5 Ways to spot an online-dating scammer

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information. We receive inquiries every day from people who have been defrauded for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars by Internet contacts they thought were their friends or loved ones. Internet scams are attempts by con artists to convince you to send them money. In Nigeria, these scams are also referred to as scams. Click here for scam resources. The most common scams involve someone allegedly in Nigeria who is in some sort of trouble, ranging from detention to extortion or hospitalization. Inevitably, the sender is making an appeal for money.

70+ common online scams used by cyber criminals and fraudsters

For example, and may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run dating bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street. The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it common you are able to lend them format to cover scammers or dating format expenses.

Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but scammers scammers just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity. Alternatively they may format you to buy the goods yourself and dating them somewhere.

You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else.

An advance-fee scam is a form of fraud and one of the most common types of confidence tricks. Another variant of the scam, dating back to circa , appears very similar to what is passed via email today: “Sir Nevertheless, Nigeria has earned a reputation for being at the center of email scammers, and the number

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. In some cases, rather than being asked to send money, victims of romance scams are deployed as money mules whose banks accounts are used to move illicit funds or are talked into opening accounts on behalf of criminals.

US law enforcement have recently received complaints of such scams in all 50 states in the US, authorities also say. The high profile arrests have also triggered extreme reactions among Nigerians at home and abroad, many of whom daily experience the cost of national stereotyping that comes with the well-covered activity of online fraudsters, particularly with the wide spread of email scam attempts. These costs range from increased scrutiny for visa processes , a lack of trust when attempting to do business internationally and being restricted from using international payment platforms.

US officials say the busted ring was led by US-based operatives who facilitated the scams by opening US bank accounts where victims were directed to deposit money.

Anatomy Of A Scam: Nigerian Romance Scammer Shares Secrets

The “Nigerian prince” email scam is perhaps one of the longest-running Internet frauds. Actress Anne Hathaway even joked about it in her monologue on ” Saturday Night Live ” over a decade ago. The fraudsters lure you in by offering a share of a huge investment opportunity or a fortune they can’t get out of the country without your help. Then they ask you either for your bank account number so they can transfer the money to you for safekeeping, or for a small advance payment to help cover the expense of transferring the money.

That’s when they either take your payment and disappear, or, worse, drain your bank account.

The oldest and most popular internet scam, Nigerian scams involve How to avoid this scam: Experts say these types of emails are typically Just when you thought it was safe to start dating online, scammers ruined.

The internet is the most widely used communication network ever constructed. There are good and bad things happening on the internet, and among the bad things are ongoing attempts to scam innocent people out of their money or identities. The internet brings with it many such opportunities, and fraudsters appear to be waiting around every virtual corner with the latest in online scams.

While some forms of internet fraud have gotten very sophisticated, even some of the older, less advanced plays still actually work. If people know more about the types of scams taking place and what to look out for, we can hopefully save at least some people from getting swindled out their hard-earned cash. Related: Cybercrime stats and facts.

Email scams are a type of online fraud. The broad strokes tend to remain the same, but the details of these types of online fraud change over time. There are resources to keep on top of the ever changing scams, and steps to take to defend against them. You would think that scam artists would have refined their approach by now, but many scam emails are poorly written and fairly easy to spot.

Advance-fee scam

Online dating scams continue to rise, costing unsuspecting victims millions of dollars each year. Rather than simply sending phishing emails, cybercriminals are playing the long game to cheat people out of their money. If you are using an online dating platform, make sure to look out for these signs that the person you’re talking to is actually a scammerand how to avoid online dating scams in general.

can help fool you. Here are a few examples of online scams and how to stay safe online. How to Spot and Report Internet and Email Scams Romance/​Online Dating Scam Foreign Money Exchange Scam aka “Nigerian Fraud”.

We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. 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. According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud.

The FBI says it may be embarrassing for victims to report this type of fraud scheme because of the personal relationships that are developed, so the real numbers are probably higher. As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about. Eventually a pitch for money comes. Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.

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.

When Romance Is a Scam

Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC.

Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts. The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day.

They want to text or email instead of using dating apps. Most websites monitor activity to spot scammers and give them the boot. They will suggest to go to a.

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. Some of the allegations involved business email compromise scams, where scammers took over or impersonated email accounts belonging to various companies in order to send bogus requests for money. Some victims, including some elderly people, lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to the scams, prosecutors say. This indictment sends a message that we will identify perpetrators — no matter where they reside — and we will cut off the flow of ill-gotten gains.

They allegedly led efforts to set up fake business registrations and bank accounts and to shift funds to Nigeria through underground money exchangers. Events Innovation Festival The Grill. Follow us:. By Steven Melendez 1 minute Read. Many of the people charged but not arrested in the case are believed to be in Nigeria.

How to prove and fight online dating and romance scams

I frequently get requests from friends and readers to help them save a loved one from a romance scam. Lots of money. The closer the date appears to be getting to the victim, the more unexpected calamities appear. The scammers seem to delight in torturing their victims and seeing just how outrageous they can make the stories be and still get paid. Many victims lose substantial sums of money, often their entire lifesavings. Some wealthy victims have lost millions of dollars.

Online scams in this category involve the victim receiving emails that promise a large sum of money in exchange for taking supposed business.

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.

~Romance Scams~ The Faces Behind The Masquerade~ Part II