" From internet cafes all over west African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal etc scammers are zeroing in on their prey - singles looking for love online. The Nigerians call them 'maghas' which is slang for gullible white people.
The scammers spend their day trolling the dating sites and chat rooms for contact emails, and then send off thousands of fraudulent letters and emails awaiting the victim's replies.
Some of the sophisticated scammers send cheap presents such as flowers or candy [from stolen credit cards] to capture the hearts of lonely women. They either advise that their employer pays them with Money Orders and they can't cash them in Nigeria or are having trouble cashing them.
Then they convince their soul mates to bank them into their bank account and then wire them the money via Western Union.
A slight twist is is when the scammer pretends to live in the same country as the victim, and once a relationship has developed, then advise they are required to go to a west African country on an assignment.
The rationale is that this type of person is likely to be more desperate, gullible and financially stable.
They then post ads with fake profiles on online dating sites .
They are offering the chance of finding true love and happiness, and there are plenty of takers!
However sooner or later, the vulnerable hearts receive requests that will ultimately lead to financial losses and heartbreak.