Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Profile of an Internet Dating Conman

I was having dinner with a friend today and the topic of internet dating scams came up. We exchanged notes and here are some pointers on how to identify an internet dating conman.

  • A huge majority of these conmen come from Nigeria.
  • He usually poses as a single parent with a young daughter/son, has a good job and is a Caucasian from either the United States or United Kingdom. His wife would have died in a car crash or some illness.
  • Inconsistent information. There was this guy I was corresponding with who referred to his kid as a 'he' and sometimes as a 'she'. Unless his child is gay, I don't think a parent could mix up the sex of his child.
  • Notice how he always talks about other things (like declaring his deep love for you) but never talks about himself. This is because there's nothing to talk about himself, his whole life is a lie.
  • When you ask for his pic, he'll email you someone else's pic - usually a Caucasian guy's and claim that's him. One give-away is the pics will be blur, which means he would have gleaned it from cyberspace.
  • He will declare his deep love for you by the third email, latest. Can a person fall in love with someone so fast without even knowing you? I can't, for sure.
  • He'll want to fly all the way to your country to visit you very early in the relationship.
  • When he gives you his number, check and see if the country code is +234 (Nigeria's country code). Some of these cheats are not too bright and won't expect the girl to check on the country code. But girls are smarter these days.

Now you might be thinking what are the motives of these conmen. Why do they go through all the trouble to pose as somebody else?

Well, the main motive is usually to cheat the potential victim off her hard earned money. And he'll usually do this by convincing the girl he's in a dire situation like stranded in a foreign country while on his way to visit the girl and needs money badly.

Well, I hope these pointers will come in handy in case an email from a hunky male Caucasian suddenly drops into your mailbox.

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