Letter from Africa: Why Nigeria’s internet scammers are ‘role models’

Fox News Flash top headlines for August 8 are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews. Dating and romance fraud is more rampant than ever. It all starts when a bad actor dupes a victim into a trusting relationship, then exploits that to get money, goods, or sensitive financial information. The bad guys often use online dating sites to pose as U. The stats back up the growing threat.

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

Are you dating or talking online to someone who says they are a military member? Have they asked you for funds or documents? Officials and websites like Military. Victims of these online military scams often think they are doing a good deed by helping a military member.

Romance scamming is a big business. Last year, unsuspecting Warning: Here’s a Celebrity Nigerian Romance Scam. Catfished. Catfished.

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:. Fraudsters may use the name and likeness of actual soldier or create an entirely fake profile. They send out legitimate-seeming emails, introducing themselves as being near the end of their careers, often with older children and typically widowed under tragic circumstances. The emails are riddled with military jargon, titles and base locations, which sound impressive.

In many cases, these scammers work with one or more accomplices who pose as doctors or lawyers to extract a steady stream of money. In many cases, military scams drag on for months or even years before victims finally get suspicious. The scammer then reveals their true identity.

Here’s how a ring of romance scammers tricked victims into falling in love

Official websites use. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Ten men have been charged with conspiring to launder illegal proceeds that were fraudulently obtained as a result of Nigerian romance scam operation targeting multiple victims. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in October and unsealed today after seven suspects were apprehended in early morning operations executed by the FBI in three states.

Five defendants were arrested in Norman, Oklahoma, one defendant was arrested in Brooklyn, New York, and one defendant was arrested in Long Beach, California.

Nigerian-based romance scams typically utilized photographs from modeling sites, such as Focus Hawaii (,. ). Scammers patiently sifted​.

Check out this video about how to spot and protect yourself from romance scams. Then share it with your friends. But there are steps you can take — and then tell someone about. So watch the video, learn more , and pass it on. Along with many other scams that have been circulating over the past few years – I have several that would curl your hair. The one mentioned here – romance schemes – was perpetrated on my 89 year old dad.

To date he was scammed out of 2 million dollars – and now – God rest his soul – he passed on August 6 – his whole estate gone. Unfortunately recovering money sent in these schemes is usually impossible to recover. Much may depend on the method it was transferred by. Son in college in italy. Divorced lives in LA. Over in Cyprus.

Please help me i don’t want to waste my time..!

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. Being charged for Internet dating fraud or dating site scams can mean facing federal charges or state charges, either of which can carry long prison sentences.

A romance scam usually takes place on social dating The male scammers are often located in West Africa, while the female.

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.

Romance Scams: The Email Threat That Breaks Hearts and Banks

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.

Coronavirus: Loneliness and lockdown exploited in romance scams Research in one region shows romance scam victims are groomed, then tricked Letter from Africa: Why Nigeria’s internet scammers are ‘role models’.

On Facebook and Instagram, there are lottery scams , celebrity impostors and even fake Mark Zuckerbergs. There is also a scheme where scammers pose as American service members to cheat vulnerable women out of their savings. To find victims, they search Facebook groups for targets — often single women and widows — and then message hundreds, hoping to hook a few. Once they have a potential mark, the scammers shift the conversations with their victims to Google Hangouts or WhatsApp, messaging services owned by Google and Facebook, in case Facebook deletes their accounts.

For months or weeks, they try to seduce the women with sweet talk and promises of a future together. Eventually, they ask for money. When victims send funds, they often do so via wire transfers or iTunes and Amazon gift cards, which the scammers sell at a discount on the black market. Internet scammers arrived with the dial-up modem years ago, conning people in chat rooms and email inboxes.

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

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.

Thousands of people have been victimized by online romance scams and wind in an organized criminal ring, perhaps in a Nigerian or Russian boiler room.

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.

In most cases, the goal is to defraud the victim out of money. According to the FTC , victims between the ages of 40 and 69 were scammed at the highest rates, while victims aged 70 and above reported the biggest losses. After registering on a dating website, the victim meets a hacker impersonating a handsome man. Most of the time, this man will have the same nationality as the victim. At the time of contact, he is on a business trip abroad, in the military, or, in the case of high-profile romance scam out of Australia, sailing.

Written and audio messages will be exchanged between the scammer and their victim. Exchanges will intensify, often over a period of a few weeks or a few months—enough time for the victim to get emotionally attached. The scammer reappears by sending an email asking for help, pretending they are stuck abroad without any ID, phone, or money.

Nigerian Scams Documentary 2016 : Nigerian Scammers Show No Mercy !


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