Internet dating nigerian scams
You want to meet them in person, and the catfish says they are excited to meet you, too.
Only then something goes wrong: the catfish is “stuck” in another country and needs some emergency cash, or faces an unforeseen, expensive “medical condition”; or finds some other excuse to ask for money.
While some catfishers may just be playing a prank, many are far more nefarious scammers. The US Federal Trade Commission reported that in 2018, romantic scams cost Americans 3 million dollars.
The scam generally goes like this: you meet someone on a dating site or app, the person seems amazing, and they progress your relationship quickly.
Also, see if anyone has tagged them in photos: if they have friends who uploaded photos featuring them, that’s a better sign they’re actually a real person.
A “Nigerian prince” contacts you: he has a huge inheritance waiting for him in a bank.
If the person seems to be pushing the relationship forward unusually fast, it’s time to pump the breaks.
Keep an eye out for things like sharing very personal details quite quickly (especially about problems that might garner your sympathy) or professing their feelings very early.
If the account is brand new, it could be a sign that someone created the account just for a fake persona.
It’s a huge red flag if there are only a few photos, all of which look professional (they might be stolen from a model or somewhere else on the net).