International dating site scams list
If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim, or simply disappears.
One reason Nigeria may have been singled out is the apparently comical, almost ludicrous nature of the promise of West African riches from a Nigerian prince.Some victims even believe they can cheat the other party, and walk away with all the money instead of just the percentage they were promised.The essential fact in all advance-fee fraud operations is the promised money transfer to the victim never happens, because the money does not exist.Such people, who may be real but impersonated people or fictitious characters played by the con artist, could include, for example, the wife or son of a deposed African leader who has amassed a stolen fortune, a bank employee who knows of a terminally ill wealthy person with no relatives, or a wealthy foreigner who deposited money in the bank just before dying in a plane crash (leaving no will or known next of kin), and similar characters.The money could be in the form of gold bullion, gold dust, money in a bank account, blood diamonds, a series of checks or bank drafts, and so forth.One variant of the scam may date back to the 18th or 19th centuries, as a very similar letter, entitled "The Letter from Jerusalem", is seen in the memoirs of Eugène François Vidocq, a former French criminal and private investigator. One of these, sent via postal mail, was addressed to a woman's husband, and inquired about his health.
Another variant of the scam, dating back to circa 1830, appears very similar to what is passed via email today: "Sir, you will doubtlessly be astonished to be receiving a letter from a person unknown to you, who is about to ask a favour from you...", and goes on to talk of a casket containing 16,000 francs in gold and the diamonds of a late marchioness. It then asked what to do with profits from a $24.6 million investment, and ended with a telephone number.
An email subject line may say something like "From the desk of barrister [Name]", "Your assistance is needed", and so on.
The details vary, but the usual story is that a person, often a government or bank employee, knows of a large amount of unclaimed money or gold which he cannot access directly, usually because he has no right to it.
Once the victim's confidence has been gained, the scammer then introduces a delay or monetary hurdle that prevents the deal from occurring as planned, such as "To transmit the money, we need to bribe a bank official. " or "For you to be a party to the transaction, you must have holdings at a Nigerian bank of $100,000 or more" or similar.
This is the money being stolen from the victim; the victim willingly transfers the money, usually through some irreversible channel such as a wire transfer, and the scammer receives and pockets it.
The scam has been used with fax and traditional mail, and is now prevalent in online communications like emails.