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This Valentine’s Day, authorities are once again warning individuals to watch out for anyone perpetrating romance scams. Such “fauxmance” often takes the form of fraudster Romeos and Juliets, many of whom are operating from West Africa or Eastern Europe. Army Captain Starling Michael. Romance scams typically start with the promise of companionship or romance, always leading to a demand for one thing. They might claim they need it for a medical emergency or to come visit you. Then they take your money, but there’s no surgery and no trip,” only heartache.

Lost in Love: Avoiding Romance Scams

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Read our blog post about the infamous “” or Nigerian email scams. Date: Wed, We have been able to track down some scam artist in various parts of African countries which includes (Nigeria, Republic of Benin.

Department of State. The current U. Some areas have increased risk: exercise increased caution in urban areas due to the crime; and reconsider travel to the northern border with Burkina Faso and Parc W due to terrorism. Overall Crime and Safety Situation. The U. Embassy in Cotonou does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The American Citizen Services ACS Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.

There is serious risk from crime in Cotonou. A broad spectrum of criminal activity occurs in Cotonou.

Advance-fee scam

These fraud schemes pose dangers of both financial loss and physical harm. Typically, these scam operations begin with an unsolicited communication, usually by e-mail, Facebook, or WhatsApp from an individual who describes a situation that promises quick financial gain, often by assisting in the transfer of a large sum of money or valuables out of the country. Common e-mail or Facebook scams also involve an individual claiming to be a U.

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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.

The FBI’s Nigerian email scam ring bust shows how the billion-dollar global fraud has evolved

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of US$1, by presenting himself as a gay person from the Republic of Benin. Sending fraudulent messages to online dating websites and social network Another scam that is popular with the “yahoo boys” is phishing.

Always approach any new online acquaintance with caution. Online dating is not only limited to dating sites. With social media having become more integral to our daily lives, many people find love on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and several other platforms. They shower people with loving words and, over time, win their trust. Scammers will continue this so-called relationship for months or even years before asking a person for money.

Below are a few more general tips from Sky Women, a scam awareness and support group, on how to be more secure online:. Valuable relics that could possibly belong to the Santa Maria Madre de Deus, which went missing in Buying property beyond South African borders is a tricky business that requires finding someone Browse through our top moments from the seventh episode of Survivor SA: Philippines. Marvel’s Agents of S. Modern Family Mom Mrs.

Relationship scams: For one Spokane man, the heart briefly overruled the brain

Not easy to spot but wont tell them money. Nigerian dating site find out of the world. Scam call center operator to return to one and without equal that. Join our scam, such as simple definition for carbon dating dating destination address and your personal ads. These fraudulent schemes can result in lagos.

Action Fraud has the following tips for staying safe from WhatsApp scams: Install security software on your device and keep it up to date.

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The following email scams were reported to the Electronic Messaging Compliance Unit. Links to scam web pages have been removed and spaces have been added to email addresses to ensure they do not become hyperlinks. If interested kindly get back to us immediately for more information. Thanks, Mr.

One variant of the scam may date back to the 18th or 19th centuries, as a very similar letter, entitled “The Letter from Jerusalem”, is.

These are external links and will open in a new window. The UK’s national fraud reporting centre has revealed it was contacted by more than 15, people who said they had been victims of scams in the first six months of this year. One woman tells the BBC how she was duped. Attractive, confident and self-reliant, she lives with her dog Oscar in a comfortable home looking out onto the rolling West Sussex countryside, after a successful career in travel and tourism.

Divorcee Brenda, 60, joined a dating website and just before Christmas received the first email from “Bradford Cole” – supposedly a Dutch businessman working in the UK. Brenda and “Bradford” began emailing each other regularly, and soon they were chatting on the phone. I pointed out to him that there was an age difference; but he replied that I was still a good-looking woman, and of course, it’s very flattering.

Romance Scams ~ The Faces Behind The Masquerade