Ghana dating scam
Miskell also investigates check or money-order fraud, when the suspect sends the victim a fraudulent check or money order to cash and then has the innocent party wire him or her the money before the bank discovers the instrument was fraudulent. There are also official warnings from the State Department with regard to dating scams originating from the Ukraine.
To shed some light on the scope of the problem, several e-groups and Web communities exist for networking between victims, Desilets said. "While a victim may certainly pursue civil routes to recovery (as the criminal system is less geared to restoring the victim's lost money than the civil system), there is no doubt that it is also a criminal matter," he said, subject to fine and imprisonment.
As a practical matter, criminal prosecution is difficult, particularly when the case involves an investigation overseas.
Ghana is a West African country of about 92,000 square miles, with a population of around 23 million.
To his knowledge, he said, the exact dimensions of Internet dating fraud have not been measured with any degree of certainty.
There is, he said, a great deal of anecdotal evidence "that points to it being a widespread phenomenon." Julie Ferguson, executive director of The Merchant Risk Council, according to Desilets, is reported to have noticed a marked upturn in the number of calls she receives on Internet dating fraud, from one call every three months to "one every couple of weeks or so." Dating sites and chat rooms are one of the primary means by which suspects make contact with new victims, according to information given to Desilets by Supervisory Special Agent Dale Miskell.
Schemes out of Nigeria are notorious, he said, because the country will do nothing to cooperate with U. She also believed she had a romantic e-mail relationship with the man.
The man she dated is described as a white male, in his 50s. Police know very little about him, even though they have a name and an e-mail address.
HAMPTON FALLS -- Scam artists are tapping into the online dating market, and in two cases in Hampton Falls, have stolen thousands of dollars from women who thought they had a romantic relationship.
embassy in Accra, Ghana, reports receiving up to 15 calls a week from Americans who have lost money on relationship scams originating in Ghana....
The list does include California, Texas, Florida and New York.
Christian Desilets, a resource attorney with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), responded to an e-mail request for information.