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Romance Scam

Please report romance scams and dating scams here. We accept reports on Russian scammers and Nigerian scammers.

Disclaimer regarding pictures posted on the board: please understand that you are NOT looking at the pictures of people who are actually scamming you. The people portrayed on these photos are innocent men and women, NOT involved in scamming in any way and have nothing to do with scammers. The scammers are using their images without their knowledge or permission to deceive their victims and steal their money.

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How did it all start?

How African Romance Scams Work
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How did it all start?

Postby rskpp785 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:38 am


I am personally wondering how these scammers all figured out how to make scamming so profitable? We all know that they are not the most educated and not the smartest people out there. ;)
How was scamming introduced to them. And how did it develop into such a big business? They could not have gotten this good without someone showing them how. Anyone know this information

How did it all start?


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Re: How did it all start?

Postby Pete » Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:15 am

The current internet scams are related to confidence games and scams that are conducted in person, and have been going on for hundreds of years. It doesn't take a lot of brains to pull them, just some luck, and nerve.

The 'Spanish Prisoner' scam more or less started after the French Revolution, and was conducted by mail.

Some related confidence games are conducted in person in the US by 'Irish Travelers', 'Gypsies', and I remember some packs of scammers who were thought to be Jamaican scamming elderly people in the South when I was a kid.

('Pigeon drop' scams...)

Some people will always figure out ways to cheat other people.
Never send money to somebody you only know from the internet, or phone calls!

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Re: How did it all start?

Postby geecee » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:28 am

Con men, confidence tricksters, snake oil salesmen, scam artists in one form or other have been around since the beginning of time. In the modern world of computers and the internet with easy international communications, it's a blessing for any fraudulent types to fools people. Adding to Pete's comments, there will always be dis-honest individuals out to steal from others. It's always happened, continues to and always will. Not only the old Spanish prisoner scam of well over 100 years ago but the ponzi scheme of the 1920's. Ponzi did not invent the scheme as he copied someone else from the 1840's. Scams in one form or another will always be around us, sad to say.

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Re: How did it all start?

Postby Pinky » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:44 pm

If you're wondering how internet romance scams started, I have a little experience with this. I divorced in 1996 and the internet was just starting to roll about that time. I used Compuserve as my dial up connection and belonged to chat rooms there. Later they became AOL and chat rooms and email and their chat client became popular. Dating chat rooms soon evolved into dating websites. For the first 4 or 5 years I was single and getting more active on the net, I never heard of an international internet scammer in the romance world. But I did start to notice scams related to sales, marketing and especially porn and software pirating.

I worked back then for a university computer support center and saw students both getting involved with being scammed and computer science and technology students finding clever ways to perpetrate scams. And about that time, because I was trained to follow IP addresses to track down problems affecting the university and its students, I started noticing IP addresses leading to overseas connections. But it wasn't until about 2005, when I starte giving the then fledgling online matchmaking/dating sites a try, that I started noticing IP addresses leading to Africa. I didn't notice the Russians but then even still today, the Russians mostly scam men and I am female.

At that time I was already familiar with the African 419 scams like trunk box scams and advance fee frauds, so when I started getting hit on by white guys saying they were in New York or California with their IP addresses pointing to Lagos, Nigeria, I knew there were new snakes in the grass. It's my opinion that once the Internet came to Africa, the Nigerians starting the romance scam ball rolling.

Their nefarious craft has evolved over the years and spread to other nations, but still the Nigerians have to be the love scam-masters of all time, IMO. I think they learned from the Russians and filled a niche (scamming women) that I think even the Russian scammers find too low and undignified to participate in. I've not been to Africa (yet) but I've been inside their gangs and known several independents as up close and personal as the internet and online contact will allow. To most of them, they see themselves as oppressed and victimized so they say they scam for righteous compensation, though there are a few who will admit to a lust for power, control and money. I think those are the more honest ones.
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Re: How did it all start?

Postby coinpuppy » Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:45 pm

I know a lot of the 419/advance fee and other specifically Nigerian scams have been around since way before the internet. They used to send out letters (sounding basically just like today) by postal mail! How lucky those f*ckers must have felt when they got the internet

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