5 Tips to Spot a Nigerian Dating Scammer

Are you chatting to a genuine online dater or a Nigerian scammer? Become an online dating investigator and use these 5 Tips to spot a Nigerian dating scammer.

Before you start playing hot and frisky or declaring love to someone from an online dating site do a little research to find out if they are a Nigerian dating scammer.

First of all make sure you understand what the 419 internet dating scam is and how it works.

Remember these scammers are everywhere, not just in major online dating sites but also on forums and in chatrooms about every topic there is.

Even very small niche dating websites can occasionally let one slip through the net depending on how experienced the scammer is.

Now let’s start investigating this too good to be true, dying to get married to you person.

1. Trace the Dating Profile Photo

Is the dating profile photo just too good to be true, does it look like a model? If so it probably is.

The photo I have used on this post is one a Nigerian scammer stole from a model agency website and was using on online dating profiles.

However more sophisticated Nigerian scammers are now using very ordinary holiday snaps they find around the internet.

So either copy the images from their profile if the website hasn’t blocked the copy feature or ask the person to email you their photo’s .. now go to TinEye.com and upload the photo’s.

Tineye is a reverse image search engine and will find the image online even if it has been altered.

This will tell you where the original photo was uploaded, eg a model agency website or someones photo album.

Romancescam also has a photo database of known scammers. Just go to upload the photo(s) and it will compare them to the ones in their database.

2. Check Email Adresses

The Nigerian scammers favourite email and chat provider by far is Yahoo, I would say that over 90% of the scam profiles I reject from my dating site are using yahoo email addresses.

Look out for addresses with 4u, 4luv, 4life, 4love, 4ever at the end .. eg , it’s no guarantee but does ring alarm bells.

3. Track the IP Address

An IP address will give you the location of the web server they are using, if it goes back to Nigeria or Senegal for example then you might want to rethink your budding relationship.

IP addresses can be routed through certain websites so you would see a UK or US ip address but you can track back to the original.

This excellent blog post will take you step by step through of an email sender in GMail, Yahoo and Outlook.

Once you find the ip address just go to a free ip locator website and paste it in the search box.

This then lists the country, region and city of the server the sender is using .. clever isn’t it.

4. Search Profile Information

If the person you are chatting to has a well written profile, with a good standard of English grammar then copy and paste a couple of phrases and do a google search.

I’ve just tried it with one of todays scammers profiles on my dating site and the phrases originate on a US blogs about me page.

5. Ask to Chat on Webcam

Be persistent about this. These scammers will send you up to 30 photo’s of ‘themselves’ (they are often all photos of the same model taken from an agency website) but a webcam will show you who you are talking to.

Of course they won’t have a webcam, even if you send them money to buy one they will reel off excuse after excuse as to why it won’t work but that is what you want.

The more they refuse to show themselves the more suspicious you will get and the aim here is to protect you from these people.

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Online Dating Safety, Online Dating Scams

76 Responses to “5 Tips to Spot a Nigerian Dating Scammer”

  1. Sally Says:

    Just so you all know …. if you check an ip address and it comes up as Sunnydale California, this is where Yahoo and we all know Yahoo is a scammers best friend … so don’t be fooled and trace the original ip address from the email full header.

  2. Unknown Chairman Says:

    I think a person who thinks looking for love over the internet must be scammed in order to find love.

    If you are looking for love, then look outside your home, in ur school, in a hospital, mortuary or anywhere. Why look on the internet anywayz.

    The internet, is a business place, so anyone trying to look for love there, is looking to being a client, therefore must be scammed if not sharp enough.

    Chairman says so!!!

  3. Sally Says:

    Hi Chairman

    Well it’s an intersting comment but not one I can agree with. I know many people who have met in online dating sites or social networking sites and been happily married for years now.

    Scammers are everywhere not just on the internet. The internet gives them the ability to create an alias in 5 minutes but that can be done offline as well.

    Also don’t agree the net is a business place, I stay in touch with friends all over the world through the net.

  4. Rosalyn Says:

    This person makes me so angry, I was so lonely and being disabled find it difficult to get out and mix. I didn’t go on to the dating sites to be scammed and firmly believed I would find the love of my life on there.
    I was constantly bombarded with scammers but just as I was about to give up hope in the space of a week I found my now best friend and the love or my life. I met him a lot quicker than I would recommend to anyone because his mate died and as I knew how he felt I up and went to his side to support him. It was as though we had known each other all out lives, no awkward silences.
    I am so grateful to this site for helping me to discover the scammers, it has taught me so much. I think anyone who joins a dating site should have this website address given to them.
    Thanks Sally for everything.

    Rosalyn x

  5. Sally Says:

    Congratulations on finding your Mr Right Rosalyn and thank you for the kind words about this blog. I hope your relationship goes well and it brings you a lot of joy in this life.

    See Chairman, internet dating can work, you just need the right tools to avoid the scammers.

  6. Paris from Frank (1 comments.) Says:

    so don’t be fooled and trace the original ip address from the email full header. this kind of acction can be debastaited.

  7. always single and dating (1 comments.) Says:

    More ways to spot Nigerian (or African) spammers.

    1. home cities are listed alot in NY or LA
    2. discrepancies in grammar and capitalization errors. I have noticed these guys capitalize words in the middle of sentences for no reasons. The often use commas to end sentences where we would use periods.
    3. Here’s a biggie. They talk about trust, God, love, honesty alot. They’re looking for a type or person to scam and of course people who are religious and have been hurt are the easiest to scam.
    NEVER give out personal information when in doubt.

    When in doubt, there is no doubt!

  8. Lucas from teach yourself spanish (1 comments.) Says:

    I watched something about this on dateline with Chris Hansen. He was showing a lot people in the U.S being used as intermediary shippers of merchandise that wouldn’t ship to the buyers own country, and all of the people doing the shipping were supposedly in some sort of e-relationship with the people they were shipping to. It’s shameful that someone would use others loneliness and pain as a tool for manipulation, when will we learn…

  9. Mike Says:

    you guys are quite right,its so dissapointing,but some fellas do these things

  10. matthew from uk business franchises (1 comments.) Says:

    A few missing tips! I cannot think of a single scam email I have received from Nigeria that has not had 1. Terrible grammar and 2. Reference to god is some way. “May god be with you” “You are blessed from heaven” “May you find happiness in your love of god and all you do” etc etc.

    OK so reading the above comments I see that these have been mentioned.

    Another thing to remember is that anyone can fall for these people. A professor at a large USA university got scammed for several hundred thousand last year and closer to home, my father in law got scammed for 60k a few years ago and he is a perfectly intelligent fellow.
    matthew@uk business franchises´s last blog ..Norbell LimitedMy ComLuv Profile

  11. Tony (1 comments.) Says:


    I saw that episode too. It is really amazing how cold these people are. They do not discriminate any ethnicity, gender, or age. If they can get you to fall for it, they’ll try to drain you. All you can do is be aware and use the old saying, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”.

  12. Janet Says:

    I don’t like that scammers are identified as Nigerians. Not everyone in Nigeria is a scammer and there are scammers all over the world. This is a very prejudist remark which then causes racism. I think black people have experience more than enough of that. I met my husband on skype and he is a Nigerian and I’m Canadian. He wasn’t a scammer and I was educated enough to tell a scammer from a good person. This business of saying scamming and Nigerian in the same sentence has caused many problems. There are plenty of people in Nigeria that are good, honest, educated and wonderful people. Yet, people are now painting everyone with the same brush in Nigeria. Since I married my husband, my sisters, niece and mother don’t talk to me anymore because he is a Nigerian and Nigerians are scammers. Many of my friends believe the same thing. This has to stop. How would all Canadians and Americans like to be called scammers because we have plenty of scamming going on in those countries? It makes me sick that people look at my husband and think he is scamming me. He’s and educated petroleum engineer and comes from a great, highly regarded family. He is judged immediately because of his country of origin. He’s innocent and so are most other people that live in Nigeria. Please change this title by removing blame from an entire country and place it where it belongs.

  13. Sally Says:

    Hi Janet

    I accept what you are saying fully and have said many times that not all Nigerians are scammers but Nigeria has a serious problem with the 419 scam and until efforts are made to bring it under control I will not change the title because people must be warned.

    It is the same as Russian brides, which are a similar problem. Is Russia to blame or are all Russians bad .. of course not but the problem exists so must be identified to save victims.

    My husband is from a North African country and we too are looked at with the “married her for a visa” look and yes it is hurtful but I have to accept that so many men from his country do marry Europeans simply for a visa and then divorce them as soon as they get indefinate leave to remain. When his country makes moves to stop this practice then I will anticipate the looks to change and not until.

  14. Janet Says:

    The government in Canada is not doing much about the scamming going on in my country. If this is not racism, then why are there not sites that are called ’5 tips to spot a Canadian/American Dating Scammer?’ I’m a Canadian and the scamming going on in my country is pathetic. Crap that is sold on TV, radio and other media,work at home and make a fortune scams and dating in my own home town was far more frightening than flying to Nigeria alone. 419 is an Advance Fee Fraud and the government has brought in EFCC – Economic and Financial Crime Commission and it has stopped. It has nothing to do with dating and is the letters most of us received saying we are the inheritors of millions of dollars and that we need to send money in order to get access to it. Rarely are those letters sent out now and everyone knows about it anyways.

  15. pm Says:


    Leave the website exactly the same because I have mentioned to you before, all the ones (Nigerians) I met are Crooked. So if the shoe fits…..

  16. Sally Says:

    Hi Janet

    Racism? It is so sad when people pull that card out of the hat as soon as they feel in the least offended, particulalry given the real racism which is rife in the world. If my comments were racism, given that black Africans are a race, I would also explain how to spot a South African scammer or how to spot an Angolan scammer. The reason I do not have such posts is because the problem of this particular type of dating scams is centred around one geographic location … Nigeria.

    Whilst I admire your desire to defend your husband’s country I would suggest you read some of the comments from dating scam victims on this blog before making inaccurate sweeping statements suggesting 419 scams are nothing to do with dating and have all but ceased. They are in fact an integral part of many dating scams, as comments here can clearly show. The request for a sum of money which will be paid back with a massive profit (in order to set up their future life together is the usual explanation), once the inheritence/boxes/business deal/mining deal/whatever comes through is quite common in dating scams. This is the very essence of a 419 scam.

    I agree that our governments should do much more to identify and stop scams within our countries. I also write a countryside blog about British farming where I regularly blog about the food labelling scams withing Britain (where a product with zero meat in can be sold as a meat product and something from the otgher side of the world can be called British). Perhaps if I had a blog about electronic equipment or fashion I would blog about all the fake products coming from China .. or would that be racism in your book? However this blog is about dating and while certain groups of Nigerians make a business out of scamming people in the dating scene then I shall continue to blog about it.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    “Is he ADAM DESMONDS Or is he (NOT) A Scammer; Coz he is ‘pleading’ he is innocent & being ‘labelled ‘ with all the other Nigerian-Scammer’s. I Need to Know the ‘TRUTH’

  18. rebecca Says:

    i would like to know how to find out where the person is generally located that i am chatting with on yahoo messenger. is there anyway to do this?

  19. Sally Says:

    Hi Rebecca

    I don’t use Yahoo but as far as I can find out he IP you would get during chat is Yahoo’s own IP address but if you send a file or use webcam then you can get the person’s real IP.

    Send them a large file … just get a funny pic off the net and make the picture quite large so it takes time to send. Tell them you saw something really funny on the net today .. wait I’ll send it to you …

    then while it is sending the file go to your command prompt – Start > Run > type in cmd and enter …. or Start >Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt

    in the command screen type

    netstat –n

    then enter key

    look for Active Connections

    You would then need to understand what the different ports do but if you only have Yahoo open then simply copy all the IP addresses you see and check them out … do any go to suspect countries?

    If you don’t understand my instructions simply google netstat -n and you should find better instructions.

  20. Sally Says:

    It’s impossible to say if Adam Desmonds is a scammer or not without any information about him.

    I would certainly be asking myself why he has a plural surname!!!

    Of course all innocent people will say they are not a scammer but all scammers will say the same.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Author of the damn article is very stupid… are you tell us it only Nigerians? Sick puppy!

  22. Sally Says:

    Author of the damn comment is very stupid … the post deals with Nigerian scammers, would you like me to deal with your country and write an article about scam online trade deals out of China? Sick puppy, get a hobby.

  23. jenny from puppy problems (1 comments.) Says:

    Interesting article. Thanks for the tips. Could do without the racism in the comments though.
    jenny@puppy problems´s last blog ..Puppy Training TipsMy ComLuv Profile

  24. Angel Says:


    I just got scammed recently and i’m really heartbroken :(

    barely a few days after we met online, he confessed that he loves me, and i said i love too. i thought he could be the one, though i feel a bit unsure, i do read about online dating scammers but i still let my feelings flow. a lot of things about him are very vague. he called me ‘honey’ and ‘baby’ and even addressed me as his wifey. i felt so happy and i thought this guy is really in love with me too.

    he’s good looking and romantic. he said all the nicest things to me and wrote me poems almost everyday. we even talk on the phone everyday day, night and day. he was supposed to come to Singapore but he has to do some business in Egypt. and because of some issues, he has to fly to Nigeria. and then something come up. the minister was asking for money and he has not enough of it since he has paid for his products etc. he called his dad and his friend and they gave him some, but its still not enough to cover the costs. he’s shortage of 6K. and he’s asking me to pleasseee help him. he will pay me back once he comes to Singapore. i dont feel good about sending him my hard earned money, so i create a lot of stories that the bank doesnt allow it etc. and now … i’m just heartbroken. i know its only been 1 month that i got to know him, but the connection that we had was amazingly unbelievable.

    thats my story now. seems foolish of me to fall in love with him so fast, even though i know about online dating scammers, but i’m lucky i didnt send him my money. sometimes i just wonder what if, he was telling the truth? that he was really in trouble?

    i havent heard from him for 2 days now. and i’m crying myself of heartbroken.

  25. Sally Says:

    Hi Angel

    Sorry to take so long to post your comment, I was unwell last week so hadn’t been online.

    Your story is exactly the same as so many I hear and that is why these scams work. Of course you will quickly have feelings for him, he tells you everything you want to hear, have been longing to hear for a long time and he offers you the love and emotional security you desire … it’s amazing what a few nice words can do to a woman. They also make plans with you and include you in their current wife, so they talk about you being their wife or the mother of their child and talk as if you are already together in your future life …. this is all designed to make you trust them and feel responsible for them.

    The “what if” is perfectly natural, it’s just your heart and mind still wanting that perfect man who loves you so much. He is a scammer, we know that from the story he is telling so please resist the temptation to contact him just to hear those nice words again … you think you will not but it’s amazing how many women get sucked back in to the scam.

  26. Mark from Slimming Tea (1 comments.) Says:

    The smartest thing is to never give anyone any money if you’re into online dating. Stay local and meet up in person at a public area. Dating sites do work if used correctly.