At Fidelity Check Online we hear of hundreds of people who are the victims of various Internet Romance Scams. Today we are highlighting a typical scam used by West African fraudsters and the potential dangers associated with it.
The target received a email message from somebody claiming to be a girl living in Florida, very soon (a matter of days) she was telling the target she was in love with him and that she had no family. A few days later the target received a message from her saying she had been visiting a friend in West Africa and had got involved in a car accident on the way to the airport.
She said her friend had died in the accident, but she survived and was in hospital but was having trouble contacting her doctor to arrange her discharge. She requested the target to contact the doctor by email and assist with the situation.
The target contacted the doctor on the email address she gave him. The doctor told the target he needed $700 set to him to pay for the hospital bills before she could be discharged.
When the target re- contacted the girl and told her he thinks it is a scam she reassured him it is not and the whole thing is genuine and she would do anything for him if can help her get back to the USA.
Realizing the whole thing was a scam, the target tried to block further emails, but the scammer still managed to get some through and when they failed to get any money from him they sent a Trojan virus which disabled the targets computer.
This is a typical example of a romance internet scam primarily run by West Africans. They send out thousands of these types of messages in the hope that somebody takes the bait, is sympathetic and sends them money, if they do, their name is put on a database by the scammers of good potential targets and from time to time somebody will use the information to contact you and try and scam you.
The scammers use the same background story and use the personal details of a real person stolen from a previous victim. In this case the target did well not parting with any money and discovering the scam but he engaged with the scammer for too long.
This extended engagement might well cause frustration, enough for a scammer to send you an email containing a Trojan virus, which infects a targets computer when opened.
In these cases the best practice is to identify the scam at an early stage and not get involved in email exchanges, the scammers then just move onto their next victim and you do not bring yourself to notice.
A quick check with FidelityCheckOnline.com will let potential victims know if another suspicious member has been contacted by the scammer and they are using the same false details to try and obtain money again.