One type of romance scam is the refugee scam.
Sexy, beautiful female 20-something year old orphan with millions in the bank trapped in a refugee camp with constant internet access that sends dozens of gorgeous pictures of herself scantly clad and you must financially assist her and her barrister/banker/minister fast before the lecherous camp men or murderous relatives get their hands on her and her bank account.
The emails are not addressed to any specific name.
With respect and humility I decided to send this proposal to you, this however is not mandatory nor will me in any manner compel you to honor against your will. Your profile pushed me to send you this mail, I am Farida Rahman, 21years old and the only daughter of my late parents Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie Rahman, My father was a highly reputable business man,a military contactor who had friends in high places.
My father died in one of the military operations by US forces to liberate Iraq of Sadamm Hussein.My Father was a civilian and we wonder till date how he would have died the way they said. But God knows the truth! My mother died when I was just 4 years old, and since then my father took me so special. Before his death on February 12, 2003, he told me that he had secured my future by depositing $18,700,000 (Eighteen million seven hundred thousand Dollars)I have in my possession the deposit document which the company gave to my late father when he deposited the funds with the finance company. I really don't know what to do. This is because I have suffered a lot of hard time here, hiding for my life.
There is still so much insecurity here,coupled with the fact that my dad was a well known person in this country.
The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life. I am in a sincere desire of your assistance in this regards. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Now permit me to ask these few questions:-
1. Can you honestly and willingly help me as a sister?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after the money is into your hand
Please, Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible.
Thank you so much,
my sincere regards.
The next email will demand your name, address, phone number and scanned copy of your ID.
The scammer figures if you are going to send your name and address, you are a potential sucker. The phone number is so he can 'flash' you. He doesn't want to call you as that will cost him minutes on his pre-paid cell phone. He will call you for just long enough for his phone number to show up on your caller ID then hang up before you answer, that way you will call him back. Incoming calls are free for him, so he almost always will say, call me. Some scammers simply refuse to talk on the phone as they are unable to fake a female voice and besides the thick accent would give them away.
The scanned ID is for him to use on another potential sucker. He will take your ID and use it himself to impersonate you to all his new potential suckers. What better way to pretend to be someone else than to use a real ID? He will also sell that scanned copy of your ID to all his scamming buddies. For decades to come, your ID will be floating around scammer-land being used to scam others.
Then comes some crappy photoshopped MS word created documents, usually with some pretty border, scribbled signatures that don't resemble the names listed, horrible spelling, terrible grammar and a big red spot called the 'red seal of truth'.
And what scam would be complete without the demand for payment by Western Union or maybe moneygram. Western Union and moneygram will not ask for ID from the receiver, so anyone anywhere can pick up your cash. Western Union and moneygram also will not tell the sender who, when, where, or how the money was picked up. Which is why scamners love both services, completely anonymous for the receiver to take your cash and disappear.
The banker or barrister always has tons of fees ready for you to pay. Each subsequent fee is more expensive and urgent than the next and each one promises to be the last but never is. There is always the hope that the victim becomes suspicious and googles at some point before taking out a huge loan they can't repay in anticipation of getting that windfall.