Dating nigerian scams
Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.While the case was remarkable for its magnitude, when it comes to so-called “romance scams,” it still represents just the tip of the iceberg.The '419' part of the name comes from the section of Nigeria’s Criminal Code which outlaws the practice. Scammers may ask for your bank account details to 'help them transfer the money' and use this information to later steal your funds.Or they may ask you to pay fees, charges or taxes to 'help release or transfer the money out of the country' through your bank.“There was one woman who got scammed for over a million dollars, her whole retirement nest egg,” Farquhar says.
To recognize and avoid romance scams, follow these tips. Copy the images your online correspondent has posted to his or her profile, then run them through a reverse-image search engine, such as Tin Eye or Google Images.
The scammer will tell you an elaborate story about large amounts of their money trapped in banks during events such as civil wars or coups, often in countries currently in the news.
Or they may tell you about a large inheritance that is 'difficult to access' because of government restrictions or taxes in their country.
This makes it hard for the victim to do due diligence.
The scammer might say that an immediate family member has a medical emergency and needs money for treatment, or that he has been wrongly arrested and needs help with bail money and legal support.