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

Sasha-Ann Simons. According to the FBI, romance scams result in the highest amount of financial losses to victims when compared to other internet crimes. The ideal partner turns out to be a sophisticated scam artist, and a love-struck single is left not only broken-hearted — but broke. Being scammed by a romantic interest met online is now the most common type of consumer fraud in the United States, according to the Federal Trade Commission FTC. In , nearly 40 D. And the criminal acts go beyond city and state borders, involving networks of accomplices overseas. Like many victims of online scams, Ann has kept her story private for the past three years, overwhelmed by feelings of shame. The vibrant year-old from Reston was once a homeowner making good money. Today, she’s temporarily living rent-free with a friend who took her in.

When Romance Is a Scam

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Thanks to online dating scams, many people searching for love end up with Online romance scammers try to lure you off the dating site.

Please contact customerservices lexology. A romance scam occurs when two people contact each other on a dating app or elsewhere on the internet. Communications unfold between the two people with the purported goal of finding love. However, while one of the two people is intent on finding a dream match, the other person seeks to earn trust to fleece money over time from the innocent dating victim. A real example of a romance scam recently was reported by CNN.

A man representing that he was an Army captain based in Syria contacted a Japanese woman on a digital pen pals international web site. After a few weeks, their relationship seemed to be a romance, as the man was sending daily emails in English that the woman was able to translate into Japanese by using the Google Translate app. Eventually, the man, who went by the name Terry Garcia no, not Jerry Garcia , started asking the woman, referred to as FK in court papers, for money.

During that time, Garcia would email her as many as 10 to 15 times daily. Terry Garcia was not a real person who was in love with FK. Rather, FK was a victim of an international scam orchestrated by two Nigerian men in Los Angeles who were assisted by others in Nigeria and other countries. So far, 17 people in the group have been arrested in the US and the remaining members of the alleged conspiracy are being tracked down in Nigeria and elsewhere.

Here are the Top Online Scams You Need to Avoid Today [Updated 2019]

An award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company’s distinctive lens. Leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways. New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine–even an entirely new economic system. Federal prosecutors in California charged 80 people in what they say is a massive conspiracy tied to Nigeria to defraud people and businesses out of millions of dollars in an indictment unsealed Thursday.

Officials said they arrested 14 people Thursday in connection with the charges, relating to a variety of types of online fraud.

Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you. Research the person’s photo and profile using online​.

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. Three other defendants remain at large. The indictment alleges that since , the co-conspirators concealed the proceeds of romance scam operations by moving money between and among multiple bank accounts that were opened using fraudulent identity documents to obscure the source of the funds and the identities of the co-conspirators.

Investigators identified at least three victims of the alleged romance scams in Seminole, Florida, Centerville, Ohio, and Pryor, Oklahoma. The indictment alleges the co-conspirators coordinated with unknown individuals overseas who had assumed false identities on online dating websites and social media platforms with the intent to defraud victims.

The individual told the victims they were U. In fact, the investigation revealed that these individuals were located in Nigeria.

Watch out, Nigerian con artists no longer hide behind princes in an attempt to steal your cash

Meade, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, online one of the millions of people who flock to the Internet each year in search of romance and a long-term relationship. Like many single romance, the Midwestern mother of two and caretaker for her ailing father found many possibilities and love when it came to meeting men online.

Billion-dollar a Yahoo!

For years, dozens of scammers from Nigeria and other countries In the burgeoning underworld of online fraud, Nigerian nationals millions of people across the globe, started using online dating sites to meet new people.

Authorities have arrested seven men across the U. The scheme, which operates out of Nigeria, targeted victims by taking on false identities on online dating websites and social media platforms with an intention to trick victims into giving them money, according to a Justice Department release. Federal authorities arrested seven of the ten men charged in the complaint on Wednesday, five of whom were in Norman, Oklahoma.

Since , the co-conspirators were able to conceal the proceeds of their romance scam operations by moving money between multiple bank accounts that were opened using fraudulent identity documents. This move allowed the defendants obscure the source of the funds and the other members of their scheme, which spanned continents. Federal investigators were able to identify three victims of the scams in Seminole, Florida, Centerville, Ohio and Pryor, Oklahoma. However, the Justice Department said that there are still many unknown individuals who were operating the scams overseas in Nigeria.

N.J. couple charged in $6M dating site scam that bilked at least 33 victims

A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. Number of cases rose from to in only two years.

Instead, he found “the game” — Nigeria’s shadow economy of scams, named for the article in the Nigerian criminal code that deals with fraud. Enitan is not the​.

The criminals who lured her into an online scam last summer approached her not on a dating site, where she might have been wary, but through the neighborhood hub called Nextdoor. He also lived in her Chicago neighborhood, he told her, specifying a street. Could they have a conversation? Floren, who is 67 and a part-time educational consultant. They chatted on the site for a week or so.

She agreed. Soon they shifted to phone conversations, often lasting an hour, and to texting several times a day. Floren said. How could she help sympathizing when he revealed that his wife and child had been killed in a car crash long ago? But after a few weeks, when he said he was coming to Chicago, they arranged to have dinner. She was disappointed when the supposed Mr.

The 419 Scam: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself From It

The US Department of Justice DOJ on Thursday unsealed a count, page federal indictment charging 80 defendants — most of them Nigerian nationals — with conspiring to steal millions of dollars through online frauds that targeted businesses, the elderly and women. Federal authorities cited the case of one of those romance-scam victims during a news conference on Thursday. Over the course of 10 months, Garcia described in daily emails his scheme to smuggle diamonds out of the country.

In an internet crime, nigerian scams, to protect yourself from all over the internet’s most nigeria-based. What i googled internet dating sites to victims millions.

Men and women looking for prospective romantic partners online should take note of these two: Laura Cahill, who described herself as an aspiring young model living in Paris, and Britney Parkwell, who pointed to her relative youth as a year-old from sunny San Jose, California. There’s one big problem: Despite profiles that said they were seeking love online, they never existed. They were fake personas created as part of an elaborate scheme run out of Africa to con hundreds of thousands of dollars from vulnerable Americans, according to the California-based cyber-security firm Agari.

A firm report details how men and women were targeted by fraudsters. Crane Hassold, the senior. In the report, researchers warn that individuals and businesses are “far more likely to be targeted by West African crime groups” than by hackers working for the Russian or North Korean governments. The online love scam reviewed by Agari was largely based in Nigeria, the report concluded.

And while many unsuspecting American have likely received emails from scammers claiming to be “a Nigerian prince,” Agari’s new report focuses on a scam that is far more elaborate and believable, especially because it preys on vulnerable people searching for love, according to the report. The report includes emails from scammers with phrases the firm says might tip off the recipient. I use facial cleansers at times, Lotions and eye creams. Another email suggests that in addition to her favorite foods being sushi and tacos, “candy yams” were also a favorite.

Candy Yams, as the report notes are a favorite West African dish. The Laura Cahill persona was one of the most commonly-used fake identities, and it employed actual pictures from a real person. Specifically, scammers posted fake profiles on dating sites and waited for victims to send them an email, which allowed scammers to then engage in dialogue to test their targets’ gullibility and willingness to send money, the Agari report said.

Justice News

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.

US prosecutors charged 80 people — mostly Nigerians — in the widespread Online dating scam is ‘one of the largest of its kind’ in Syria reached out to a Japanese woman on an international site for digital pen pals.

By Lia Eustachewich. June 24, pm Updated June 24, pm. Martins Friday Inalegwu, 31, and Steincy Mathieu, 24, are accused of wooing victims through online dating sites like eHarmony, Plenty of Fish and Match. The pair, who live in Maple Shade and have two young children, carried on the scheme from October to May with the help of co-conspirators, several of whom are from Nigeria, New Jersey US Attorney Craig Carpenito said. Little did the woman know, she was wiring cash into accounts controlled by Inalegwu and Mathieu.

The unidentified woman, who struck up the relationship with Marek in September , has pleaded guilty to charges related to the embezzlement. They allegedly blew the money on personal expenses and transferred some to bank accounts controlled by conspirators in Nigeria and Turkey, prosecutors said. Mathieu is still in the wind. Mathieu is a US citizen, while Inalegwu is a native of Nigeria who became a permanent resident in , according to a criminal complaint.

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

Nigerian internet dating scams Another romance scams target the personal ads of the scammers in nigeria and social networks, and contact. Aside from all internet had stolen his photos. Scammers take place through online romance and he found out with photos. You’re on a.

Romance scammers are likely to operate on dating websites in order to manipulate [18] found that 51% scam emails originate from Nigeria and a further 34%.

This article explains what the scam is, how it typically works, and what to do if you’ve already become a victim. If you haven’t, learn what to do to avoid becoming one. Nigerian scams are some of the most well-known cons around and are often one of the first examples people think of when discussing online fraud. One of the reasons the Nigerian scam—its name from the Nigerian criminal code for the law that deals with these sort of scams—is so famous is because of the sheer number of people who have received a scam email from a suspicious Nigerian-based sender.

Most of your friends or family would have received at least one of these dodgy emails over the years and you may have even seen some TV shows, such as South Park , feature storylines about it. The scam is also one of the oldest online scams, having been around since the early days of email , and even predates the internet itself. Before the net, scammers would attempt to convince people to send them money over the telephone or via an old-school paper letter.

Despite how well-known the scam is, many people continue to be scammed out of money every year all over the world. Exact U. The scam usually begins with an email, direct message or DM , phone call, or text message from someone in Nigeria claiming to need help. Once trust is established, the conversation evolves into requests for small sums of money and eventually escalates into requests for even larger amounts.

Married NJ couple charged in $6 million online dating scam targeted 33 people

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.

Here we have everything you need. List of online dating scammers.

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