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Online Scams Warning: Nigeria, Ghana & Philippines

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  • Synopsis: The majority of these scams are out of Russia and Ukraine Nigeria Ghana and the Philippines have recently jumped on the internet scamming bandwagon - Published: 2009-02-16 (Rev. 2015-09-09). For further information pertaining to this article contact: Ian Langtree at Disabled World.

Main Document

"Be aware of classified buyers and sellers especially anyone offering a cashiers check over the asking price and requesting you send the extra funds to Nigeria or another country. Ensure you are positive the buyer or seller is who they say they are."

Scams in the internet dating world are rampant. Today there are no online dating sites that are free of scammers. Regardless if you are new to the internet dating world or a veteran, you should always read up on scams and the new techniques to part you and your money. The majority of these scams are out of Russia and Ukraine, with some out of the former Soviet Union (FSU) countries. Nigeria, Ghana and the Philippines have recently jumped on the bandwagon.

Background Checks

Disabled World warns its members that Internet dating and purchasing items online can be risky. We do not do any background checks of any kind of our users. Disabled World members should get to know a potential date well before agreeing to meet. Initial meetings should use common sense, such as meeting in a public place or be with a friend. Be careful, don't believe everything you hear.

Never send a man or a woman any money!

Be aware of classified buyers and sellers especially anyone offering a cashiers check over the asking price and requesting you send the extra funds to Nigeria or another country. Ensure you are positive the buyer or seller is who they say they are.

It is just not a good idea to send a stranger who you have never met, especially in another country, money period. Regardless what he/she needs it for, a visa and passport to come and see you, an operation for a loved one, a new computer, internet fees or he/she's in Moscow on their way to see you and there's a hidden fee that they need help paying or else they'll be stranded at the Moscow airport for the rest of their life.

Tips to avoid being scammed online.

DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON

NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM

FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON - BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE

NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION to ANYONE.

AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES

Disabled World does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

An inquiry from someone far away, often in another country. Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee". Refusal to meet face-to-face before consummating transaction .

Examples of Scams

A. Someone claims that Disabled World will guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/seller, OR claims that Disabled World will handle or provide protection for a payment. These claims are fraudulent, as Disabled World does not have any role in any transaction. Scammer will often send an official looking email that appears to come from Disabled World, offering a guarantee, certifying a seller, providing payment services - all such emails are fakes!

B. A person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier's check you receive an email offering to buy your item sight unseen. A cashier's check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit and the value of the cashier's check often far exceeds your item - scammer offers to "trust" you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service. The banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, including criminal prosecution in some cases! This scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)

C. Someone requests wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram: Often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before he can withdraw your money - this is FALSE, once you've wired money, it is GONE. Common countries participating in online scams currently include: Nigeria, Romania, Ukraine, Spain, UK, Italy, Netherlands - but could be anywhere in the world.

D. A person offers to send you a money order and then have you wire money - this is ALWAYS a scam, the cashier's check is FAKE sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not scammer often asks for your name, address, etc for printing on the fake check.

E. A seller suggests use of an online escrow service, most online escrow sites are FRAUDULENT, operated by scammers.

F. A seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which he will ship goods they say they trust you with the partial payment and may say that they have already shipped the goods.

G. A foreign company offers you a job receiving payments from customers. The foreign company may claim it is unable to receive payments from its customers directly you are offered a percentage of payments received this kind of "position" may be posted as a job, or offered to you via email BEWARE it is a scam!

Red flags leading up to the money request should also be taken into consideration.

  • If he/she loves you after 3 weeks or 3 letters. (Or without ever meeting.
    Huge, romantic letters talking about nothing.
  • He/she doesn't answer your questions.
  • A new sexy photo with every letter.
  • He/she refers to their friends that married foreigners and now he/she wants it, too.
  • His/her relative or friend can get a visa for him/her. (Fine, let them pay.)
  • If you get a letter from an agency after a few letters from the man or woman asking for money.
  • You should be wary of any agency using our service to advertise their men or women.
  • Girls look for guys 10-15 years older than themselves, not 30.

If you see a scammer on our website, inform us and tell us how you know they are a scammer. If anyone on our site ever asks for money, please use the "report as abuse" link below.

Foreign profiles are more likely to be scams trying to part you from your money, especially Eastern European and Philippine profiles.

Nigerian advance-fee fraud has also been around for many years, but has lately been on the rise. These scammers politely promise tons of money in exchange for help moving large sums of money out of their country.

There are legitimate matches out there and in these countries, but you need to be extra-careful and investigate the person you are looking to date. We recommend that you never send money or any other support to any user for any reason.

More Scam Examples:

(If you suspect someone was trying to scam you, or you were unfortunate enough to have been scammed, then use our comment form below and we may add your report here as a warning to others.)

1/ I was on (a dating site) and 3 of my matches were scammers from Nigeria (S.B. email address xxxx phone number xxx-xxx-xxx-xxxx) his wallet was stolen with all of his money so he asked me to send him $250 which I did. Then there was another match from (a dating site) and his name was J.J. (email address xxxx phone number xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx he was doing business in Ghana buying gold he stated that he only had credit cards and they only do cash and carry so he asked me to send him some money but that i needed to send it in the name of W.P. because he was the manager of the company he was buying gold bars from AngloGold. then he asked me to send him an ipod for his son or a computer so his son would not be board and he could talk with me during the day. I send him $600 through western union and $300 through money gram. I was told that (a dating site) was hit by these scammer from nigeria and Ghana.I hope that this information will be helpful they both sent me pictures and gave me addresses in the United states and they all said they were doing business in nigeria and Ghana.

2/ I was contacted by HUENFELD SUPPLY CO who wished to purchase jewelry from me, 100 copies. The company insisted that I use the shipping company: West African Shipping Company. The shipping company insists in using a wire transfer for shipping while the people that were attempting to purchase the amulets with a credit card.

The postage I was to spend shipping a four pound box was nearly $3000, more than the cost of the jewelry. The shipping company raised the amount they first quoted me, a difference of well over $400. This was after I had requested an itemized list of expenses (shipping, taxes, tariffs etc). I was attempting to find a different shipper when I decided to contact our government and inquire about the cost of these extra fees. All of the estimates were way off the West African Shipping Company.

According to the government of Ghana: The shipping Company is not registered with the government as real (120 TEMA AVENUE, Accra, Ghana), the company placing the order is not real and the address does not exist.

3/ I started to get red flagged when the girl whom I met on e-Harmony (dating site) fell totally in love with me after only 3 days, asking money for her mother for food and to pay for the internet funds and send it through western union. I went on a Hawaii model site to find out that the picture was taken from there. When I finished contacting the other party telling them that I found their SCAM. She told me she had put her picture on a model site, yeah, no money for food and internet, but to be on a model site? Be extremely careful!!!! I almost got into this scam. Luckily I found out before!

4/ I think I have a scammer from Accra, Ghana writing to me. Her name is Rhiannan Davies, She can't answer a lot of my questions. She tells me that she doesn't have a mailing address over there. Any way to check this out. Any good questions I can ask her that would tell me the truth about her.

5/ Had contact from gentleman calling himself Smith Williams via person.com....Sent me many loving emails and spoke to him on msn, he also rang me at my home on 3 occasions. Told me he was a business from Bristol uk..He had to travel to Accra to find a missing shipment of cars..Within 3 hours of his arrival i received a phone call from a Dr Jones saying he had been involved in an accident and his 12 year old son had been killed...He needed money for his operation to save his life...Rang numerous times to ask for the money to be sent through western union, when i told him i had no money he was quite angry and told me not to contact him again...Would love for this gentleman to be found out and pay for what he has done to me emotionally...How can people be so cruel, especially telling me his son had been killed i was very upset... Sue W.

6/ Was contacted by person called Lewis Woods from Sugardaddyforme said he fell in love with me after three days asking for money for passport and visa to the uk. not that stupid did not send any money. Anna K.

7/ SCAM WARNING - The latest scam involves fake checks of between $2,000 and $5,000 that are sent to the prospective victim along with an explanation that the funds are for lottery winnings, a prize promotion or mystery shopping. The victim is given a reason to deposit the check promptly and then send back a portion of the alleged funds for taxes, registration or confirmation. When the "prize" checks bounce, usually 14 days later, the victim is left responsible for the funds they withdrew from the bank "usually around $1,000. Those targeted by the mystery shopper scam face additional losses for money spent during their mystery shopper experience. Legitimate companies sometimes hire mystery shoppers to purchase items and evaluate customer service.

8/ Grandma Scam - Scammers call the grandparents saying: "Hi. This is your favorite (grandson or granddaughter)." The caller then waits for the grandparent to respond using the name of an actual grandchild. The caller then explains that they are traveling in Canada and have been arrested or involved in an auto accident and need the grandparent to wire money to post bail or pay for damages. Usually the amount requested is a few thousand dollars. This scam targets loving grandparents, and it is tragic that they have to be skeptical of calls from people alleging to be part of their family.

9/ Scammers are targeting Singapore's older netizens in an array of scams, from fake kidnappings to offers of miracle cures. Some scams promise pricey miracle cures for diseases such as arthritis and cancer. There is also a kidnapping scam in which a victim gets an e-mail message claiming that a loved one has been abducted. Conmen ask the senior for ransoms that can stretch into tens of thousands of dollars. Seniors more trusting nature makes them particularly vulnerable to scam e-mail messages aimed at stealing financial information like credit card numbers and online banking personal identification numbers.

Read more about Nigerian Online Dating Scams



Related:

  1. Home Loan Modification Scams
  2. Ways Senior Citizens Can Avoid Scams
  3. Service for Hearing Impaired Scam Affects Businesses





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