Nigerian dating scam aka romance scam

22 Jul

Millions of people receive emails claiming to be sent by a “Nigerian Authority” offering millions of dollars to the lucky recipient for just opening up a bank account. However, for the numerous that have fallen victim to this scheme, they have lost thousands of dollars, their life savings, and in some cases, their lives, when trying to get their money back.Many people might shake their heads and shrug their shoulders feeling superior that “something like that” would never happen to them – when in reality it already has, especially if they are trying to find love on a dating site.Victims get ripped off because they’re lonely, or perhaps they get taken in by loan-intimidation scammers armed with accurate information, such as the victim’s social security number or date of birth.One of the most frequent type of scam offers money for people to work at home, and most typically the operation is coming from a cyber criminal using victims as mules to move stolen funds.Any criminal entrepreneur can see that they should be combining these two money-makers and running FBI romance scams. Or even work-for-the-FBI-from-home-for-a-really-hot-FBI-boss-who-secretly-loves-you scam. They’d rake it in, since FBI agents have a tendency to look like super agent Jason Bourne, aka Matt Damon, all buff and square-jawed. It shows FBI agents sneaking a server back after they maybe glued some tracking software into its innards.After seeing the buffitude of the agents therein, you’ll surely agree with the reader who commented that he/she would appreciate romancing, or something along those lines, from such an FBI agent: On a more serious note, regardless of the IC3’s head-scratching numbers, it can’t be denied that people are getting scammed.As far as I can tell, the tips for what to watch out for in fake job offers are perfect for avoiding fake lovers and fake FBI agent lovers, particularly the first one: I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995.

The person they are chatting with, while revealing their deepest desires, really does care about them. So once a “relationship” has been established, it doesn’t always seem odd that their cyber soul mate may need a few dollars.

However, once one dollar is wired or transferred, the scammers know they have a “live one.” In many cases people with degrees in psychology are hired brought in to help the scammers “close the deals.”In a long string of “mishaps,” the fictional “boyfriend,” “girlfriend” and/or “fiancée” claims to be in America and goes to Nigeria on business.

Next, a wallet is stolen, someone needs an operation, hotel owners hold the unreal soul mate hostage, and hundreds of dollars is needed to pay the bill.

How, you may well ask, did the IC3 come up with those numbers?

The IC3’s 2011 Internet Crime Report is based on the 314,246 total complaints the center received last year.