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You can read more about Scammers in general under the topic “Dating Safety” which is found under “Online Dating” in the website upper menu. However, for the purposes of CLM and Scammer Prison a Scammer is someone who is attempting to use fraudulent means to obtain a financial benefit from another member on the website. Usually this is done by first luring the member into communications through private emails and private chats on places like MSN, Yahoo, Skype etc where our Scammer detection system cannot interfere.
By fraudulent we mean there is some degree of lies or deceit involved. For example, if a person asks you to send $700 cash to pay her “application fees for Visa to come and visit you”, but has no intention of visiting or even applying for a visa, then she is scamming. If she says she will marry you but only if you agree that as soon as she does you will place $1,000,000 in a bank account for her she is not scamming you. She is gold digging for sure, and why anyone would wish to marry someone like her is beyond us, but she is not scamming, she’s just negotiating a financial transaction and you can simply say “no”. So scamming is not about the amount of money involved, but whether you’re being tricked into paying it.
We think it is our job to try to keep you from being deceived into giving your money away and we expend a lot of effort trying to protect you. But we do not try to protect you from yourself. If you decide you’re prepared to pay some gold digger in order to have her marry you, that’s your business, not ours.
Types of Scams
The following are the varieties of scams we’ve seen attempted against members of ChinaLoveMatch.net so far and no doubt there are more that will follow over time. Some of these have universally accepted names, most we’ve just named ourselves. If you care to add to this list please feel free to write us and send your suggestion with a description of the scammer type. If we think they are worthy we’ll add them to the website. To do so
The “Nigerian” Scam
This scam is so old that it is truly hard to imagine that anyone continues to fall for it. But they must because it keeps on being played. It seems to have attracted the name “Nigerian Scam” because it has been played from sources within that country for many, many years, but it can be attributed to persons from any country or geographical area. Basically it runs something like this:
“Hi, my name is Sam (Yanni, Lili, Chen, Dick, Fred or whatever) and even though I started out telling you I’m a beautiful Chinese woman looking for love I’m really a Nigerian (Ghanan, Benin, American, Chinese, French or whatever) man (or woman) and I want to make you fabulously wealthy for doing nothing but helping me move some big money from one place to another and then giving me half of it back. You see my Dad (Uncle, Aunt, Business Associate, Client, Customer or whatever) was a Minister in the Nigerian Government (Banker, Rich Oilman, Doctor or whatever) and for some outlandish reason found himself in possession of $20 million that does not belong to him but the person it does belong to is dead now so it’s okay if we sneak it into your bank account while no one is looking and then share it.”
If you’re not very bright or are very naïve you say “OK”, and start figuring how you’re going to spend your $10,000,000.
Eventually, after numerous messages have passed building your confidence in the reality of this clearly unreal endeavor, something happens such as “an official needs to be bribed” or “a bank account needs to be opened and there is a minimum deposit to open it” or your new found business partner must “pre-purchase a flight out of Nigeria” (or whatever) so could you please forward $1,500 (or $3,000 or whatever) “to keep the deal moving forward”.
You are supposed to be thinking that $1,500 is nothing compared to what you stand to gain, and anyway, what would be the point of someone doing all this for a mere $1,500 so why not send it. It’s a small price to pay for $10,000,000, right?
Wrong. Of course no one will pay $10,000,000 to you for merely accepting $20,000,000 and dividing it in two. Don’t be nuts. First, $1,500 is a lot of money in Nigeria – probably enough to live well on for 6 months or so. Second, you’re not alone. The same scam is being played on hundreds and maybe thousands of innocent, naïve victims at the same time. Third, once you pop in your first $1,500 you can bet there’ll be another reason for you to top that up with another $1,500, then $3,000 and on and on.
There are truly so many variations of this same scam that we could not possibly repeat them all.
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