Some scammers claim to be North American, European or Australian citizens working in an African nation such as Ghana, Nigeria or based in Lagos.

If the victim agrees they will receive money orders that have been bought for a small fee, such as $20, and doctored to read hundreds or thousands of dollars.

The victim will cash this order and send the money through an irreversible process such as wiring with Western Union as instructed by the scammer.

You will then be requested to send a large amount of money for treatment and promises that you will be paid back ASAP.

It's a scam, don't send a cent, cease contact and report the scammer.

The money extracted from victims in North America, Europe and Australia translates to huge fortunes for the scammers who are willing to put weeks or months of work into getting a good payout. Many scammers are well educated and all are heartless so read on for common African online dating scams and protect yourself. You might be interacting with a man, say, "William Jones" from USA/ UK/ Australia/ Canada or some other Western country.

After some time, "William" has to travel to Nigeria or Ghana for some reason e.g.

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!

" 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.

This is an extreme case of online dating scamming but should serve as a wake up call to all online daters; do you really know who is on the other end of that email or phone?