The scammers start by stealing a photo from an internet site.
If you think you are being scammed, go to this site and browse all the photos to see if the person you are communicating has a photo on this site. However they also use photos taken from profiles of other people on dating sites, so remember that the photos that scammers use are not photos of themselves - they are photos of innocent victims.
They 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.
The Nigerian dating scams target the lonely and vulnerable.
The most common comment of victims who think they have found the love of their life is "I can't believe I was so stupid!
" From internet cafes all over west African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal etc scammers are zeroing in on their prey - singles looking for love online. The Nigerians call them 'maghas' which is slang for gullible white people.
The scammers spend their day trolling the dating sites and chat rooms for contact emails, and then send off thousands of fraudulent letters and emails awaiting the victim's replies.
They are offering the chance of finding true love and happiness, and there are plenty of takers!
However sooner or later, the vulnerable hearts receive requests that will ultimately lead to financial losses and heartbreak.