Nigeria on line dating scam

Robin Longmore, a financial intelligence development officer for West Mercia Police said: "Through our investigations we started to believe Vicky was a victim.This kind of thing is a massive problem in Nigeria and Ghana with groups of men sitting in internet cafes all conning people over their internet dating sites.These are examples of some of the most notorious scams in the world of online dating and on the internet in general.

In reality you're talking to a criminal sitting in a cybercafé with a well-rehearsed script he's used many times before.

Ms Fowkes, a self-employed child care consultant, began sending money to Nigeria in August 2010 after her internet lover failed to visit her at Heathrow after telling her he had booked a flight.

She said: "He was due to come for a visit in August but he wasn't on the flight and then when he rang later that day he said they stopped him at customs to do with tax issues with his business.

"Two weeks later he started asking me for money." The man masquerading as John Hawkins claimed he was being fined by the government for the tax that he owed.

But West Mercia Police visited Ms Fowkes and broke the news that she was the victim of a con artist.

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