With the proliferation of online dating websites, forums and social media channels, these scams are moving increasingly into the online space.
Online communication channels allow scammers to operate anonymously from anywhere in the world.
He said that he was working away from his camp and at the hotel where he was staying the hotel manager was holding his passport and refused to return it until he paid his next month's bill.
He was soon to be paid but asked Jessica to advance him 00 by wire transfer to help with his hotel bill.
After several months Jessica felt that she could tell Martin anything and Martin confessed his love for her.
They can be very elaborate hoaxes, sometimes taking years to develop and run by experienced criminal syndicates.Upon finding victims, scammers lure them to more private means of communication, (such as providing an e-mail address) to allow for fraud to occur.The fraud typically involves the scammer acting as if they've quickly fallen for the victim so that when they have the opportunity to ask for money, the victim at that time has become too emotionally involved, and will have deep feelings of guilt if they decline the request for money from the scammer.Martin's profile said that he was an Australian, but stationed in Ghana as an aid worker. Martin's photo showed that he was attractive, well-dressed but not too formal. Martin's interests were not very specific but of a type that fitted with Jessica's own, namely sports and other outdoor activities.Both were after a serious relationship and looking for a warm and loving partner.