Social / Feature




Ghanaians and Internet Dating Scams


In the past several months, there has been an increase in issues posted to the Ghana forums regarding Ghanaian “friends” who were met over the internet, or who are cyber dating through internet dating websites. You can scroll through the issues for more information. Many questions and issues have to do with the sincerity or veracity of the “friend” from Ghana, who urgently needs either money or the shipment of goods to him or her here in Ghana. In the vast majority of cases, all of these poor innocents were being scammed or conned by the Ghanaian friend, whether male or female, it mattered little.

Stories, and that is really all they are, that have been posted tell of a Ghanaian who needed $400 for a new cell phone which was stolen, though you can buy a new activated cell phone here for as little as $35. Someone else needed work boots and other items sent to him, shipment of which would cost $400 from the States (truly very very expensive to ship to Ghana), yet all those items are easily obtained here in Ghana. Someone else needed $300 because her father was having eye surgery; the cost of a normal doctor visit is less than $5, surgery may run about $100-$140, if that. Someone else needed $3,500 for their mother’s funeral… funerals in Ghana are not like funerals in the USA, and are long drawn out eleborate affairs; “donations” by mourners at the end of the funeral period usually more than cover the cost of the funeral outlay. The pattern is plain: Gimme, gimme, gimme.

There are several websites that now have information about cyber-dating scams, and they are listed below.

Overseas Security Advisory Council

Blog: Studies in Romance Scamming

Delphifaq: Dating Scammer in Accra

MSNBC: Seduced into Scams

U.S. Embassy in Accra

Nigeriaworld: The new faces of internet dating

Ghanaweb: Internet Fraud II

Dr. Phil Message Boards

Mate1 Internet Dating Fraud Warning

Lookstogoodtobetrue fraud website

You can also google internet romance scams and see how many hundreds of hits you get. It is becoming a huge problem. But, here are some common sense tips that may help you sort through it:

Google their “name” and see if you get any hits. Sometimes, the scammers actually do use their real name.

If the scammer is saying that they are white, and are claiming that they are American or British citizens or Europeans who somehow got “stranded” in Ghana, don’t believe it. Their Embassy would help them in some way, shape or form.

Even if they send you a picture, it may be one that they downloaded from the internet. If you want to know what they really look like, insist that they go to a cyber café that has web cam and IM you at the same time; all the big internet cafes here in Accra have it, BusyInternet, SmartNet, etc. It is not expensive to do that, maybe like $2.

If the issue is an unpaid doctor or hospital bill, tell them you will send money only to the hospital. Go to Ghanaweb.com and check the directory/phone book for a listing, don’t believe what they tell you. You may even have a "doctor" or "hospital administrator" who will call you and tell you that money is urgently needed. Don't believe it, even here in Ghana, doctor's don't have time for that. Tell them you absolutely won’t send them any money, see how fast they drop you.

Another red flag should be poor English skills; most of these scammers only got as far as junior high school, if that.

Made up names is another thing the scammer might try. Someone who normally goes through life is Kwame is suddently Sean Michaels (or as he might spell it, Shorn Michaels).

If someone claims they're from Arizona, you can verify that. Here's a link to a good website that can provide this service. Just have their IP address, which you can find on an email using full headers, and copy and paste it to the IP locator.

IP Locator

You may have a legitimate person on the other end. It does happen, though very very rarely. And they may really want to be your friend, but the first time they ask you for something, no matter how small, just say NO. It won't take long before the person's true colors show, because they don't have time to dance with someone who doesn't want to pay. There are too many other gullible, anxious, trusting, innocent people in the world.

The bottom line is, don’t lose your heart and your head over an internet romance. Keep your credit cards in your wallet, don't send any money through Western Union, where the recipient only needs the code word to retrieve it, and an ID card. Don't mail anything to them through the post office. Once they've got the money or the goods, you're scammed. Always tread cautiously. and trust your gut instincts.
Recent Scams

Stories are coming in about requests of money because of arrest at the airport (sometimes for smuggling gold or drugs), to escape imprisonment by corrupt local officials, to pay for emergency medical expenses, and so on.The requests always come with a great sense of urgency attempting to panic you into paying without thinking.
Gay Dating Scams

Homosexuality is illegal in Ghana. This gives opportunities to unscroupulous people who are out for fast money. The fact is, very few genuine homosexuals use the gay dating sites. The majority of the people on them are either not gay and never intend to have intimacy, are 'gay for pay' or gay but looking for money or an easy way out. The worst is they blackmail or extort money, often using real or fake police. People have also been kidnapped and beaten up. A Google search will bring up scores of horror stories.

Two sites which deal with gay dating scams are:

Gay Dating Scams in Ghana

Lagos Heat
General Advice for Gay travellers

It is NOT advisable to come to Ghana just to meet someone you met online. However, if you are travelling here and wish to meet someone then read the following advice.

1. If you are travelling to Ghana never let anyone know the date you are arriving and your flight information. Do not allow them to meet you at the airport - you might find they arrive with the police to arrest you.
2. Don't let them know you are coming because of them. Tell them you are meeting friends here and will make time to see them.
3. If you bring them to your hotel or house you may find they will return with the police. The hotel may also alert the police.
4. Do not go to the guy's house. They may have their gang waiting to beat you up. It is better to meet them in a public place although there are several reports of people being kidnapped in full view of the public, including on Labadi Beach.
5. If you have intimacy, keep track of the used condoms - they can be used as evidence against you.
6. Stay away from people who live in Tema, Christian Village, West Legon, West Land, Achimota and Nima. These are places known for criminal activity.
7. Never send money. It only encourages them! Don't allow them to book your hotel, organise visas, etc. You may find you never see them or your money again.

Good Luck.


This is my idea about this issue, just mine maybe not yours.

I have been warned by my australian friends and my french friends about this issue . But i believe the good ones always more than the bad in this world, even thought the bads exist , no one can negative this truth.

I have known and have been falling in love with a nice Ghanain man , and I hope he is honest and not the liar, and i also pose to me that if he is the scammer as people think, he is also human, and people have the right to do everything they want, they expect for their life to be better than their current life , as another one. And if you are their victime of their scams ,and you let they cheat you, if your fault. I don't judge the innocent ones or trusful ones , they are victime of their kind-hearted.

I would like to send you message that don't let your heart to be hurted by a cheat in this life. And don't lose your hope that the Good always more than the Bad.

I hope when read this message, those guys will have a serious behavior for treating the honest people who are willing to bring them the happiness, the real happiness.

Please treat others the way you want to be treated.

As long as you are happy and peaceful in your heart .

I hope those guys will find the way to make their life happier throught another way. and please think that " Money can not bring to you the happiness, can not bring to youthe real Happiness if your heart is not peaceful "

" Lots of thing just Only Love can do "

Good luck to me and you all.

Sent from Trip Advisor






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