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.