By Bernard G. Vance, Dr.Ed and Erlina, M.Hum
Romance Scams, Part 15, Play Book, Part 2: Female Avatars (To Scam Male Victims)
Remember that all Female Avatars are only screens (using fake photos) as the scammers are mostly men and boys from Ghana, Nigeria, West Africa, Senegal, and more recently with cells in Malaysia and Indonesia. They are hiding behind those female photos and they are or were never real. The first thing a “female” scammer will try to do is to let you know that “she” is also looking for a lifelong companion and soul mate (Big Red Flag) and will start right out trying to build a relationship with you that will emotional bind you to “her”. With Female Avatars, this most likely starts out by giving you very good pictures of a young lady from ages 26 to 36 years old (Red Flag), that looks very beautiful and a little bit sexy without showing her naked body but draw you into her by the hint of sexuality. A beautify wholesome girl (the “girl next door” but a little more sensual) out of your dreams and leaving you wondering how lucky you were finding her on the internet (Red Flag).
These avatars will always state that they do not care about your age, race, and distance that you are apart (Red Flag), but only want honesty, loyalty, and a caring man who will love them and not cheat them, and really want to be your wife, to be whatever you want them to be (Red Flag). Setting the Stage (Background) “She” will set the stage, depending if “she” claims that “she” is from the North America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, a Native from Africa, South America or Asia. This will include where “she” lives, in America’s or Western Europe usually from a small town near one of the larger metropolitan Centers. If she is native, it is usually in a small home (like a Logging Cabin, Red Flag) or a house attached to a small shop (florist shop or bakery, Red Flag) in which “she” helps her mother or family. Here watch for very obvious red flags as most scammers do not know very much about the country that they say the avatar is from, and make a lot of mistakes as that the geographical locations.
In education the scammers tend to set this background: either “she” will have completed about 2 years of college or is planning to continue collage as soon as “she” can afford to (Red Flag) usually studying nursing, computer science or an acceptable non-controversial science degree that will not challenge your sensibilities as a man. They just want to make it easier for you.
Almost all of them like using these professions; self-employed, buyers of art, beads, artifacts, gold, and silver jewelry, or are working in their family’s shop. Most of them travel a lot out of the country to buy item for their business (Big Red Flag). Many claim to be Models (Red Flag), working on contract in the country that they say that they are in right now. Many of these Avatars have lost either their father or mother or both and are living alone rebuilding their life and do not have any siblings (Red Flag). This sets in your mind that here is a beautiful “lady” who could use your protection and does not have any network of family to turn to and you can be that to “her”.
For the most part they claim to never been married and have not had any children (Red Flag), yes they have had boyfriends that have cheated on them, but have no drama or baggage to bring in to your relationship. Now the play book starts:
First: “She” is hurting because “she” has just got out of a relationship in which “she” was cheated on usually by “her” best friend and “her” boyfriend (big Red Flag) and would like you to help “her” regain “her” heart and start a new love and life. This may take a little while around several weeks to develop completely for experienced scammers or in inexperienced scammers within the first 48 hours. The difference you will see is that “she” will start inserting words of endearment into the conversations, and slowly start taking possession of your heart as the “lady” that wants and needs you. These soft words of endearment are to make you feel that there is finally someone that really understands you, needs you and also wants you all at the same time.
Many Avatars from Africa who claim to be trapped in a refugee camp do to rebel actions in their home country, which took the lives of their parents, leaving them without any family or friends who can help them. Slowly “she” will begin to ask what you want in your home and the type of lifestyle that you expect, and then “she” will build a story on how “she” is looking for the same thing in “her” life (Red Flag) and will help you build that dream as soon as you are able to get together. You will find that every dream that you have for your life, “she” has a similar dream and is ready to fulfill it with you. At this time the talk will begin to lean towards how to start making the dream a reality, about this time “she” will send more racy pictures to show “her” love for you and what you will be getting when you finally get together.
Second: Now when you are about to find a way to suggest that you get together and have a face to face date, “she” urgently needs to go overseas to complete a buying trip for the next season, or family need “her” for a short time out of the country (Run, this is the start of the scam, Big Red Flag). As soon as “she” gets established overseas, then small problems will begin to pop up and “she” will need your help in fixing them, usually by sending “her” money (Red Flags waving all over the place)
These are just a few that I have seen in the past 2 years you need to be alert:
1. “Her” Money Orders or Travel Checks will not be accepted by the bank and “she” cannot complete “her” buying trip, need you to receive a letter from “her” with the Money Orders or Checks in them, cash them and wire “her” the money.
2. The hotel was holding “her” passport until the credit card or traveler’s checks were cleared.
3. Here comes the dramatic scenario; bandits stole all “her” money and credit cards, then or,
4. “She” was injured or fell ill and need cash to get treatment or surgery at the local hospital.
5. “She” was being detained at Customs as the export duty on her purchases was more than “she” planned, or “she” needed an export certificate and would like you to pay for it as “she” was very low on funds until “she” got back.
6. The bank was holding her money until it cleared the international banking system and “she” needed money for food and hotel.
7. “She” has found a real good buy of gold or silver art jewelry from a new source and would like you to invest with her to corner that market and export it for a much greater profit for both of you.
8. “She” will have money (inheritance from her father) but do to her status as a refugee, “she” cannot access it and need you as “her husband” to have it transferred out of the country, where you can access it and send her money to get her paper, visa and passport so “she” can come to you.
Each time you help “her” solve one problem, “she” will promise her undying love and devotion to you as soon as “she” gets back (Carrot / Stick or If you love me you will), another problem inserts itself in the program, and usually each new problem cost more money to fix. Now you have invested maybe thousands of dollars and are afraid to stop as you do not want to lose the money you invested with “her”. Now if your “Lady “ (Avatar) is already living overseas then the play book leans towards education, passports, transportation, travel documentation, and Embassy fees, medical fees all associated with immigrating “her” to your country. Again these start out small and escalate as the scam goes along. Pay more attention to these:
1. Dowry for the headmaster or village elder, (Big Red Flag) as dowries are not the norm in most of the world, and most dowries would have been paid to the parents of the man for taking the girl as a bride for their son. (Red Flag)
2. Cost of Passport application and Visa fees, yes there will be expenses for applying for a passport and visa, but these are usually less than 100.00 USD and do not for the most part requires an outside third party to process it and do not need a high cost.
3. Airline ticket, for the most part if you are immigrating a lady you will have to pay for her travel, always pay for the ticket yourself and have her pick it up at the airport, never through a third party.
4. Most Immigration Visas require an immigration medical exam prior to issuing a visa, this cost is set by the embassy, and not that high (as asked by the scammers) as it is a simple medical exam.
5. You will be asked to send money for “her” travel, hotel and food cost from the medical exams and interviews with the embassy personal prior to issuing “her” a visa. (Red Flag)
6. As your friendship develops “she” will ask you to upgrades to “her” telephone and computer to better keep in touch with you and need you to pay for the internet service and all monthly fees (Red Flag)
7. Unexpected medical expenses for family members or self will always be brought into play, either from an accident, bandit activity, or just a heart attack, and the hospital will need the money first before the treatment or operation can began. Many time the “doctor” or “hospital” will call or email you directly and giving you direction where to send the money (Big Red Flag)
8. Your “lady” is stopped at the airport and not allowed to board as “she” does not have enough money to meet the Basic Travel Allowance for persons going abroad (This is not required and A Very Big Red Flag)
9. “She” is being held at one of the transfer Airports for Duties and Airport Fees, and need you to send money to the duty officer by Western Union so “she” can meet her flight, (Red Flag)
10. Gifts (requested or demanded) from you to indicate your love for “her” .
Additional Information for a New Scam Growth Romance Scams from Senegal, Africa are a combination of Romance Scam and 419 Scams. One of the differences from this scam to others from like Ghanaian, Nigerian or Malaysian is so far these scammers use Avatars of only African Girls. These are very beautiful (sensual) African young ladies that are trapped in a refugee camp. These are some of the red flags that we really need to put in our mind to be alert, to be safe, and not let ourselves jump into their “dramatic” scenario.
a. These avatars are too good looking, their appearances, their body shapes are too well taken care and beautiful very nice clothes, very good makeup and hair, that is not typical of the life in a refugee camp (Big Red Flag).
b. All of the emails and profiles start out to develop the poor little, defenseless Rich Girl (another Red Flag), parents both killed in the war by rebels, (Red Flag), no siblings (Red Flag).
c. Father was a very high place person in her country, as a Cabinet Minister or Manager of a Mining or Oil Company, with investments (always Multi Million in US Dollars) placed outside of the country.
d. “She” will need your help as her husband to claim her inheritance. (Red Flag)
e. God has brought us together and “she” will be your wife as ordained by God (Red Flag)
f. “She” loves children and will be happy to have children with you.
g. Age, race or distance doesn’t matter in a real relationship (Big Red Flag).
This romance scam quickly develops into an "Advance Fee Scam" (419 Scam), in which the Avatar has been left papers and deposit certificates of money from her father that “she” needs your help in getting access as “she” cannot do so as a refugee. “She” would have the money transferred to your bank account, and then you can send her money to get her passport and immigration papers and visa, so “she” can come and live with you (Red Flag) First you will have to call the pastor (Reverend) (Red Flag) at the refugee camp to talk with her, then “she” will have you make the arrangements through the Reverend or a lawyer, to transfer the money which will include the need for you to pay an Advanced fee for the services of these middle men and several certificates of transfer. The end will be that you are out several thousands of dollars and if you gave her your banking information (Very Big Red Flag) that they requested, then they have your identity information in which they could drain your bank account and set up credit cards in your name.
Never give any of your identity or banking information to any one over the internet. We really need to underline the subject “she” here as a very strong warning that the person you are dealing with IS NOT FEMALE, but a gang of men and boys from Africa hiding behind the beautiful Avatar pretending to be that beautiful lady you are talking with.
“Do Not Feed The Scammers”
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