Internet Romance Scams and How To Protect Yourself

Social Media is a scary thing today, you make your account, planning on networking with people who are interested in the same thing,  advertising a product or business, promoting yourself for a skill, connecting with old friends and relatives. There are so many reasons for signing up to one media site or another.

The problem is, there are too many people on these sites who are only on there to harm you. You need to know what is happening before you start connecting with these people and be aware!
I am a writer and joined Twitter just to talk to my piers and learn from the knowledge they have within the writing community. They are excellent  people and always willing to help a fellow writer.  We communicate on the site and it seems to be an unwritten rule that we don't DM (direct message) each other without asking or informing them. We encourage each other, lift each others spirits and give help and advice when needed.

Not everything is about writing, there are interesting questions that are fun, some naughty, that we answer if you want and get to know others personalities. There are jokesters. Sure you get people on there who are not writers and talk about sex or their anatomy, it's all  entertaining. That's fine, you read past it, comment if you choose to and go on. The thing with those people, they don't message you personally and carry on those conversations. It does make reading  interesting sometime.
There are people who are just strange. I had a 54-year-old man who kept calling me "Mom". I asked him why and, he responded by, " I want you to be my Mommy!"  He wanted to have his diapers changed, bottle-fed , held like a baby among other things. I just blocked and deleted him. Next day, I had a girl message me. She wanted a Mommy and for me to meet her Daddy, so we could be a happy family. She was 22. Another block and delete.

Soon after I started to receive messages from men and a few women. These are the ones to be aware of. They will be kind and want to get to know you. That friendly conversation is how it all begins.
I spent the last 4 months playing with people pulling Internet Romance Scams. I guess you can say, I was scamming the scammer. It's not just men, the women are just as bad. The problem is, you never know if the person on the other end is actually a man or a woman.

I averaged 4 to 7 people a day looking for love or, so they say. Even though my status said married with a child, it didn't deter them.  Anyone who follows me and says "Hello," I reply, "Hello, I hope you are well."  I'm polite and hope that is the end of the conversation. I was wrong, they start with a little friendly chat, then everything starts to change.

I chatted 12 hours a day, every day, recording everything on my notepad. Some of the "relationships," lasted days to weeks before I had what I needed on them.  I heard many "I love you,"  "I can't live without you." "Will you marry me." They promised trips, cars, anything I wanted. They want to visit you and have you visit them.  It's all lies!

The photos they use can be from anyone who had a picture on the internet. Most of the men were of someone who was in their 30s and 40s. Every male fit into one of 6 categories.  Blond, muscular, attractive,  professional (Dr. Brad). The dark, devilishly handsome, professional (Dr. Buck).  The dark, dreamy eyed, businessmen (Sandro Cassiano) or hair stylist, makeup artist (Robson Venancio).  The exotic, flirtatious,  handsome, sexy,  pilot Anas Amireh and  heart throb Latino, muscular musician (Rodrigo  Marim), and the military man.  There was a porn star and a WWE wrestler in there as well.

The first 6 are extremely handsome men that most women dream of but can never attain. The profile of these 6 men were used multiple times, by different people. I have many photos of the first four as the swindler used them to target me. The military men say they are born and raised from some state in the USA, an engineer of some sort or a  doctor (usually an Orthopedic Surgeon), serving in the middle east, usually Syria on a peacekeeping mission.  Wife died of cancer 2 to 6 years prior, left with 1 child that lives with a nanny or in boarding school in England. On occasion the wife and child were killed in a car accident. Looking for a serious relationship. Age didn't matter, they fell in love with your giving heart.......

Next they want a photo of you. If they checked your profile, there usually is a photo on it.  Should you send a photo; my favourite to send was when I was 280 pounds and bald from cancer.  They will quickly reply, "Wow, you are beautiful, I feel like I already love you!" Seriously? How can someone fall for that line? They want to know about me, I'm Ella from Ontario, age varies, job varies, marital status and children changed.  I like to alter the story to see if there is ever a difference in their replies. There isn't.

The photo is of a handsome doctor, the profile, reads as a Doctor.  They were my favourite. The story they give you is actually convincing. I had two of the men  send me a picture of a fake medical certificate. They use stolen family photos and incorporate them into their stories.  They are giving medical advice to their victims. Whenever I had a doctor,  I always had a fake  bizarre illness that I would give them.  I have studied medical books all my life so, I knew what was true and what was not. I would put them in  a position of not knowing the answers. They would either ignore the questions or take a long time to reply because they were trying to find the answers on the internet. I was advised to take certain medications that I knew were dangerous and not for the problem I claimed to have. Twice I was told "I will give you medical advice hence on your medic for free if you like. What was the case for you? Do you have your medical reports that you can send me?" I played along with everything they said but, no reports were available.  Please don't take medical advice from these people even if you trust them. Seek advice from qualified Doctors in your area!

My first scammer was a  man who claimed to be Dr. Dave Achak Robert (that was just the name he used.) His excuse for messaging me was, "I was actually searching for another doctor when I came across your profile. It was irresistible so, I decided to send you a request to chat with you whenever there is time for the both of us." I knew this was a lie. Good looking, successful guys like him don't contact ordinary girls like me. He had made two different accounts using the same profile photos.
He used the profile of Dr. Buck P. who is an actual Trauma surgeon in Utah. He had many photos of Dr. Buck and an advertisement with Stanislaus Surgical Hospital in California on it, claiming he was an owner. I had to prove to myself this was all a lie, I contacted the hospital, told them the story and submitted the conversation and the profile. I wasn't surprised to receive an email the next day saying there was no such doctor there. They even checked to see if such a person worked in the medical field in California with that name. That was how much the conversation bothered them. Of course there wasn't.

I was more determined to find out who this was. My curiosity always leads me to prove things as being true, or false.  He sent me numerous photos along with one of a little girl who was supposed to be his daughter Sophia. At that time he was talking about wanting to marry me and help him raise Sophia.  He was going to buy me a BMW, travel the world and would give me anything I wanted, after all, he was a millionaire that hid his fortune in a safe deposit box at the bank his wife managed before she died.

Next thing, I had an accident and told him. He came up with this story how he wanted me to send $600 to the USA government at a gmail address to get him out of a military contract, and he would come and take care of me.  I politely declined. He wasn't impressed.

Suddenly his daughter Sophia made an appearance, she began messaging me. It was her birthday coming up and since I was supposed to be her new Mommy, I was told to send her gift cards for her birthday. Specific one's, iTunes and  some gaming card. They were to be $100 each, take pictures of the front and back and send the pictures.   The daughter, who was actually the same person, told me her Dad was called into a military hospital and wouldn't be able to have a birthday party and her Dad wouldn't be able to attend. She wanted me to plan a birthday party for her and send $200 to pay for it. The theme, a woodland fairy tale. The cake would only cost another $200. Remember, I was also supposed to send the gift cards.

I asked the father why he isn't giving the girl the money since he is so well off. He said, he was in a lockdown at the military hospital in Texas and was not allowed to leave even for his daughters birthday. He was unable to send money to her because of regulations.  He insisted I had to do this for "OUR" daughter.  Sophia's photo  was the niece of Dr. Buck P.

He sent another photo and I noticed a name on the doctors coat. I looked it up and found the real Dr. Buck P.  Every photo I had was  of him. Every surgical photo was there. Every quote he used was there!  I was no longer replying to his messages.

He called my cell. He got my number off of Hangouts. A free site to message, talk and video chat with people.  He started talking and, I noticed an accent, it was African. I chatted for a moment, asked him about the accent, he said his Mother was born in Germany. Then, he tried to insist that I tell him I love him. Not going to happen. He was insisting that I get things ready for "OUR" daughter  immediately!  He told me he will be coming to get me in three weeks to marry me and make me Sophia's mommy. That would be interesting since he didn't know where I lived.  The words of love just kept flowing. I disconnected the call.

He tried calling back and I declined.  He messaged me and by then I had enough. I replied, telling him he was a scammer trying to steal off of gullible women, but I was not one of them. I told him I knew who he was claiming to be, said a few choice words and thanked him for the phone call because I now know his Number and location. I saved the conversations and reported him.  He was David from Nigeria!

The Photos above are of Dr. Buck P. stolen by this man David from Nigeria

I contacted Dr. Buck and informed him. He replied saying that keeps happening and even though he has reported it to various social media sites, they did nothing. I explained what and why I was doing this. He graciously told me I could use whatever information on him to help with this story.
I received a message from Dr. Buck regarding his identity being used by these cons, this was his reply to the question of how these scams affect him.

"The biggest problem I see happening is that tons (like probably over 50) women have contacted me saying that they have been talking to someone they thought was (me)  for months that they were now in love with (me).  Some have given money, 1000 up to like 12K.  I’ve had a couple daughters of these women contact me and say “are you really coming to the wedding in 2 weeks??!!” I feel terrible that this happens.  And it continues to happen over and over and over."  His profile was used on me 5 times.

Another guy messaged me, of course another Doctor,  A foot/ ankle surgeon. Name used, Dr. Bradley S Cooper.  Profile of a real surgeon, Dr. Bradley S. Multiple photos were sent to me. The conversation was medical. We were talking about feet and I mentioned a bad break I had many years ago. Many breaks and never fixed properly. He asked for a photo of what it looks like. Why not, what can a photo of my foot do. He started to diagnose what was wrong with my feet.  He diagnosed them  from what he could see.  I again played the game. I asked him, "why would a young, good-looking Doctor like you want to message a girl like me?"  He told me he saw my book and was interested in what I do.  We talked about writing and feet. I knew this guy wasn't the real Dr. Brad. but he was interesting.  He said he was working in the New Jersey area.

Google images is a wonderful tool to find out who these photos are. I put in the photo of Dr. Brad and it  showed his photo and where to find his profile.  Last name was not Cooper but the other information the scammer used was pretty close. The background photo was completely different. There was a list of facts on it that did not match.  There was Dr. Bradley S.  I was tired of playing the game, so I confronted the con. I immediately received a reply with an explanation. I was not prepared for what I heard. The man gave me his name, phone number, which traced back to Arkansas, photo, who happened to be of another man, Raven Bashirov, whose identity was also stolen. The reason he was using the profile of someone else was he's looking for a woman who had "done him wrong" by taking $25,000 from him. He said, "I  will never rest until I get even with her."  The scammer was scammed!  He told me the entire story, even giving me the name and a photo of the woman, wanting my help to track her down. What his plans were, should he track her down, I don't know, but the entire scenario was scary. He also insisted on photos of my child which I don't allow.

He then started asking about if I have ever had sex before with men on the internet. Was time to block and delete him. His name  was Michael Staggs. The other one who used Dr. Brads profile was Patrick De Saxe.  I informed the real  Dr. Brad and received a message back that it wasn't him. I was an annoyance. His profile has been used 4 times just on me. I reported them and gave the information of the stalker to the police.

                                                 Fake accounts of Dr. Brad S . Photos were stolen

Dimitri  Lemaire, I couldn't match his face with google images or the France or Nigerian scam sites.  We had discussions unlike the other scams, but he too fell in love too quickly.  Remember, I am talking to 5 or 6 of these guys at one time.  He actually "dumped" me after I accidentally sent a wrong message to him that was meant for someone else. At times, I was communicating to each one either in English or French and it did get confusing at times. He told me I cheated on him.  He sent me a message  telling me, I broke his heart. We did end up talking again and I listened to his story.

Suddenly he was in the Ivory Coast having some business with chocolate. He miscalculated his funds and was now stuck there with no money. He needed me to send him 2300 Euros immediately. He gave me the address I needed to send it to. Country: (Ivory Coast) City:-Abidjan West Africa Zip code:00225.  It had to be a Moneygram or Western Union.  Of course, it did, they can't be traced back to them. I checked out the address on the internet and found it was listed as African "419 scam". When confronted, I was accused of not trusting him and if I loved him I would do it. He went as far as looking up where Money Grams can be purchased in Ontario.

I received a second message, even though I blocked and deleted him. He kept making new accounts and  showing up on Twitter and my Hangouts, I eventually talked to him just to see what his plan was.  He sent me photos and finally after a month, one showed up on Google.image. The photo was Robson Venancio, a Brazilian Hair and Makeup Artist.  He messaged me later, on another social media site. He was sorry and really loved me, he claimed to have left the company because he realized his mistakes after meeting me.  I played along until he sent me his photo and name, Robert.  Again he was demanding money.  This time he was going to be kicked out of his apartment along with his parents. He left the organization for me and I "OWED" it to him. Only $150 Euros to be sent by Neosurf. He begged me to go to him in the Ivory Coast.   No thanks, I really don't feel like disappearing just yet!

These are the last messages I received from Robert:
"Pff, you convinced me to drop the one thing from which I made my living and now that I'm in shit and that I need your help, you let me alone in the ditch saying that You don't trust me, but in reality you just don't want to help me, in fact you don't care what will happen to me and how I'm going to get out of it, well I'll be on the street thanks to you because you're the one who convinced me to drop everything

You spend for a car that is nothing but an object and you can't even take out 150 euros to help a human being. I'm in a mess because I listen to you and I trust you and I ask you to help me and you cheer me up, I think I was very stupid to love you and make you trust, there, I'm going to be in shit but I'm not going to suplify you because I see very well that you don't care about my life, then I leave you, and I will suffer alone. Leave me alone, you don't care about others, you don't even care about those who love you to the point of giving their lives for you, I'll try to forget you, just leave me alone in my suffering. farewell"

It wasn't farewell as I continue to receive messages daily from different addresses.

                                                          Fake Accounts, Profile Photos stolen

                 This is the man from The Ivory Coast who stole the profile of Robson

Ah yes, Loius.  Lived in France, very charming, loved me so much. Actually told me he would commit suicide if I didn't love him back. So, this was getting interesting to see where this would lead.  The photo was gorgeous, dark hair, the most beautiful, dreamy eyes. Perfect lips, beard, very muscular, smile that could melt you, a body that was so beautiful it should be illegal.  If you could make the perfect looking man, he would be it.  He was Sandro Cassiano, a Brazilian events planner. I received multiple photos of him as Loius.

His story went, he was an only child, his parents died at the attack at the Bastille. He only had his grandmother who lived in Greece. He owned a small shop that sold masks from different countries. He had a BMW and a Mercedes and plenty of income but was also waiting to receive an inheritance from his Father's estate.

About two weeks into talking with him, he suddenly was notified that he had to go to Belgium to see the notary about signing for his inheritance, He was to take the train there the next day. I received a message that he didn't take enough money to pay the fees to collect the money. It was over 5000 Euro that he needed. I never said anything. Later he asks if I can help him. I said, I don't have that kind of money. The amount dropped to 2700 Euro.  I told him to ask his grandmother, she didn't have the money. Take money out of the bank, it was blocked because he owed money on containers of masks. Ask friends, he had no friends because he didn't trust them.  Go back to France and save up, nope, he was committed to getting his inheritance and had to stay there.  Sell one of the cars, OMG that didn't go over well.  "I never thought you were that kind of girl. You have no heart wanting to sell a car my Father gave me."  Well, you have another car, sell that. "OMG, that was the first car I bought and you want me to sell that."  Well, if you need the money for this large inheritance you can always buy another one. That didn't go over too well.

By then, I checked Google Images and I found out who the man was.  I sent him a message saying I identified the man in the photo I sent two photos of Sandro.  I waited to see if there was a reply. Sure enough, next morning is a photo of Loius with an apology and explanation. He used Sandros photo because be was more beautiful than him.

To prove to me that this photo wasn't fake, he sent me his picture with a handwritten message to me, that had my name on it. Okay, that picture was real (or was it) but it didn't make him real. The trust was already broken. It didn't take long for him to ask for money again. I asked him for his phone number, his address, his email, not one of them was given. He actually became angry because "If you love me you will trust me!".  Well, if he loved me, he would give me the  information.  He did give me a bank, account number and name but, it was nowhere near where he said he lived. I learned that those bank accounts are frauds, set up by the cons.

The messages kept coming.  Some were repeats of the men I mentioned. Others were new. I had a pilot, Captain Anas Amireh, The fake one of course. I knew in 3 questions and a photo search he was a con. He used the Captains real name but I also did a search and found the real person. He had a section that showed scammer profiles. There it was. I reported him and blocked him. But then, I received 4 more. They will change the spelling of his name so slightly that you wouldn't notice unless you are looking for it. He is a popular one to have his identity stolen, but he is proactive in stopping it. Now he wants people to report the scam to him, to a scam site and report them to the media site you are using.  Because he is so popular with these cons, girls are always posting how he is talking to them, some actually accusing him of breaking their heart.  I am continuing to search out those fake profiles just to stop them.
Tumblr This account does NOT belong to Captain Amireh

There is a group of men in France that are also picking older women.  Again the line is you are beautiful and I feel like you could be my soul mate. They claim their love is serious within 15 minutes. The story is they were hurt in a relationship, the girl cheated on them with their best friend. They have no trust anymore and are trying to find the woman of their dreams. All the French girls just want their money and to have sex. They like more mature women now because they will be sincere in their love. Yes, I received 9 of those messages in 4 days. All gorgeous young men. I found something strange about the French men, they liked to use a Brazilians photo. Since I was already google imaging them, I didn't tolerate much talking.  Three men used the photo of a Young and the Restless actor. When I mentioned that they all had the same photo, all the  guys were going to call the police on the other for identity theft. It's not just Twitter anymore, Instagram and Facebook are starting to get their share. These aren't dating sites but still seem to be a big attraction for the Internet dating scams.

I had over 100 men and 22 women contact me in that 4 months. The majority of the stories were exactly the same. There are clues with every person who will try to scam you, you just have to be aware of them and keep in mind, everything they say is scripted.

Having worked with elderly people in the past  I saw the loneliness, feeling of hopelessness and abandonment.  The internet has become their reality. They want the human contact so badly that they trust the people on the other end of the computer.  They do what is asked of them, believing the person who said they love them, and gave when asked to borrow money. In the end, many lose their savings and are heartbroken. Again, they are alone. I think many older women just like to feel like someone loves them. I'm sure they realize it's all a con but those words feel good. I said older women because they are usually the ones that the men go after.  Photo of an attractive, younger man,  romantic words, what more could a woman want? This doesn't just apply to women. Men are being conned every day as well. The stories are the same.

Social media sites are full of scams. Watch the profiles  to help identify them. Look at their names, most will have many numbers after them. Look at their followers, the frauds will have very few, but they will follow many people. Look who they follow. Since I am listed as a writer, other people the con has on his list are related to writing as well. Half of those people  follow me. Coincidence? Not at all. They pick a person and follow as many names as possible. You will see that the men will have mostly all women on their list and only a couple men. The women will have both men and women but, many of the people portraying women are actually men luring the men into their scam.

These men will be loving and make you believe they are concerned. They will be interested in every detail. They will be compassionate and empathetic. You will be flooded with compliments and poems of love. They won't care about your age, or your physical appearance, it doesn't matter when it comes to love. They will not use your name but call you "baby" or "dear." They will tell you what you want to hear, just to try to get your money.  All of this sounds wonderful, doesn't it? It's all lies!

When on the internet, do not trust a handsome face with loving words. I want you to understand that men like like Drs. Brad and Buck,  Sandro, Robson or  Pilot Amireh, ARE NOT going to contact you through social media asking you for money, or wanting your love. That may be harsh but the reality is, it's not going to happen! These are professional men and will not be searching for women on the internet.  If someone is seriously looking for a relationship, there are many dating sites they can use.  I would be careful on those as well and just follow the clues I will give you.

The Military men are not allowed to divulge the location where they are stationed. They are there to work and not sit on the internet trying to find women nor will they ask for money.

The scammers will soon ask if you have Hangouts or WhatsApp or some other site to talk privately.  If you do not have it, they will insist you get it. They will tell you they are seldom on the social media site you are on. They want to be able to contact you wherever they are. Truth is, other sites will ban them.  One other problem is they will start to phone you on the computer as they can access your number.
Profile photos are stolen from other people who have photos on the internet. Many are from Doctors, Actors, Singers, Business men, Pilots, but ANYONE can have their photos used. They will go into everything you have online and use it  to convince you they are legitimate.

Many of the photos can be identified if you save the photo and check it on Google.images. It can identify the real person. It can also tell you if the photos have been used in a scam. If they send you multiple photos and one doesn't show up, keep checking them all. One will be identified. You can also use TINEYE. There are other free apps you can get for mobiles. TRY REVERSEE. If on a computer use YANDEX, which is very good.

Ask to talk to them on video chat. They will say something is wrong with their camera, or some other excuse. They are not going to chat while using someone else's picture. IF, by chance they do, watch closely, it can be staged where you can't really identify their faces.  Shadows, out of focus, beards and hair that were grown after the profile picture. They actually use multiple photos so make a short video to look like they are there, it's all staged. Watch closely and make sure, there is nothing around you that can be identified by them.

Live phone chat, if they say they are a natural born American, they are not going to have an African, French accent. Pay attention to the way they speak. They claim to be Americans or Canadians, but they do not speak the language well. That is a pretty good clue to start with.  If you call them on it, they will say their parent was from somewhere else. If they were born in the USA or Canada, they will not inherit an accent from a parent.

Check the photos closely, they could have clues. Is there a name on their clothes, a magazine, what language, backgrounds can tell you a lot. They will sometimes send you a photo with a personal message to you. The problem is, they can photoshop it into a photo. There are so many clues  women are not looking for.
He will ask you if you drive. What do you drive? He usually has a couple very expensive cars. Do you live in a house or apartment? Do you own your home? He will be concerned that you are financially stable and you have enough money to live on. Do you like to travel? All these questions are asked to find what your worth is to them. There is a "format" they use to figure out just how much money they will ask you for.

If you ask them a question, many times they will ignore it or it will take them a long time to reply because they are looking for the answer on the internet. Many times if you copy and paste it on your browser you will see the same answer show up on a page.

Never send a photo that you don't want others to see. Never send sexy photos or videos, They will blackmail you with those photos, saying they will publish them on the net. If you don't want your parents seeing it, don't give it to anyone else.

Don't post your children's photos, you can't be sure they aren't pedophiles. Don't send photos of your house, don't send a photo of your vehicle, they can track you from the license plate. Keep you and your family safe! Once it's on the internet, it stays on the internet. If you are going to post your picture, put a watermark on it so another person can't use it because your name will already be on it. Better yet, use one of your cat or dog.

Don't give them information. They are interested in what they can get from you. Don't tell them how much money you have or about your investments. Don't tell them about your house and cars.  They well ask. You are on a pension, no savings, live in a low income apartment and you don't own a car.  You will see how fast they delete you!  Never give them your location or phone number. Make sure nothing can identify where you are.

As the con gains trust, he will go in for the kill. Asking for money. Oh, they are sweet talkers and have some of the strangest things they need to pay for that requires your help. It can start as a small amount just to get the feel of what you will do. It won't be enough, give it once, and they will continue to ask for more. They will try to convince you to cash in your investments, put a mortgage on your house, get loans, sell items. They don't care how you get it as long as you get it!  They will start to demand that you send it. YOU CAN'T BUY LOVE... A Real love would not ask you for money.  Never send money to someone you never met, don't listen to what they need the money for, they will give you the saddest stories, but they are all untrue. The story of why they suddenly need money changes. 

This is an actual message from a guy named JohnLew62144473 who claimed to be an american, in the military on a peacekeeping mission.  Photo was of someone in the military, just not him.
" Hi woman there."
"Yesterday my phone field down and the camera need to update so woman right now am here I don't have any money so woman I want you to help me so that I will update my phone camera."
"Woman I want you to buy me iTunes gift card so that I will use it to update my phone camera"
"And I know you can do that for me please."

No, I couldn't do that! Did you notice the errors? Anyone that contacts and claims Military is FAKE. They are never allowed to tell a stranger where they are deployed.

The stories they use can be the simplest reason they need your money, to the most bizarre story. Some can be very convincing, but you have to remember, they only want the money! They don't care about you!  The amounts can start out small, $200 and get higher the longer you talk. They will become angry if you say no. They don't care how you get the money or how much the loss will be for you, they just want your money at all costs. They will ask you to use Money Mart, Western Union, certain gift cards. They will tell you to take a photo of the front and back of the cards after you scratch the security code.  They will use guilt, telling you they are on the streets with no food. Don't do it! One demanded I fly to Montreal to purchase Neosurf cards because they were available there.
Here is a message that I received:
jeffrey walker
7:00 AM
Hello my dear, Ella How are you doing today, hope you are strong , well i thank God you are okay and am very happy for you, well i just want to inform you that i have been here facing much problem, i have just two days left and secondly my scammer boss has band me from eating food in the office, today makeing it the second day i have not eating anything, Ella I'm dying of hunger, I'm so frustrated right now, Ella you are my only hope right now, please help me before i die of hunger here in the street of Ghana, please don't write me back through this Email because  i'm been watch over right now, i mean they monitoring all my single move right now, tell me when you are going to send the money, so that i will know how to plan my self, here are my bank details, BANK NAME:  JEFFREY ACCOUNT NUMBER: xxxxxxxxx, BANK NAME: ACCESS BANK PLS NIGERIA OR You can pay it through Money Gram with this same name. I want your answer on hangout immediately you answer then block me back instantly don't wait a minute, THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING ME MY DEAR ELLA, GOD BLESS YOU AND GIVE YOU GOOD HEALTH, BYE. FROM YOURS LOVELY,  JEFFREY.

Heartbreaking, if it were true. But it isn't! That is just part of the scam. There are other scams that claim they have a large inheritance, and they need your help to pay a notary, so they can retrieve the money.  They will tell you they need to borrow money because they are in another country and short on money. They will tell you they are ill or someone in their family is ill. All of it lies.
I was fortunate to have someone who was a scammer, become attached to me and confess his wrong doing. I agreed to talk to him as long as he told me how the entire process works. First, I will not divulge his name, real or fake for his own safety. He was young and went to another neighboring country to earn money for his family. He has since, left and is back home.

This is a major problem in Ghana, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. Men set up companies, have houses or apartments that house and feed the workers as long as they are producing money for the "BOSS". The workers are poor and live on the streets until this opportunity arises for them.  They live in groups of 15 and sometimes more, working in shifts. It is a 24-hour operation.  They work nights to hit North America and the vulnerable people. They will tell you they are from the USA but that is seldom true.

They use your financial data to set an amount of what you are worth to them. The "BOSS" takes the information from the person you are talking to and calculates the amount they will ask for. The "BOSS" will take over the conversation from that point. He will push you, to make a Money Gram or use Western Union and send your money to an address that cannot be traced.   They will tell you to open the cards and take a picture of the front and back of the card and send it to them. As soon as you stop, they will block you.

They will ask you to cash a cheque for them. You keep so much and send the rest to them. The cheques are fake and you will end up having to pay all the money back. That happens a lot with Western Union.  They will ask you to accept a parcel. Don't do it! It could be a drug or money laundering scheme. You take it, you are just as guilty.

I know about romance scams. I lived it for over 4 months. I still get messages. Recently I was messaged by someone who claimed to be a Brazilian Neurosurgeon. I google imaged the profile. I found out who was in the photo that was being used. He had 11 people using his profile on Twitter and Instagram. I searched his name on the net. He had so many bad reports of scams against him, but he didn't do them. It's not just you getting hurt, eventually, the real owners of the profiles are as well.
I'm not trying to be a martyr, I'm trying to be an educator about something I know. They use profiles and pretend to be that person to gain something that hurts someone else. The profiles have what women want, a title, extremely good-looking, personality, wit, basically the perfect man. When some guy contacts you, women are hopeful that they are real and fall for the guy on the computer. YOU ARE NOT SPEAKING TO THE PERSON, JUST TO A CRIMINAL ON A LAPTOP.

I  was almost conned by someone, but I followed my own tactics and finally found the flaw in the story. His was a good story and believable but one thing didn't make sense.  I felt like such a fool for even thinking this person might be real. There was no intention to send money. I marked that as a learning curve and continued with the others.  Now, I can tell you within a couple minutes who is a con.

I had messaged the women who followed these cons and told them they were scammers.  Believe it or not, I had a few replies that said I was just jealous because the guy wanted them and not me.  They were warned and there was nothing more I could do.

I have been threatened, called every name in the book, been stalked and even had my computer hacked into. Still, I continued my research. I have confronted some with their lies. After all this "WHY" would I do it again?  Very simple, because "I CAN" help  to get the message across helping women and men not be scammed and lose their life savings.

What can you do once you realize you are talking to a scammer? Report, Report and Report again. Report it to the media site you are using. All of them have a way of reporting. Print screen their profile page and save it to your computer. If you are on Hangouts or WhatsApp, report it to the site.
Report it to They will post the profile and help to shut those crime sites down. If, you managed to get a photo of the person behind the computer send it along with the stolen profile. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram all have it on their sites. has a list of photos that are frequently used by scammers. They can also check and I.P. address to tell you if it's good or not.

If it sounds to be too good to be true, it probably is! Be Aware and Stay Safe!
S.C.A.M.S. Stop, Check, And Make Sure

written by: Elaine Bosvik 


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