South african internet dating scams
In addition to losing your money to someone who had no intention of ever visiting you, you may also have unknowingly taken part in a money laundering scheme by cashing phony checks and sending the money overseas and by shipping stolen merchandise (the forwarded package).
In another recently reported dating extortion scam, victims usually met someone on an online dating site and then were asked to move the conversation to a particular social networking site, where the talk often turned intimate.
It grew to involve a number federal agencies in the US, Canadian authorities and Interpol, and, on the South African side, the Hawks, SAPS, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
The alleged South African leg of the syndicate was raided by the Hawks in May last year, as part of a larger crack down on the group that included arrests in Canada and three US states.
The pictures you were sent were most likely phony lifted from other websites.
Before forwarding the complaints to the appropriate agencies, IC3 collates and analyzes the data—looking for common threads that could link complaints together and help identify the culprits. Here are some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of an online dating scam.The woman became suspicious after she received a package in the mail from someone she met online with the request that she reship it to Pretoria.After investigating, US agents discovered the package had been bought using stolen personal identity information and fraudulent credit card information of US citizens.Another two suspects were extradited earlier this year.In total, the 20 accused from Nigeria, South Africa and the US face nine counts of fraud, including mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, identity theft, theft of US government funds and money laundering.