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#404103 by tallwoodencat Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:43 pm
For anonymity's sake I'll just say a close relative of mine has told me she is planning to go to Nigeria to meet her "friend". Apparently she has been chatting to him daily (WhatsApp/Facetime I think) for over 6 months and is now going to include a visit in her upcoming trip to the UK.

This guy tried to add me on Facebook recently - I looked at his profile and thought "scammer" then saw this relative was a mutual friend.

I got really upset when she told me she was going and then she got all defensive insisting they're "just friends" and she's "not stupid" and "if he's a scammer why hasn't he asked for anything after all this time".

I'm wondering why else a 28 year old Nigerian man would be "friends" with a 65+ Australian woman of course.

I used a fake FB profile to add him as a friend and my relative is all over it with comments about how much she loves him so obviously the platonic nature of their "relationship" is a lie. I wouldn't be surprised if she's lying about not giving him money also but have no way of knowing.

The thing is, it all screams romance scam but the only examples of this I can find are scammers using fake identities, US military etc. This seems to be the guy's real identity, his FB account is 5 years old and full of photos of family etc. I can't find anything in reverse image searches, the only thing his name brings up is his other social media accounts.

Here's his socials:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/innocentemeka.nwankwo
Insta: https://instagram.com/Iamhemmynem007
Twitter: https://instagram.com/Iamhemmynem007
WhatsApp: 08134749728

Is it at all possible I'm overreacting and this is just super weird but legit?

Thanks!
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#404105 by AlanJones Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:55 pm
Hi tallwoodencat,

There is no doubt in my mind that he has no interest in your relative (except her money). As you say:

tallwoodencat wrote:"I'm wondering why else a 28 year old Nigerian man would be "friends" with a 65+ Australian woman of course.


they wouldn't, especially when they have never even met and have conducted their "relationship" entirely online.

tallwoodencat wrote:"if he's a scammer why hasn't he asked for anything after all this time".


Romance scammers will spend many months grooming their victims, making them reliant on them, telling them to ignore what friends and relatives tell them as they are just jealous and trying to destroy their happiness.

tallwoodencat wrote:The thing is, it all screams romance scam but the only examples of this I can find are scammers using fake identities, US military etc.


It's not as common as the types of scam you describe, but some scammers will do it and pretty much just beg their victims for cash. Money to buy nice things, money for some sort of emergency etc.The victim doesn't see it as a scam because they are voluntarily helping out the person they love.

tallwoodencat wrote:planning to go to Nigeria to meet her "friend"


To put it bluntly, your relative is mad to even be considering going to a country like Nigeria to meet some random person she has only ever met online. At best, she will end up losing all her money, at worst, kidnapped or even killed.

Please do not tell scammers that they are listed here - it will take them seconds to change their fake details and their new details will not be listed for any future victims to find.
#404106 by tallwoodencat Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:15 pm
Thanks Alan, you basically confirm all I'm thinking. Any advice on how to get her out of this? I haven't said anything yet (I reacted very badly when she first told me, with screaming and crying which just made her defensive and angry) as I'm afraid of making things worse.

I'm so upset over it and I just don't know what to do or how to make her see. I never thought she would be so vulnerable.
#404107 by AlanJones Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:33 pm
It's going to be very difficult to convince her that he is not for real - as I said, he has been grooming her for months convincing her that their love is real and that relatives will try to destroy their relationship.You will probably need to talk to other family relatives and see if they can help, or if she is a churchgoer to the minister. But make sure that you stick to the facts (people don't fall in love online, she's risking her life going to Nigeria to meet him, etc) rather than emotions.

Here's a couple of links that may help you highlight to her how much of a risk she is putting herself by travelling there:

This is a Australian woman who travelled to South Africa under similar circumstances - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-04/ ... ad/4551050 - different country, but the same story.

This is a article that highlights how rampant kidnappings and killings are in Nigeria - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... rs-nigeria

There is of course another possibility, that he is not after her money, but hopes to get a visa to Australia through a sham marriage to her.

Please do not tell scammers that they are listed here - it will take them seconds to change their fake details and their new details will not be listed for any future victims to find.

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