Journalist Sarah Lacy tracked a few down and reported that times are hard, in part because westerners have become suspicious of emails that offer them massive lottery wins.Yet, beyond the occasional encounter with an intrepid journalist, we know little about a group of people who seem intent on trying to scam the entire planet.Like many single women, the Midwestern mother of two and caretaker for her ailing father found many possibilities and opportunities when it came to meeting men online. Chat room one evening after working the night shift at her retail job, she met a man only a state away who enchanted her from the moment she first spoke with him.“He was extremely intelligent and came across as very romantic and genuinely interested in me,” Meade said.
They are the messages from mysterious strangers in possession of vast wealth and in need of a bank account to transfer it into.
- Their last names are usually Cole, Moore, Smith or Williams - They say they are "XX by name" and "XX by age" - They say "am" instead of "I am", for example: "am Williams by name..." - They say "hope to read from you soon" - They say they are from Keller, VA. Because it has the same zip code as Nigeria: 23401 - Their occupation is often "building contractor" or "civil engineer" for men and "model" or "nurse" for women - Their introductory letter often contains the phraze: "Remeber the distance or colour does not matter but love matters alot in life." (typical for Senegal scammers) - They immediately want to get off the website and onto Yahoo IM or MSN IM - They are not usually around on the weekends to IM - They IM at unusual hours for your time zone - Their profile seems to disappear off the website immediately after conversation begins - Their spelling is atrocious - They are notorious for using 'i' instead of 'I' - They consistently use webspeak or abbreviations: u r ur cos pls/plz ma sry brb div acc - Their grammar is not consistent with how Americans speak, French speak etc...
- They often mix up their phrases: i will like to heer from you soonest I am kool Do you have anyman you care to meet Do you have any man you planning to meet Looking for someone to love and care for in life Am cheerfull in life I will like to meet someone that is careing and loveing for real in life i am too young for my age if you don't know Ok so how will you feel if i says i dont mind you i will like you to be my best friend You are so pretty for my likeness - They appear uneducated with their speaking/writing skills - They misunderstand our slang or comparisons such as night owl/early bird, poker face - They immediately start using pet names with you: hon/hun baby/babe sweety/sweetie - They over-use emoticons - They are notorious for using BUZZ - They do not like to answer personal questions about themselves and tend to ignore questions - The details they give you on IM are often different that what was stated on their profiles, one of the more common ones they give different answers to is their birthdate, height/weight, and age - If you catch them on an inconsistency they will claim a friend or relative must've been using their id to chat with you, they will always try to come up with a coverup and of course, you are always wrong or mistaken - They often misspell the cities/towns they claim they are from and are unfamiliar with any of the local landmarks and attractions - They do not know common questions that every US citizen would know the answer to - If you ask them a question they don't know they will usually be offline for a length of time so they can go look up the answer on the internet always claiming they had a phone call or had to go to the bathroom etc..
So, I did what I would have done for any man I was invested in like that.
I gave him the money.”After transferring ,000 to Walter’s bank account from her own savings account, Meade says her chats with the man became less frequent, and finally, stopped altogether.“I was taken for a fool,” Meade said, “and I was heartbroken.”The Nigerian Scam Moves to Messaging But, while Walter had fallen on hard times, a Nigerian man thousands of miles away was making a killing as part of an operation of scammers who target men and women into romantic relationships only to leave them high and dry.