How women are scammed for love
Scammers are on the loose on social media. These heartless fellows just want one thing from their victims, money.
These online scammers don’t care about who they hurt or the pains they inflict on people, they just want to make quick money.
36- year-old Rebecca Philips fell for one of these scammers she met in a dating chat room. He kept demanding for money and she foolishly fell for all his lies.
After months of almost emptying her account to send money to his alleged sick mother in the village, she discovered she had been scammed.
After many failed relationships, she decided to try out dating sites because her friends won’t let her be. They kept prodding her about doing something different for once and see if her prince charming can finally emerge from the dating site. She went for it and got burnt badly.
Before taking that plunge, she used to pride herself as being a rational, realistic and careful woman. But falling prey to an online scam was the height of it.
After her experience, she learnt that not everyone on online dating sites is actually looking for love. Many of them are full time scammers after unsuspecting women’s bank account.
How these scammers operate
Many of these scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people both men and women alike. These days, they have even resorted to lifting pictures of attractive Nigerian men and women from Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn social media platforms just to keep up the scam. These individuals have no idea that their pictures are being used by criminally-minded people to defraud others.
These scammers prowl on many dating sites looking for women who crave love and attention profess their love quickly. And they tug at the heartstrings of these unsuspecting women with made-up stories about how they need money for emergencies, hospital bills, or clear their goods from the port.
But these scammers know their end game from the beginning. They don’t want love, they want money. They put in all these efforts at building trust just to get money from these women who are longing for love and relationships.
These scammers also use many aliases, emails, photos, gender, age and sexual orientation in order to cast their net to catch as many victims as possible.
Often the scammers use attractive female photo profiles because lots of men will respond to an attractive woman’s personal ad based on the photo alone. They also tend to target middle-aged people looking for stable relationships. The rationale is that this type of person is likely to be more desperate, gullible and financially stable.
These scammers then post ads with fake profiles on online dating sites. They also lurk in chat rooms and social networking sites as well as Christian and other religious-based dating sites. They spend months chatting up and luring their naive targets with online intimacy.
For these scammers, their selling point is falsely offering their victims the chance of finding true love and happiness.
The scammers choose chat rooms and dating sites because the person in love offers the chance of the biggest payoffs.
After being single for four years, Jennifer was ready to date and hopefully find someone with whom she could spend the rest of her life with. And for a while, it seemed like she had found Mr. Right as the man she met on a dating site showered her with so much love that made her head swell and left her heart throbbing.
But instead of finding love, she became a victim of a cyber-dating scam artist who lured her into parting with N500, 000. This mother of two actually believed she had found the man of her dreams on a popular dating website. They communicated by phone, email and text messages and she immediately liked his smile and was impressed by his kindness and his love for everything that she liked.
She was swept off her feet and fell in love with the words and voice of a man she never met in person. Jennifer recalls all the romantic details about the seven-month relationship. She says he even proposed and it was like a dream come true. She admitted, “I made a big mistake. It’s embarrassing. I feel foolish that I did it.”
In the same vein, Toyin was scammed of N120,000 by her supposed boyfriend that she met online. They met in person after chatting for over four months. He had travelled down to her base to see her, spent time with her and even introduced her to his mother and relatives.
So, it came as a rude shock when she was fleeced of her hard earned money after her supposed fiancé absconded with her money and changed his phone numbers too. Every effort to reach his supposed family members also yielded no results. They were just part of his elaborate scheme to get her to trust him.
Another victim, Princess said she was duped of her business funds. She had met Hilary on one of the famous dating sites and thought she landed herself a good man. He was very caring, attentive and loving. He said and did the right things at the right time. She also knew everything about him or so she had thought.
After months of loving, exchanging messages, emails and calls, he travelled to the United Kingdom. After three days, he called telling her that his mother was ill, in the hospital and needed money fast for surgery. She felt for her would-be mother-in-law and had to use the money her brother gave her to set up a business to pay for the supposed surgery.
But when she went back to the hospital the next day, she couldn’t find the woman anymore. And her number was disconnected too. When she called her lover, he hung up on her and has not picked her calls ever since. Ashamed, afraid and broke, Princess was close to depression. But she had picked up the pieces of her life and is wary of online dates ever since.
Recently, a young lady whose photograph was stolen from her Instagram account by one of these scammers and used to defraud randy men on social media, has had the last laugh as the scam master was arrested after she cried out.
The lady, Ndifreke Akpabio revealed that she was shocked beyond words after many people who knew her, called her attention to the fraud that was being perpetrated in her name. Angry and determined to get to the root of the matter, she involved the police who traced the man and got him arrested.