" From internet cafes all over west African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal etc scammers are zeroing in on their prey - singles looking for love online. The Nigerians call them 'maghas' which is slang for gullible white people.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.The scammers start by stealing a photo from an internet site.They prefer to use images of white people capitalising on stereotypes and perceptions.The reasons for needing the money will sound plausible.
The photos are usually stolen from modeling sites with reports that 90% of them are being taken from Focus Hawaii.They ask if their soul mate can re-ship them to Nigeria.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.Often the scammers use attractive female photo profiles because lots of men will respond to an attractive woman's personal ad based on the photo alone.
They also tend to target middle-aged people looking for stable relationships.
Some of the sophisticated scammers send cheap presents such as flowers or candy [from stolen credit cards] to capture the hearts of lonely women. They either advise that their employer pays them with Money Orders and they can't cash them in Nigeria or are having trouble cashing them.