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" From internet cafes all over west African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal etc scammers are zeroing in on their prey - singles looking for love online. The Nigerians call them 'maghas' which is slang for gullible white people.The scammers spend their day trolling the dating sites and chat rooms for contact emails, and then send off thousands of fraudulent letters and emails awaiting the victim's replies.Some of the sophisticated scammers send cheap presents such as flowers or candy [from stolen credit cards] to capture the hearts of lonely women. They either advise that their employer pays them with Money Orders and they can't cash them in Nigeria or are having trouble cashing them.Then they convince their soul mates to bank them into their bank account and then wire them the money via Western Union.

Regardless of the series of mishaps, the end result is the same - the cyber soul mate is asked to send money!

They also lurk in chat rooms and social networking sites as well as Christian and other religious-based dating sites.

They then spend months chatting up and luring their naive targets with online intimacy.

The Nigerian dating scams target the lonely and vulnerable.

The most common comment of victims who think they have found the love of their life is "I can't believe I was so stupid!

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