They then solicit you for money for a charity they run in Nigeria or Ghana.
In all likelihood there is no charity and you have been robbed off your money by a scammer. Also known as the advance fee scam this is an oldie but a goody. Supposedly named after a defunct piece of Nigerian Law the scam has been operating in various incarnations for years. The basic idea is that you're contacted by someone who has access to large sums of money and wishes to move them through your bank account.
They might say that someone has died leaving millions or they might be a corrupt government official draining federal funds and they want to share this unbelievable fortune with you. All they need is a sum of your money to get things rolling or to cover bank fees.
Whatever creative, captivating and greed inducing story you read know this: However much you send, you will never see the money again.
The Nigerian/Ghana Emergency Scam
Taking advantage of the "dangerous" perception of Africa, scammers often create elaborate fake kidnap plans. Again, they pretend to be someone from a Western country, visiting Nigeria or Ghana for some reason. They are consequently kidnapped and you will be asked to urgently send them some ransom money to help them get out of the messy situation. Yes, this one definitely pulls on the heart strings because you will obviously want to do something to help but don't fall for it because it is simply a way to play on people's emotions and then scam money from them.
- I went to Nigeria to meet the man who scammed me - BBC News.
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While cases like this are very, very rare, there is another variation of the kidnap scam. It is one of the most alarming of all online dating scam stories is that of Australian man Desmond Gregor who flew to Mali in North Western Africa hoping to meet his online sweetheart. Instead he met twelve men armed with machetes who held him captive, demanding ransom. Gregor was lucky to escape with the help of the Canadian Embassy. This is an extreme case of online dating scamming but should serve as a wake up call to all online daters; do you really know who is on the other end of that email or phone?
If you are asked to send money and feel so inclined, run the whole scenario by someone you trust.
Choose a friend or someone from your church or community who is less emotionally invested than you are. Be open to their perspective. If the request for funds is indeed a scam, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to ever recover the money. Please call Member Services at Welcome to Consumer Reports. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
Avoid a Romance Scam When Using Dating Sites - Consumer Reports
In our online dating survey, 12 percent of people say they were conned. Sharing is Nice Yes, send me a copy of this email. Send We respect your privacy. Oops, we messed up. Their worry is not overstated. Romance scams really can happen to anyone. Have you been hurt by a romance scam? Tell us in the comments below.
To recognize and avoid romance scams, follow these tips. Consumer Reports is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers.
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