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.
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Browse forums All Browse by destination. What are the most popular tours in Accra? Dec 28, Anyone know of buses from Ivory Coast? Dec 17, Price's for a passport and a visa. Dec 02, Price's for a passport and a visa. Nov 30, Price for a passport and for a visa Nov 30, See All Accra Conversations. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else.
Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you.
If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you. However, there is usually a last minute glitch and they will request you to send them a large amount of money without which the trip will be impossible. These scammers know immigration rules and regulations well and might even cite some sort of visa requirement as their reason for requesting money.
Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but . Nigerian scams involve someone overseas offering you a share in a large. African scammers are continuing to profit off unsuspecting and unfortunate online daters. Be sure to read this guide on how to protect yourself from being their.
You might find their reasons actually check out and send them the money but in all likelihood, you have been scammed of your money. Another common scam one comes across in online dating is the medical emergency scam. Just when you think your online relationship is going really well, your online partner will be faced with some sort of medical emergency. Sometimes, the scams are long and stretched out with the scammers attempting to get as much money out of you as possible by cooking up a variety of medical complications.
Do not send money if you are in a similar situation because it is probably a scam.
Again, most often these scammers will pretend to be a Western man but in reality they will be scammers based in Africa. This breed of scams has been around for a very long time and is known as the advance fee fraud.
It has various names such as the Nigerian , Nigerian money offer, the Spanish prisoner etc. Similar to the Spanish prisoner scam where the scamster promises to share his fortunes with the victim in exchange for money to bribe the prison guards, the Nigerian has fully come into its own thanks to the availability of email.