How to recognize and protect against nigerian romance scams

Nigerian romance scams are a common online scam, which refers to scammers from Nigeria who use false identities and relationships to deceive netizens seeking love, thereby defrauding them of their money or personal information. Victims of this type of scam are often lonely or vulnerable people, such as divorced or widowed elderly people, or people living in rural or remote areas.

According to some reports and research [^1^] [^2^], the characteristics and techniques of nigerian romance scams are as follows:

• Scammers will create false profiles on some dating or social networking sites, usually using American or European names and photos, claiming to be wealthy or well-established people, such as doctors, lawyers, soldiers, businessmen, etc.

• Scammers will take the initiative to contact some potential victims, build trust and affection through sweet words, praise and care, and then falsely claim that they are working or traveling abroad, or have encountered some difficulties or dangers and need help or support from the victims.

• Scammers will use various excuses to ask victims to remit money or provide personal information, such as paying taxes, medical expenses, air tickets, visa fees, lawyer fees, etc., or requiring the victim’s bank account number, ID number, Passwords, etc., in order to transfer one’s wealth or inheritance to the victim.

• The scammer will continue to make up more lies, prolong and maintain contact with the victim until he or she obtains enough money or information, or is discovered or suspected by the victim, and then disappears without a trace, no longer replying or answering the victim’s messages. or phone.

Nigerian romance scams are a serious cyber crime that cause huge financial and emotional losses to the victims, and may even endanger the lives and safety of the victims. Therefore, we need to be vigilant and learn to recognize and prevent such scams. Here are some ways to prevent it:

• Do not trust the words of strangers online, especially those who claim to be foreigners or work or travel abroad. Stay rational and sober and do not be fooled by false identities and feelings.

• Do not easily send money or provide personal information to strangers online, especially those who ask you to send money or provide information for various reasons. Be wary of their motives and purposes, and do not be tempted by false promises and benefits.

• Do not trust photos or videos of strangers online, especially those who only provide some blurry or old photos or videos. Check whether their photos or videos are authentic or consistent, and do not be attracted by false images and appearances.

• Do not easily meet or date strangers online, especially those who always use various excuses to postpone or cancel meetings or dates. Verify their identity and background, and do not be deceived by false relationships and futures.

If you think you have become a victim of nigerian romance scams, or you suspect that you are dating a nigerian romance scammer, you should stop contacting them immediately and save all evidence, such as chat records, remittance orders, photos, etc. , and then report it to the local police or relevant agencies for help and support.

Nigerian romance scams are a type of online scam that is constantly evolving and changing. We need to always be vigilant and preventive and not let ourselves or those around us become their next target. The following is an example of a Nigerian romance scam case that has occurred in the United States in recent years:

• In 2019, an American woman met a man on Facebook who claimed to be an American soldier. He said he was on a mission in Syria and needed her help, so she started an online relationship with him. In more than two years, she sent him a total of more than 200,000 US dollars to pay for his medical expenses, air tickets, visa fees, etc. It wasn’t until one day that she received an email from the FBI telling her that she had become the victim of a cross-border fraud that she realized she had been deceived. It turned out that her online dating partner was a scammer from Nigeria. He used a stolen photo of an American soldier and some forged documents to defraud her of her trust and money.

Another case:Wooed on Facebook, Widow Loses $39,000 in Romance Fraud
She wants to be a voice, not a victim, after fake surgeon rips her off

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