Inside the world of Ghana's internet fraudsters
Those looking for love gahna sometimes fall prey to romance scammers, who they end up owing thousands of dollars. Five years ago, an Austrian woman decided to give online dating a try. She asked that I only use her internet handle, Firefly, for reasons that will soon become clear. It had been about a year since Firefly got divorced. Firefly dating scams from ghana a lot of time on her profile, thinking she needed to be entirely honest and open if she hoped to really connect with someone.
Within 10 minutes of posting, she had a handful of virtual suitors — and one stood out. He suggested they ditch the dating site and switch to email. Her new boyfriend had a complicated backstory: He was an American soldier serving in Iraq, and he had a son living in Ghana. But she had revealed to her new online beau how much she wanted children, and soon year-old son was emailing her.
I know; red flag. So she wired a few hundred euros to Ghana. It was pretty gratifying, she says; the scms was ecstatic. But soon after, she learned that the son had had an accident at school and needed help paying hospital bills — urgently. Scarcely had the boy recovered when he was struck by cholera, which required another expensive course of treatment. She decided to do a little research online and discovered that, yes, cholera is a problem in Ghana, and yes, treating it can be expensive — except that Ghana actually has a free cholera treatment program.
But she also realized something else: There were probably a lot of people, just like her, being victimized vating dating sites, and Gjana was determined to do something about it. Dating scams from ghana day, scrolling through an online forum, she met Crom Mays not his real name from the UK. Mays is a romance scam-baiter, which means he hangs out on dating sites, posing as a naive love-seeker, with the goal of unmasking — and exhausting — confidence men and women.
Mays would post any identifying details that scammers used online — from the email addresses they created to the back stories they recycled — to make them searchable. Five years ago, he and a small team of international volunteers, including Firefly, created Scam Survivorsa hotline and information resource center for victims of online scams — mostly, as it turns out, romance scams.
Their partner has either died or they've divorced and they've just started looking at online dating. So they have no idea that these scammers are out there. A previous version of this story misstated the magnitude of the scams in the online romance industry. PRI takes a global approach to the dating scams from ghana of the dating scams from ghana. We help you understand how what happens around the world matters in Washington and in your neighborhood.
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