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Beentheredonethat part of the problem is these scammers create a profile on the dating website stating that they live in the USA, Canada, Australia and other countries to begin the online relationship. Then when the relationship is established and the victim is interested and falling for the scammer the dynamic changes and the scammer creates a story that "he" or "she" is leaving on a "trip" to Africa usually for business but in my friend's case was for a "vacation". This takes place before a meeting can take place.
After the communication changes to being from Africa often from Accra Ghana or Lagos Nigeria and this is when the urgencies for money begin.
The victim is (as was suggested to me) invested emotionally in the scammer and will make the money investment in their future "life partner" without question. Which often continues until either the victim runs out of money, realizes the scam on their own, or is forced to acknowledge the scam by family and friends start taking an interest. From my experience it is really difficult for the victim to admit they have been scammed.
However as more people are learning about the romance scammers it is becoming less of an embarrassment to the victim and more education of safety on the internet is being shared.
That education is really the key to combating these scammers.
That said the truth is if you are internet dating stick to someone that is in your area and is looking to meet in a short time and no feelings of love are expressed until after meeting in person. If the person you are talking to cannot meet and are making plans for a visit to another country especially Africa it is time to end it. In addition to this any request for money no matter how small is never to be sent to someone you do not know personally...no exception.
Stop communication immediately if money or travel is suggested before meeting in person.
I also had Tony Amadin contact me, but he first did via Match.com. He cancelled his profile, username Loyal_1517, and has communicated with me through email. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I already had my suspicions towards online dating, but when he told me his story (similar to Marie25's) he was born in the US, moved to West Africa to live with his aunt because his mother passed and dad couldn't care for him, and recently had to come back because his father passed away who lived in the Atlanta area, so he was back, and then had to rush off to W. Africa because his aunt had malaria. Seriously? Lol. I had a guard up the whole time waiting for something to become a huge red flag.
I got curious and Googled his name and this blog popped up. This confirmed that this very well could be a scammer. So I kept the past few conversations brief as I did not want to give out any thing too personal about myself, and waited for that special email to come up with him asking for money. Just happened, and I wanted to share with whoever else may come into contact with this low life. Did not realize stuff like this happens through online dating as I just started to try out it out. So scary that we now have to worry about people like that on serious dating sites that people pay for.
"I'm very sad I could not get the flight ticket and I don't know what to do now since I have to be back asap to sort the issues about my dad's properties and finances. I could not afford the ticket because the price has increased and I already spent so much money for my trip and stuff here .I don't know if is right to ask this but I was wondering if you can loan me some small amount of money for the ticket balance so I can get the ticket today and will payback when I return. I know this is a lot to ask from you but I really don't have anyone to loan me the money so I can payback in few days because I don't have access to my funds from here till I get back. Please I really need your help with this one life time favor because I have got so much on the line to lose if I don't get back this weekend. Thanks in advance"