How to Identify A Facebook Scammer
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
I got active on several anti-scamming groups because my cousin was a victim. She was at a very low point in her life (losing her father and then being a primary care-giver to her mother). She met a guy whose handle was "Sir Harry Cares A lot" and she fell in love. He was supposedly a widower and an engineer working in Kuala Lampoor. He took her for a large amount of money and she paid a huge price which was the loss of her house to pay debts.
I have been contacted on Facebook by scammers and so I would like to share a few hints for identifying them.
1) They often use two first names for first and last name. Sometimes the last name will be a first name but it seems that the people who are typically doing this are not familiar with anglophone names in North America
2) They may contact you without your solicitation.
3) Their profile often suggests that they are divorced or widowed. They may or may not have children.
4) They suggest that they work in a career that is science or engineering based. The thought seems to be that women may be less likely to ask questions.
5) They may have trained in one country but may be living somewhere far away and exotic like Kuala Lampoor.
6) Take the time to search out their picture on google. Click on their profile picture, right click and google search the image. Often you will find that the same image may have been used for multiple profiles and may have been previously identified as a scam. They do copy physically attractive people typically especially appealing for their targeted age groups.
7) Often the profiles are very new with very few pictures, and
only women friends. They may have interest pages that match ones that are popular with women. Recently I was solicited on Purple Clover for example.
8) Their writing may not appear grammatically correct. For a person claiming to be American, check to see how they spell words like colour, humour and such. (Being Canadian our spelling is English like in England). Americans however spell those words without the "u". Nigeria and Ghana are both former British colonies and so their usage of English may favour the British spelling.
9) IF by chance you finally speak to them on the phone, their accent does not match their story.
10) They profess their adoration and love for you very early in the relationship. Much earlier than one might expect. They groom their victims with offerings of catch phrases. Many of these conversations are scripts in internet coffee shops in Nigeria or Ghana.
11) They ask for you for money for an accident, for bail, for all sorts of incidentals. Never give money to a person you have met online but not in person. It is untraceable.
12) Any attempts to meeting the person in person fails for many reasons such as an accident, issues with passport etc.
Please share these thoughts with other people as scammers attack both men and women. They rip out the hearts and finances of their victims. If you feel you have been a victim of a scam, do contact the police to report it. Chances are that there are many other victims too.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Remember the internet is more of an anonymous form of society and it has all of the good of people in it as well as the very bad. Please keep safe.