Internet Dating and Fraud- 419 Scamming

This week, Charlotte our Customer Care Supervisor, explains what a ‘419 scam’ is.


What is a 419 Scam?

419 represents a type of scam typically used by Nigerian scam artists. The most common tactics used for this type of scam include:

– Romance Scam- the 419er has fallen madly in love with the target but in order for them to be together, the target must send various amounts of money so that the 419er can fly over and be with them

– Will Scam- the 419er has inherited a large amount of money which they are offering to the target for a certain fee

– Disaster Scam- the 419er says that someone has been killed in a tragic accident, leaving a large sum of money behind which can be claimed by the target if the 419er can be advanced the monies necessary to process the transaction

– Chat Room Scam- the 419er meets the target online in a chat room or through a dating or instant messenger online service, befriends the target, and gets the target to advance him / her monies for various reasons

All of the above scam tactics are used daily in the internet dating world…but surely the public don’t fall for these tricks, do they???

Yes they do – in fact 8,503 cases have been reported across 152 countries in 2009 alone. This adds up to a whopping $9.3 billion (£5.7 billion).

Luckily for us we have our trusty in-house Moderation team who fight off the scammers 7 days a week to keep our members safe. Hooray!

The team consists of 4 full-timers and 7 part-timers who ensure that all scammers are removed from our sites before making contact with any members. They have been trained to pick up on everything from “scammerish” photos and sob stories, down to their grammar and jargon. We seldom see scammers pass our Moderation checks but if they do manage, we will always find them through various daily fraud checks.

Having a moderation team means that our members can browse the site and build online relationships without the added worry of being targeted by scammers. We do love a happy ending 🙂

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