Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Basics: 419419 An advance fee scam or fraud (419 scam) is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. The 419 comes from the Nigerian law against this type of scam. Romance ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

Romance Scam Variation: Inheritance

Another variation of the romance scam is when the scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. insists they need to marry in order to inherit millions of dollars of gold left by a father, uncle, or grandfather.

A young woman will contact a victim and tell them of their plight: not being able to remove the gold from their country as they are unable to pay the duty or marriage taxes. The woman will be unable to inherit the fortune until she gets married, the marriage is a prerequisite of the father, uncle or grandfather’s will.

The scammer convinces their victim they are sincere until they are able to build up enough of a rapport to ask for thousands of dollars to help bring the gold into the victim’s country. The scammer will offer to fly to the victim’s country to prove they are a real person so the victim will send money for the flight.

But The Scammer Never Arrives!

The victim will contact the scammer to ask what happened, and the scammer will provide an excuse such as not being able to get an exit visa, or an illness, theirs or a family member. Scammers are very adept at knowing how to “play” (manipulate) their victims – sending love poems, sex games in emails, building up a “loving relationship” with many promises of “one day we will be married”.

In the case of this scam against a MAN – when an African is impersonated, it will often be photos of unknown African actresses that will be used to lure the victim into believing they are talking to that person. Photos of porn stars are also very popular.

The variation that targets WOMEN typically uses stolen photos of a businessman or soldier.

Victims may be invited to travel to the scammer’s country; in some cases the victims arrive with asked-for gifts or money for family members or bribes for corrupt officials, only to be beaten and robbed or murdered.

Never Travel To Another Country To Meet Someone You Have Only Met Online!

Unfortunately, in today’s world, the risks are extreme. They include robbery, kidnapping, or unlawful detention (the scammers take your passport and money), human trafficking, abuse, or death. If you are foolish enough to do this be sure you contact your local Consulate in advance and then immediately on landing and provide them all of the information about your visit, just in case. Be sure friends and family know also and agree to safety check signals that are different for every day (safe words).