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How Does a Nigerian Romance Scam Work?

How Does a Nigerian Romance Scam Work?

Most people will shy away from meeting people organically through public interactions and take to the web to meet potential love interests. Meeting people online is no longer taboo or abnormal for finding genuine love; however, the risks of encountering a romance scam are high, especially one from Nigeria. This blog will provide insight into how Nigerian romance scam work and what you can do to spot a scammer before they do any damage.

Are There White Men Involved In Nigerian Romance Scams?

Nigerian romance scams are an unfortunately common form of fraud that preys on the hearts and wallets of unsuspecting victims. Taking advantage of online dating sites and social media, scammers create fake identities and use them to build romantic relationships with their targets. They then use the relationships to manipulate their victims into sending them money.

How Does a Nigerian Romance Scam Work

That said, how are these scammers so successful with their schemes? They use images of handsome, all-American men to lure in unsuspecting victims. These scammers know that having impressive pictures is pivotal in tricking people into conversations that will inevitably lead to money requests. It’s a genius tactic that helps them specifically target victims from the United States, using social constructs around appearance and identity to their advantage.

And unfortunately, when these crimes are reported outside the U.S., the chances of justice being served are slim. With so many factors beyond American jurisdiction, it’s a waiting game that scammers are all too familiar with.

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Nigerian Romance Scams?

Anyone who is looking for an online relationship can be a target of a Nigerian romance scam. However, there is a demographic that can be more vulnerable to such a crime because of their unawareness of online fraud or unfamiliarity with technology.

In 2022 statistics revealed that adults over 65 are most likely to suffer the most financial loss from romance scams. Reports have also shown that over 50k romance scams were reported from this age group, and financial losses totaled 40k and more once you consider the number of unreported cases.

Generation X and those before are most vulnerable to online scams because they didn’t have the privilege to grow up with technology and learn about the many potential dangers that reside on the web, such as millennials have. Most victims of that age also look online for companionship and can easily be manipulated by someone who shows them attention and affection.

How To Spot a Nigerian Romance Scammer?

Nigerian romance scammers are very good at what they do; however, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to spot a scammer before they hook you. Here are some signs of a Nigerian romance scammer:

  • Eager to start a conversation and keep constant communication.
  • Overly flirtatious and complimentary.
  • Asks personal questions about your family, finances, and work.
  • Pushes to start a romantic relationship too soon.
  • Constant promises of meeting in person and starting a life together.
  • Frequent requests for money, gift cards, gifts, and financial assistance.
  • Avoid video calls.
  • Cancels trips to meet.
  • Communication only stays through texts and other social media platforms.

If you’re in online dating and you notice your new match asking for money or constantly making excuses not to meet up with you, pay attention! These serious red flags could indicate a scam or someone with ulterior motives. It’s not normal for someone to profess strong feelings for you right off the bat without actually trying to meet you in person. Stay cautious and prioritize your safety.


Nigerian romance scams are an increasingly troublesome issue, likely increasing in frequency over time. While Generation X may be particularly vulnerable to falling prey to these scams, anyone can be duped by the attractive photos of white men used by scammers. Everyone must watch and pay attention to the red flags associated with online romances.

We must all remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is; don’t be afraid to end the conversation or report it if a potential online romance begins making suspicious requests or offering too-good-to-be-true promises. Together we must work to raise awareness and combat Nigerian romance fraud. Remember: if someone you meet online seems too perfect, they probably aren’t – stay safe, and don’t hesitate to report sextortion or any suspicious activity!

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