Even when it’s not Valentine’s Day, people are still always looking for love. With the rise in ways to meet new people online, Ghana romance scams have also intensified.
The amount of online scams has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2018, Americans lost $143 million to online scams that involved a fraudulent misrepresentation of affection. The number increased in 2019, where victims lost more than $201 million because of their fake online love. In 2020, that number rose to $304 million.
What Are Dating Scams?
Dating scams are fraudulent schemes where someone pretends to have a romantic interest and establishes a good relationship with their targeted person, then attempts to get sensitive information or money under false pretenses.
Ghana romance scams often start when someone creates a profile on a social networking or dating website. Then, the scammer will try to get close to their victim and gain their trust by professing love. Soon after that, they will start to request money from their victims. Typically, scammers will say they have encountered an emergency, and they need funds immediately. It is also common for scammers to request money so they can buy airfare to meet their target.
In some cases, scammers request sensitive photos or personal information that can be used to extort more money from the victim and blackmail them in the future.
Scammers can work alone, but it is also usual for them to be part of an organization with legitimate structures just like any other business. Just like other workers, they are paid by the hour, and they follow scripts when communicating with potential victims. The scammers also talk to multiple victims simultaneously over weeks, months, and even years. This bond will enable them to maximize the likelihood of extorting money from their victim.
Effects of Dating Scams
More often than not, it’s not just the money that hurts the victims of Ghana romance scams. Usually, the victims have also formed a strong emotional connection with the scammer because they believe that they could be someone they can live with for the rest of their life. This makes the scam even more painful for the victims.
Dating scams aim to swindle money from vulnerable people that are looking for love. These people introduce themselves as someone who is trying to build a connection and find love. These scammers find widowed, single, middle-aged, and older people that are in a vulnerable situation. Then, they start preying on their hopes to find someone special online.
As with other scammers, people who work for Ghana romance scams create very elaborate stories to make their victims believe they are real. Also, they often use attractive photos that were stolen from other websites. It is also common for them to claim that they have the same interests as the victim. Some scammers even claim that they are from the same place as their victim, but they are just overseas for work or other obligations.
Warning Signs of Ghana Romance Scams
If your new online love interest seems too good to be true, there’s a chance, possibly a good chance, they may be an online scammer. Although it’s not impossible to find love online, you need to be acquainted with the warning signs of dating scams to protect yourself.
If your new love interest’s photos look like a model from a magazine instead of a candid snapshot, they probably got the photo from another person. A scammer will also rush you to leave the dating platform and communication through messaging or email instead. Then, they will lavish you with undivided attention and promise to meet you in person someday but will always come up with an excuse when the time comes in order to not meet.
When you’re talking to someone you’ve never met online, never reveal too much information since they may exploit details like your last name or where you work.
How to Get Your Money Back from Ghana Romance Scams
If you fell victim to dating scams, there is still a chance for you to get your money back. If the scammer made a transfer from your bank account that was unauthorized, you need to contact your bank as soon as possible and ask them to reverse the transaction so you can get your money back. If you sent a wire transfer through MoneyGram, Western Union, or your bank, contact them immediately and inform them about the fraudulent transfer.
If you fell victim to Ghana romance scams and gave away your personal information, create new and strong passwords for all your accounts. If the scammer already has access to your phone or computer, update your security software and run a scan to further protect your data.
Avoiding Dating Scams Is Possible
Love truly hurts, especially if you were the victim of Ghana romance scams. Not only will you feel emotional pain, but your wallet will also suffer. Scammers are now taking advantage of the pandemic, as people’s ability to meet new people in person is limited. So perhaps the best way to steer clear of scammers is to never send someone money, even if they send you funds first.