Report Your Own Scammers!
Scam Suspect Check List
If you use on-line dating websites, YOU WILL encounter a scammer.
People looking for love are the MOST likely to fall for a scam.
So keep these things in mind.
- You are contacted out of the blue – so far so good!
- But the email or message is strangely written for a person from the place they say they are at.
- The message is very large – one or two full paragraphs – or more, but they may send something very brief but just not what a person would say to a stranger.
- The message contains a lot of the same information as their description in their profile – after all it’s hard to come up with a good story – they will reuse elements.
- The grammar and spelling are weird.
- They are looking for someone in a VERY broad age range.
- There is a phone number, SKYPE account, or email address in the first contact message.
- They have multiple email addresses with different names, or are different from the profile name.
These are just a few of the RED FLAGS you will find. When you encounter one these folks, please share the messages and profile info to help educate others.
How can you know?
- Start with exchanging a couple of messages, and make careful note of their locations. In each of your replies, ask something about the location that you know to be true – a restaurant, or a place that locals would know. See if you get an answer. If they are a scammer, they are not there and don’t know the area, so they will ignore location questions. If this happens 2 or 3 times, alarm bells should be going off.
- At that point, inject the following question “So what part of Africa did you say you were in?” If they reply “Ghana” or any other African country – bingo – SCAMMER! You caught them.
- Ask them why they lied about their location, you will get semi-confused answers about “they were there, but had to go to Ghana to get their inheritance” or some other lame excuse.
- If you are getting real emails, look at the email “header” (sometimes called source or options). This will give you the IP address the email was sent from. Copy it and go to http://traceroute.monitis.com/ to see where in the world that IP address is located – though it is not recommended that you correspond by email – since they can do the same to you. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for Gmail sent emails.
At this point, you can turn this into a sport, if you are not too hurt – revenge on African scammers can be fun!
- You can then test them in any one of a dozen ways
- Ask them to send you a photo from their smartphone
- Ask for a scan of their driver’s license (if they asked for money, say you need it for the wire transfer or for Western Union).
- Ask for their street address, and Google Map it – you will probably get the address of the Internet Café.
Once you have solid confirmation, notify the dating website and report their profile. However, do not confront or alert them. That way they will continue to use the same emails and contact information, allowing future prospect victims to find them easily on our site and others.
To search for an email, just use our SEARCH FIELD at the right.