I don’t talk about it much on here, but I had a Yahoo group with over 1,200 members to fight scammers out of Nigeria and West Africa. We focused on the love scammers. These are people, often males or gangs of males, who use fake pictures of men or women, often stolen from porn or model sites, to engage in fake Internet romances with Westerners, the purpose of which is to get money out of them. In many cases, the scam can go on for years or until all of the money is drained.
Nigeria is Ground Zero for romance scamming, and Ghana is second. Many Ghanaian scammers are Nigerians. It’s also spread to Benin. These are the same scumbags who started off with the famous 419 scams and now are branching out.
They are now into romance scams, fake renter scams, fake buyer scams, fake auction buyer scams, and fake seller scams (especially beetles from the Cameroon).
The fake renter scam works something like the guy is going to rent your place but somehow needs money fronted to him. He never shows up for the room, and you lose the money.
Fake buyer scams involve the use of stolen credit cards to buy stuff in the West and have it shipped to West Africa. Merchants report that out of every 10,000 credit card requests from West Africa, not even one will be legit. The culture of lying, stealing, and general scumminess is so pervasive in West Africa that most credit card companies have banned the whole area from getting any cards. Fake buyer scams also involve overpayment schemes.
They write you a $10,000 check.
But the item is only worth $4,000.
The check is no good. You deposit it and send the $4,000 back to the guy Western Union.
3 weeks later the check goes bad and you lose $4,000.
Similar schemes involving expertly forged money orders, especially US postal money orders, are common. You cash the money order, keep 20% for yourself, and send the rest WU to West Africa.
In 3 weeks it goes bad, and now you owe $5,000 or whatever.
And the banks do want to get paid. Banks will often just cash any shitty check for you without even checking to see if it’s any good. They have actually fought legislation to require them to figure out if the check is any good before they cash it. This would be time-consuming and harm their capitalist bottom line.
Auction buyer scams are similar to overpayment scams. I believe that they also set up fake seller schemes. You send the money and the stuff never shows up.
The beetle scams were interesting. There are actually lots of guys who are so weird that they actually collect beetles. They pin them to boards and whatnot. I guess it’s more honorable than politics or pitching prime loans. Anyway, Cameroon has an incredible amount of beetles, including some of the hugest and rarest beetles on Earth. The West Africans quickly infiltrated the beetle lists on the Net and offered to sell these rare beetles. Lots of folks shelled out $100’s for them, and of course they never showed up.
The West Africans have now fanned out all over the world and operate out of many places, doing their scams. The Nigerians are notorious and hated all over Africa by their fellow Blacks for being a nation of liars, thieves, crooks, and all around scumbuckets. There are now expat Nigerian gangs in Libya, Egypt, Spain, Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland, etc. Nigerians have swarmed in the Balearic Islands of Spain, where if you go into the cafes, it’s all Nigerians, and probably 90%+ of them are engaging in Internet crime. They are in the Gulf States, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, and now China. Everywhere they go, the Nigerians are head over heels in crime, usually confidence games and cons.
In Nigeria itself, in many of the cafes, many to all of the people in there are criminals sitting there all day and nite trying to rip off Westerners. One of our informants saw a famous local TV newscaster who had lost his job in the cafe trying to steal from Americans.
There is now a tremendous amount of romance scamming coming out of the Philippines. They scam in the open, use their real faces and real names, and shamelessly rip off every American guy they can find. These are usually young Filipinas promising love or marriage to American males. The law enforcement system in the Philippines is terminally broken, and LE does not even bother to arrest or prosecute the scammers. Philippines is starting to seem like as much of a failed state as an African nation.
There is also a lot of Internet crime coming out of Russia, including romance scamming. The romance scammers are the Russian Mafia operating out of Mari-El Republic. Dating sites are saturated with fake Russian chicks promising to marry you. They hire college students, male and female, to write letters to the Western male suckers and draw them in. Female coeds man the phones 24-7. When you call up your Russian lover girl, Natasha answers the phone and pretends to be whoever she needs to be. End of the scam is she needs airfare to come marry you. You fork it over and she never shows.
The Russians to their credit have busted some of the scammers. There have been several arrest roll-ups, and hundreds of crooks have been arrested, but the scamming goes on. With the return of capitalism, Russia has turned into one of the world’s most horrible epicenters of Organized Crime, Internet Crime, scams, and ripoffs.
There are also many scams, including romance, rental, and auction scams, coming out of Eastern Europe. The return of capitalism has also turned much of this area into crime-flooded pestholes, and Organized Crime practically runs the show in many places. Little is known about these criminals, but the auction scams are mostly run by “Romanians.” Investigation revealed that all or nearly all of these “Romanians” were actually Gypsies, possibly the most criminal ethnic group on the planet.