Love and loneliness play on one's emotion. The feeling of being loved and filling the void that loneliness creates are powerful drugs, so powerful, those afflicted, spend thousands on people they have never met face to face. This is what the scammers in West Africa countries like Ghana and Nigeria know. So, they create fake profiles on commonly used Internet meeting and dating sites, like Match,Tastebuds, and others. The women are beautiful, but not stunning. They seem normal in all respects, in fact, the viewer has no idea that behind the profile is perhaps a West African teenager, boy or girl, or older person. For all the viewer thinks, it IS a real woman, with a real email address on Yahoo (the most common). However, the photo is from some modeling site or just an image used to attract victims.
The scammers like to target middle age American men and women or older, their logic is, they probably have money. What happens is that a victim may make contact with the fake person or they may be contacted in very innocent terms. After a few discussions on the dating website, the person will suggest to go offline from the dating site and obtain a chat app, such as, Whatapp. This just helps with instant textings 24\7. The conversation is like any first meeting talk, but you will never know they are from West Africa because it is all texting. Email is too slow. The scammers want to draw you in, work you, as the relationship continues on for 2-4 weeks. Once you become romantic with "love talk" (baby, babe, my man, honeybunch) some may test out sex talk, some may not. The whole point is to make sure that "love in the air", That, God works in mysterious ways and you are "soul mates". United States citizens should be alert to attempts at fraud by persons claiming to live and/or work in Ghana who profess friendship or romantic interest over the Internet. Correspondents who quickly move to discussion of intimate matters could well be the inventions of scammers. If they are after your money, eventually they will ask for it. One dollar near buys four cedis, or GHS, in Ghanian money. So, even sending 50 dollars is almost 200 cedis. Once the money is requested, the scammer may state there is a deadline for it. This creates pressure if the victim is hesitant. If no money is sent, the scammer may try again later. Soon, the victim will notice that nearly all conversations seem to end with money being requested for some reason. In the beginning, there is no discussion of money at all. The scammers should all get Oscars. They have a well laid plan,a profile of an awesome looking woman or man, to draw in the victim.
Once a love connection is made, the scammer typically asks the U.S. citizen to send money for living expenses, travel expenses, or "visa costs". They may claim there are utility\Internet costs. Sometimes, the scammer notifies the American citizen that they or a close family member has suffered an “accident” and is in need of immediate monetary assistance to cover medical bills. Other variations of this confidence scam have emerged of late. The victim may also be shown a photo of a US passport of the alleged person, this may or may not even be real. As time goes on, the scammer will send many photos to entice your trust and lust. You may notice that some photos seem to be the same person, while others, just resemble the woman in the original profile dating site. A scammer will seldom ever have the "woman" contact you or send you audio recordings. A voice may not match the photo you are looking at. Likewise, the same applies to videos. If you request a Skype or webcam, odds are they will not happen.
One scam that the US Embassy in Ghana hears often is where the person will claim to be an American citizen who moved to Ghana as a child. They will then claim to need assistance in getting a US passport. They may claim that then need to take a medical examination or have vaccinations. They start to ask the American citizen that they have been corresponding with on the internet for a mobile phone, laptop, clothes/shoes, money for rent, money for a sick family member, etc. There are several different variations to the scams.
One of the most popular scams that the Embassy hears about is a person who claims to have inherited gold, diamonds or money from a deceased parent. They may claim that the “inheritance” is in danger of being taken by a family member so she will want to transfer it into your name. They may then get in contact with a fake lawyer who will then request “fees” to process the transfer transaction. They may start to ask for items or present their need for items (such as mobile phone, laptops, rent, and money for medical treatment for themselves or other family members). They create a false sense that the person they met online is their “savior” and the only person that could help.
Scams in Ghana and Nigeria are rampant, even some bank officials are scammers. But the promise of love steals $55 million from mostly American and European seekers via the Internet. The money is sent via Western Union, Ria, or MoneyGram. But banks are watching these transfers and if the victim is sending too frequently, their bank may block the account until its owner is contacted.
The most popular pictures that scammers steal from are from Ann Angel. She is a soft porn star. Her sexy images are all over dating websites. She is around age 30, and she also has a legtimate website, but West African scammers, use her photos many times to lure victims. In effect, Ann Angel is also a victim of scamming! The scammers can be men and women in Ghana. If a scammer is found out, they just change their name and continue earning a rich man's living in a poor country living in large mansions that look onto the harbor. One posting of a Ann Angel photo on Match.com had 50 men following. Of course, the name given was Chelsea Boamah, which matches her U.S. Passport. So, 6,000 miles away in Accra, Ghana, a scammer named Osman Mohammed or Esther Ansomaa, pretended to talk of love and enticed men to eventually send money. If all 50 men just sent $100, well, you understand. Even the photos may be Photoshopped to fit the story line, such as, she is volunteering at UNICEF in Ghana or elsewhere. One scammer was fleecing up to 40 suckers a month earning $1000, which is way above most earn. A few really good ones earn $6000. Finding out who is behind the fake dating profile is not worth the effort because they are very hard to catch. The best thing you can do to check is take the image of the person and search using: images.google.com. Click on the camera icon, upload a photo of the person, and let Google search for matches. If the photo has been used in scams, you will know! Remember, the photo that attracted you was probably stolen and used without their knowledge.
So, the next time you go to a dating site to meet your love of your life- beware!
perrya (author) on August 25, 2020:
the yahoo boys target not only americans but any lonely man or woman who stumbles onto to them online. yahoo boys seldom target their subjects once they know their target has no money to send or the victim begins to become suspicious and the yahoo boys become the victims prey.
Emmyboy from Nigeria on August 24, 2020:
In Nigeria, these online scammers are normally called Yahoo Boys.
But my question now is: why are the victims of these Yahoo Boys usually Americans?
Does it mean that Americans are so desperate to be loved or what?
Mike on August 23, 2020:
Ever heard of a romance scammer named Florence Tyler or Tyler Florence?? Who ever it is is using photos of Ann Angel!!
perrya (author) on August 16, 2020:
perrya (author) on January 21, 2017:
Thanks for the info, beware when looking for love!
perrya (author) on December 25, 2016:
You still may be being duped. But since you said you have seen her on skype, beware that the scammers can make you think she is on skype when all they have is a video of her. The proof is when you cannot interact or actually talk to her. This happened to me once. It was her doing a special strip tease for me, so I thought. It was just a video over skype.
Seftonbooth on December 25, 2016:
Yes the world of online scammers is bad. In april 2016 i meet this lovely lady on skype and after exchsnge of a bio and photos i realised that i had ttuly meet the most lovely honest lady in the world who lives in Kumsai. Ghana and has a real name which i will not reveal. Her alias is the real live ANN ANGEL OF ANN-ANGEL.COM. SHE HAS REVEALED EVERYTHING TO ME AND TOLD ME ALL ABOUT THE HORRIBLE EX BOYFRIEND DON WHO INTRODUCED HER TO HHE BAD SIDE OF THE PORN STAR WORLD.SINCE WE HAVE MEET ON SKYPE AND WHATSAPP SHE AND HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE AND SHE IS MOVING TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC SO WE CAN BE MARRIED AND ENJOY THE INHERITANCE LEFT BY HER LATE CANADIAN FATHER.
TO ALL THE SCUM BAGS WHO HAVE STOLEN HER PICS, MANY HUNDREDS OF THEM,JUST TO STEAL MONEY, I WOULD SUGGEST YOU FACE THE REAL WORLD AND DELETE THEM FROM THERE PAGES.
ANN ANGEL. ALIAS..WOULD LOVE THIS AND ALLOW HER TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE AND HAVE CHILDREN AND LIVE PEACEFULLY AS MY LOVER AND WIFE.
perrya (author) on March 19, 2015:
Actually, I changed it to reflect the confusion in this scam thing. I set the record straight. The monitors forced me to removed xxx photos in their eyes.
UmbertoPMarocchi on March 19, 2015:
You took down the other item, but in this one your claiming the same nonsense regards Ann Angel. So please, be correct and take down this one as well, so as you have to recompose your item of yesterday, where you don't let me upload my comment: "The anatomy of the Ghana romance scam". Thank you
perrya (author) on March 10, 2015:
Of course, I am saying that these two countries have the most scams of various types and there are some valid businesses. I think scammers come in all types, some do have a conscious about ones they actually are attracted to . To them, it is a job because they have no other way to support themselves and far better than being a call girl selling sex.
georgescifo from India on March 10, 2015:
Yes...but that doesn't mean that the whole of that particular countries are scam. Even in my country there are a good number of scammers in various areas.
Emmyboy from Nigeria on March 10, 2015:
It's just a pity.
georgescifo from India on March 10, 2015:
You are right Perrya. Ghana and Nigeria along with some other African and Asian countries constitutes the scam centers of the world. I usually get a lot of scam messages through my inbox from these countries on a regular basis.