Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information. We receive inquiries every day from people who have been defrauded for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars by Internet contacts they thought were their friends or loved ones. Internet scams are attempts by con artists to convince you to send them money. In Nigeria, these scams are also referred to as scams.
70+ common online scams used by cyber criminals and fraudsters
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam.
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them.
The internet is the most widely used communication network ever constructed. There are good and bad things happening on the internet, and among the bad things are ongoing attempts to scam innocent people out of their money or identities. The internet brings with it many such opportunities, and fraudsters appear to be waiting around every virtual corner with the latest in online scams. While some forms of internet fraud have gotten very sophisticated, even some of the older, less advanced plays still actually work.
If people know more about the types of scams taking place and what to look out for, we can hopefully save at least some people from getting swindled out their hard-earned cash. Related: Cybercrime stats and facts. Email scams are a type of online fraud. The broad strokes tend to remain the same, but the details of these types of online fraud change over time. There are resources to keep on top of the ever changing scams, and steps to take to defend against them.
You would think that scam artists would have refined their approach by now, but many scam emails are poorly written and fairly easy to spot.
Watch out, Nigerian con artists no longer hide behind princes in an attempt to steal your cash
In March , a man claiming to be a US Army captain stationed in Syria reached out to a Japanese woman on an international site for digital pen pals. The man who called himself Terry Garcia asked for money — lots of it — from the woman identified as FK in federal court documents. But in reality, Garcia did not exist.
Anyone with an email may be familiar with the Nigerian Prince scam, in which A romance scam occurs when a person is scammed through an online dating.
Official websites use. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Ten men have been charged with conspiring to launder illegal proceeds that were fraudulently obtained as a result of Nigerian romance scam operation targeting multiple victims. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in October and unsealed today after seven suspects were apprehended in early morning operations executed by the FBI in three states.
Five defendants were arrested in Norman, Oklahoma, one defendant was arrested in Brooklyn, New York, and one defendant was arrested in Long Beach, California. Three other defendants remain at large. The indictment alleges that since , the co-conspirators concealed the proceeds of romance scam operations by moving money between and among multiple bank accounts that were opened using fraudulent identity documents to obscure the source of the funds and the identities of the co-conspirators.
Investigators identified at least three victims of the alleged romance scams in Seminole, Florida, Centerville, Ohio, and Pryor, Oklahoma. The indictment alleges the co-conspirators coordinated with unknown individuals overseas who had assumed false identities on online dating websites and social media platforms with the intent to defraud victims.
Tech firm warns of online dating scams, Nigerian connection
Please contact customerservices lexology. A romance scam occurs when two people contact each other on a dating app or elsewhere on the internet. Communications unfold between the two people with the purported goal of finding love. However, while one of the two people is intent on finding a dream match, the other person seeks to earn trust to fleece money over time from the innocent dating victim.
A real example of a romance scam recently was reported by CNN.
Romance Scams Are Leaving More Online Daters Broke. Facebook “We found out all the money I sent went to Nigeria and Indonesia.”.
The scam was run by two Nigerian men in the Los Angeles area who had help from associates in Nigeria and other countries, federal officials say. Additional requests for shipping costs and other details in the fake heist kept coming. Seventeen people have been arrested so far. They were among the 17 arrested, but dozens of co-conspirators are still on the run. All defendants face charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft.
Some will also face fraud and money laundering charges. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.
We share this world with many sinister souls. In person, it’s easy to see when someone is up to no good.
While 14 arrests have been made, a count federal grand jury indictment unsealed on Thursday Aug. The unsealed indictment shows the evolving tactics of online fraudsters which has seen them continue to dupe unwitting victims despite numerous awareness campaigns about the online scams. Through business email compromise scams BEC , fraudsters use hacked email accounts to convince businesses or individuals to make payments that are either bogus or similar to actual payments owed to legitimate companies.
As part of the scam, fraudsters learn about key personnel in companies who are responsible for the payments as well as the protocols necessary to perform wire transfers in various companies and then target businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments, Paul Delacourt, FBI assistant director in charge of the case said in a press briefing. Before his arrest, Okeke had posed a successful entrepreneur and was featured on a Forbes under list as well a BBC Focus on Africa program. With long-running romance scam tactics through dating websites already well-known, fraudsters have gone as far as impersonating US soldiers and then seeking lovers on social media, particularly Facebook.
In some cases, rather than being asked to send money, victims of romance scams are deployed as money mules whose banks accounts are used to move illicit funds or are talked into opening accounts on behalf of criminals. US law enforcement have recently received complaints of such scams in all 50 states in the US, authorities also say. The high profile arrests have also triggered extreme reactions among Nigerians at home and abroad, many of whom daily experience the cost of national stereotyping that comes with the well-covered activity of online fraudsters, particularly with the wide spread of email scam attempts.
These costs range from increased scrutiny for visa processes , a lack of trust when attempting to do business internationally and being restricted from using international payment platforms. US officials say the busted ring was led by US-based operatives who facilitated the scams by opening US bank accounts where victims were directed to deposit money.
Operatives then laundered the stolen funds through these accounts, ultimately funneling them to Nigeria and pocketing the proceeds. Beyond the arrests that have already been made, the US is working with foreign counterparts to arrest 57 more indicted subjects.
Here are the Top Online Scams You Need to Avoid Today [Updated 2019]
Weeks later, the U. Department of Justice DOJ filed charges against 80 members of an organized international criminal network composed primarily of Nigerians dedicated to romance fraud and several other cyber schemes. Even more recently, in early September, the DOJ announced the arrest of a New Jersey man for his involvement in a separate international criminal network that defrauded more than 30 victims in romance fraud schemes using fake online profiles of U.
The suspect allegedly carried out the scheme with help from co-conspirators in Ghana.
The con artist approaches the victim on an online dating to introduce some variant of the original Nigerian Letter scheme, such.
An advance-fee scam is a form of fraud and one of the most common types of confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster requires in order to obtain the large sum. The Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI states that, “An advance fee scheme occurs when the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value—such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift—and then receives little or nothing in return.
There are many variations of this type of scam , including the scam, the Spanish Prisoner scam , the black money scam , the Nigerian Prince Scam, Fifo’s Fraud and the Detroit-Buffalo scam. While Nigeria is most often the nation referred to in these scams, they originate in other nations as well. The modern [ when?
In exchange for assistance, the scammer promised to share money with the victim in exchange for a small amount of money to bribe prison guards. The modern day [ when? There are many variants of the letters sent. One of these, sent via postal mail, was addressed to a woman’s husband, and inquired about his health. Other official-looking letters were sent from a writer who said he was a director of the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Romance scams – 80 people charged with ripping off millions of dollars
A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. Number of cases rose from to in only two years. Romance scammers create personal profiles using stolen photographs of attractive people for the purpose of asking others to contact them.
Information regarding online romance scams. Report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission on Nigerian Scams. Email: [email protected]
Scarlet Widow created profiles on mainstream dating sites and apps, allegedly beginning in It also trawled specialized networks whose users might be particularly lonely or vulnerable, including sites for divorcees, people with disabilities, and farmers in rural areas. Its fake members stressed the importance of trusting and supporting a partner, discouraging their targets from asking questions. They were American, but they lived in far-flung locations like France or Afghanistan where they could justify not making phone calls or meeting in person.
For Richer Or Poorer? Romance Scams Are Leaving More Online Daters Broke
Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.
The scams can hurt victims financially for years. Think Nigerian scams are unsophisticated? “Am totally new to this online dating stuff ”.
Men and women looking for prospective romantic partners online should take note of these two: Laura Cahill, who described herself as an aspiring young model living in Paris, and Britney Parkwell, who pointed to her relative youth as a year-old from sunny San Jose, California. There’s one big problem: Despite profiles that said they were seeking love online, they never existed. They were fake personas created as part of an elaborate scheme run out of Africa to con hundreds of thousands of dollars from vulnerable Americans, according to the California-based cyber-security firm Agari.
A firm report details how men and women were targeted by fraudsters. Crane Hassold, the senior. In the report, researchers warn that individuals and businesses are “far more likely to be targeted by West African crime groups” than by hackers working for the Russian or North Korean governments. The online love scam reviewed by Agari was largely based in Nigeria, the report concluded.
17 Common Online Scams (Be Aware)
Earlier this year, 10 people located around the United States were arrested and charged in an organized money laundering scheme as they were attempting to wash the cash that they illegally obtained. What was strange about the scheme is how the money was obtained in the first place. It wasn’t through the trading or trafficking of illegal goods or drugs, but rather cash that was sent by unsuspecting women who thought they were building relationships with the scammers.
Online safety advice. Romance scam Image copyright Getty Images. Criminals who commit romance fraud trawl through profiles and piece.
Recognize Me? The fake and real faces of scammers. Scam Haters United blog compiled photos of real scammers and the profiles they use to target people online. This scammer uses the account “Christian Onyeakporo” to scam women. This is a fake account using photos of Dr. Maximilian Krah.