Letters are exchanged between the scammer and victim until the scammer feels they have groomed the victim enough to ask for money.This might be for requests for gas money or bus and airplane tickets to travel to visit the victim, medical expenses, education expenses etc.Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce.
There is usually the promise that the fictitious character will one day join the victim in the victim's country.
The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money.
Often photos of unknown African actresses will be used to lure the victim into believing they are talking to that person.
Victims may be invited to travel to the scammer's country; in some cases the victims arrive with asked-for gift money for family members or bribes for corrupt officials, and then they are beaten and robbed or murdered.
A rapidly growing technique scammers are using is to impersonate American military personnel.
Scammers prefer to use the images, names and profiles of soldiers as this usually inspires confidence, trust and admiration in their female victims.They then record their victims, play back the recorded images or videos to them and then extort money to prevent them from sending the recordings to friends, family, employers, often discovered via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc.The pro-dater differs from the other scams in method of operation; a face-to-face meeting actually does take place in the scammer's country but is devoted solely into manipulating the mark into spending as much money as possible in relatively little time, with little or nothing in return.They tell their victims that they are lonely, supporting an orphanage with their own money, needing financial assistance because they can't access their own money in a combat zone, etc.The lies are too numerous and various to list them all.Upon finding victims, scammers lure them to more private means of communication, (such as providing an e-mail address) to allow for fraud to occur.