Before taking that plunge, she used to pride herself as being a rational, realistic and careful woman. But falling prey to an online scammer was the height of it. After her experience, she learnt the hard way; not everyone on online dating sites is actually looking for love. Many of them are after other people’s pockets.
How they operate
Many of these scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people both men and women alike. These days, they have even resorted to lifting pictures of attractive Nigerian men and women from Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn social media platforms just to keep up the scam. These individuals have no idea that their pictures are being used by criminally-minded people to defraud others.
These men who prowl on many dating sites looking for women who crave love and attention profess their love quickly. And they tug at the heartstrings of these unsuspecting women with made-up stories about how they need money for emergencies, hospital bills, or clear their goods from the port.
But they put in all these efforts at building trust just to steal the money of these women. They also use many aliases, emails, photos, gender, age and sexual orientation in order to cast their net to catch as many victims as possible.
Often the scammers use attractive female photo profiles because lots of men will respond to an attractive woman’s personal ad based on the photo alone. They also tend to target middle-aged people looking for stable relationships. The rationale is that this type of person is likely to be more desperate, gullible and financially stable.
They then post ads with fake profiles on online dating sites. They also lurk in chat rooms and social networking sites as well as Christian and other religious-based dating sites. They then spend months chatting up and luring their naive targets with online intimacy.
Their selling point is falsely offering their victims the chance of finding true love and happiness. However sooner or later, the vulnerable hearts who accept their requests and fall for their lies suffer financial losses and heartbreak. The scammers choose chat rooms and dating sites because the person in love offers the chance of the biggest payoffs.
In the past, these scammers get their victims involved in online bank fraud. They do this by setting up fake dating profiles to meet potential victims. After they form a relationship, they come up with reasons to ask their love interest to set up a new bank account. The scammers transfer stolen money into the new account, and then tell their victims to wire the money out of the country. And the sad part is that these victims think they are just helping out their soul mate, they don’t realize they are aiding and abetting a crime.
Culled from The Sun News