They also tend to target middle-aged people looking for stable relationships.
The rationale is that this type of person is likely to be more desperate, gullible and financially stable.
They then spend months chatting up and luring their naive targets with online intimacy.
They often pretend to be foreign specialists [from the US, UK or Canada, but can be any European country]temporarily working in Nigeria or other African country.
However sooner or later, the vulnerable hearts receive requests that will ultimately lead to financial losses and heartbreak.
The scammers choose chat rooms and dating sites because the person in love offers the chance of the biggest payoffs.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.They are offering the chance of finding true love and happiness, and there are plenty of takers!Or the alternative is to say their wallet has been stolen, hotel owner holding their passport, custom officials need to be bribed, new plane tickets are needed, they have been victimized and put in jail and need money to bribe their way out, or they need money for an operation etc.The reasons for needing the money will sound plausible.They then post ads with fake profiles on online dating sites .They also lurk in chat rooms and social networking sites as well as Christian and other religious-based dating sites.They prefer to use images of white people capitalising on stereotypes and perceptions.The photos are usually of beautiful people and the quality of the photo is high.Then they convince their soul mates to bank them into their bank account and then wire them the money via Western Union.They are often told to keep some of the money for their trouble [which helps to build trust and also helps make them an accessory to the crime! After a few weeks the bank will advise the Money Orders are fraudulent and then the victim is responsible for paying the money back to the bank, and in some cases face charges of passing counterfeit instrument.