Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Police take online fraud fight to Nigeria

Julia Talevski
July 28, 2009
An initiative to combat online scams is being trialled by the Queensland Police Service via its website. The portal will give fraud and scam victims the chance to report their case to Ghana police or the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

It will also provide information on fraud and scams, as well as how to protect yourself.

It will be co-launched with the Nigerian High Commission next month, says Queensland police Detective Superintendent Brian Hay. Internet fraud and scams come in many guises, preying mainly on lonely hearts and businesses that can be easily fooled into sending cash to places such as Nigeria.

According to Hay, these types of money-hungry scams derive mostly from parts of western Africa, predominantly Nigeria and Ghana.

“It will make the process far more efficient and give people instant connectivity, which is something they would have struggled with in the past,” he says.

“We would like to expand that to the rest of the countries in Africa and other places globally, so that people can go onto one spot in Australia. It’s a long-term process, which we’re looking to make far simpler and efficient.”

Hay was awarded recently for his efforts in educating the public on cyber crime and online fraud. He played an instrumental part in investigating the Nigerian advance-fee fraud scam, which had cost vulnerable Australians $36 million a year.

Hay also leads the Queensland Fraud and Corporate Crime Group, which embarked on initiatives aimed at preventing and reporting cyber crime. As part of a collaborative effort with Western Union, it developed a fraud prevention early-warning system that indicates when money is sent to high-risk countries.

“We’re doing a whole lot of new research at the moment,” Hay says.

“In the early stages, we’re having some wins. Some of those investment and inheritance scams are reducing but the big problem that we’ve got now is we’ve seen a 100 per cent increase in romance and relationship scams. It’s just gone through the roof.”

Hay says investigating new scams requires a new approach.

“We’re trying to look at what drives people, what traps them and what age groups are more susceptible,” he says. “It’s very sad when you see these victims of romance scams. It’s just amazing how much more money is still going to countries like Nigeria and it’s being driven at the moment by relationship fraud.”

The police service plans to host an identity crime symposium on the Gold Coast in October.

August 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. i was on Mate One a free website for dating, i had never tried it before and i was never very good at picking men so i thought maybe i would let them try for me. And they picked a man named Melvin Spencer who said he was on a project in Lagos Nigeria building pools for the Meridian Hotel. I was stupid and believed him-almost. I immediately started checking into the nigeria thing and found out about the terrible problem there.He told me he had a son and his wife had died 5 years ago in a car crash.He never offered the details of the crash and asked for money right off. I sent him 150.00 to “keep his internet on” so we could keep talking. i got international calling on my phone . I did all the wrong things all the while knowing in my heart that this was a man who was lying to me, but he said all the right things and i guess i needed to here them. He told me that i would be his wife and he would need a green card. That was it!All those red flags and i waited until he asked for the green card. there were many more incidences but u get the idea. They are out there and every little $150.00 adds up if u are in a group and do this for a living all day and all you have to say is”ym love baby, i love you so much, you are mu wife baby and we will be so happy for the rest of our lives” when u here that on a daily basis, it starts to feel pretty good and then they have you, or so it seems , and then something kicks in, your better sense, and you say “no way is this guy going to get me anymore, for God sakes I can’t even see him!” So life goes on and phone calls don’t get answered and he ruined my computer and took all of my pictures for what i don’t know ,. he wiped my hard drive clean and i decrypted a few messages on how he and his friends ruined my email accounts.So I’m not done with them I am not as stupid as they thought i as, lonely maybe.but not stupid.Thank you for listening. And don’t be such a sucker!

    Comment by janine smith | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  2. I need some feedback ASAP.You can reply I was recently laid off due to the const industry in fla.It hurt cause I had worked my way into a 90k a year job.I joined speeddate and left 1 personal ad w/ Yahoo.After getting quite a multitude of responses,I chose to write back to a girl from GHANA,she had no profile,or picture,she asked if I had Yahoo messenger,then if I did we could talk better and chat with cams.She told me she saw my profile on yahoo and I was the type of man she was looking to “get to know better”.She used some biblical references in our chats,about love and trust,even though she had no insight into my spiritual preferences.In reality, I am a street smart recovered addict(28 yrs clean)God is number 1 in my life,even though there is no indication on any profiles created.I trust slowly and matters of money and the heart,am not easily fooled.I was the one that asked to see an actual real time picture of her while we chatted.She is awesome looking,she probably didnt put her pictures,just because of the idiots,nuts and married players in cyber world.After a month of getting to know each other,I asked if there was any other way we could communicate in case my company asks for my only computer back.She offered,maybe I could send her a cellphone to Ghana,I had never mentioned that I was brokeI said let me call Sprint(no way was i that stupid)Sprint said if I added international calling to my plan it was an extra 4 bucks a month and 27 cents a minute.So that is where it stands at present.she texts me(via sms)or calls me at 5 am(I dont answer when I see her it is her calling).I then go talk to her online.I ask her to turn on the cam,everything appears legit.She said the cam belongs to her friend,and they will be coming to pick it up soon.My quandry,is it possible,in Ghana,they are so poor that the cam is the scam companys shared cam,used only for their business,and has to be at the next place,or am I just a little paranoid?.I need 2 or 3 questions or steps,that would cement my trust in her.The heart and mind can be fooled easily,Is this is a possible real deal,or is it scam from the word go.I told her I dont have any money to send a phone or anything else,for that matter,that I am just “surviving” at present.Anybody know any simple questions,that wont tip her off,but can speed up the process?FYI,I am not being conceited,I really am considered goodlooking,6’4″ 230 lbs,athletic kind,romantic,not easily fooled,intelligent,I have not sought any of these women,all have responded to the profiles only.All leave emails,say that they read my profile,that what was made them want to know me.Even thoughI know bodybuilding pictures probably didnt hurt.)

    Comment by boo jones | November 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. Boo Jones post about the Ghana woman is 100% scam,Interactive video or some such thing, and the pictures are stolen from a model such as Janelle Stein.

    Comment by Mater Baiter | April 3, 2010 | Reply

  4. I met a guy on who got me when I was quite vulnerable. I was going through a divorce at the time. I want all to know about this one too so he can’t do this again. He made everything sound legit, his job, ‘income’, etc. Said alot of things that made me feel comfortable talking with him. Even when he started asking for money he made me feel at ease because he was ‘coming home next week and would pay me back’. He was very manipulative, pressured and put me through alot of stress-so much that my weight dropped and all he cared about was his money. He even made it sound like his life was in danger if he didn’t get it. His ‘sister’ just happened to be online at exactly the same time ‘to speak on his behalf’. Imagine that-didn’t have the balls so he needed his sister to do that! Anyways, his ‘name’ is Leo Morgan. E-mail Other names associated with him are Deborah Peterson, Anyanwu Kingsley, Barrister Robert Fernandez, and Milagros Webb.

    Comment by Lisa Oberdorf | December 22, 2010 | Reply

  5. /

    Comment by bruce | May 6, 2012 | Reply

  6. My story is much the same as the others on here 😦 my scammer called himself Steve Fenedez Payne i lost over £12,000 which i was foolish enough to borrow from the bank in order to help him with his taxes so he could come home to liverpool!! some of the money was paid via a barclays bank account to a Zoe Ann Poland… his alledges agent!! I am now in danger of loosing my home over this …. i have already lost my confidence and credibility.. i am such a crass idiot.

    Comment by Sue Sykes | May 16, 2012 | Reply

    • Sue I think he’s talking to me now, has he got a son who’s 12 supposedly?

      Comment by Denise Vitalini | June 5, 2012 | Reply

      • yes a son called Frank. he says his wife died in a car accident and he only has a mother in sweden! born in california, went to texas christian university. lives in liverpool. we 1st spoke on a dating site over a year ago and my god he seemed so very genuine. sent lots of pics which seemed nice now i wonder where he got them??? if i can be of any help in any way please just e mail me i would hate to see anyone get into the mess i have over this person

        Comment by Sue Sykes | June 5, 2012

  7. i have been scammed by kenneth blay he had a son who bank card had been stolen asked me to send him £2,ooo pounds and that he would give me it back when he was coming to england in august, like a fool i sent it to him then he asked me to pay his taxes to send him £1,800 pounds i says no to him but he kept calling me and giving me all the crap that he loves me and wants to marry me, he was using a fake passport and fake photo he was runing the scam in ghana so ladies be aware of this man

    Comment by mary clarke | June 25, 2012 | Reply

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