In the vast world of online dating, there’s a dark side lurking – Nigerian romance scammers. These con artists prey on vulnerable hearts, spinning tales of love, only to leave their victims devastated and penniless. But fear not, for we’re here to empower you with the knowledge and tools to fight back against these heartless scammers.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of reporting and stopping Nigerian romance scammers, offering practical tips and insights to keep yourself safe. From recognizing the red flags of a scammer’s profile to understanding their tactics and techniques, you’ll gain the upper hand in the battle against fraudsters.
By shedding light on their strategies and providing real-life examples, we’ll show you how to avoid falling victim to their cunning schemes. We’ll also share steps you can take to report scams and help law enforcement agencies crack down on these criminals.
Don’t let romance scammers continue to wreck lives. Arm yourself with knowledge, learn to recognize the signs, and reclaim control over your online dating experience. Together, we can turn the tables on Nigerian romance scammers and put an end to their reign of deception. 

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Understanding the tactics of Nigerian romance scammers

Nigerian romance scammers are skilled manipulators who know exactly how to exploit their victims’ emotions. They often create fake profiles, using stolen photos and fabricated stories to lure unsuspecting individuals into their web of deception. These scammers may pretend to be military personnel, doctors, engineers, or even wealthy businessmen to gain trust and sympathy. By understanding their tactics, you can better protect yourself from their schemes.

These scammers typically use a technique known as “catfishing,” which involves creating a fake persona and establishing an emotional connection with their victims. They will shower you with compliments, love poems, and promises of a future together. They may even go as far as making plans to meet in person, only to cancel at the last minute due to an unexpected emergency. This is when they’ll start asking for money, claiming to need financial assistance for medical bills, travel expenses, or other fabricated reasons. 

Signs of Nigerian romance scammers

Recognizing the signs of a Nigerian romance scammer is crucial in protecting yourself from falling victim to their deceit. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  1. Too good to be true: If the person you’re talking to seems too perfect, with an amazing career, lavish lifestyle, and an excessive display of affection early on, it’s a warning sign. Nigerian romance scammers often create an idealized version of themselves to lure their victims.
  2. Inconsistencies in their story: Pay attention to any inconsistencies in their personal details, such as conflicting information about their job, family, or past experiences. These scammers often struggle to maintain a consistent backstory.
  3. Asking for money: This is a clear indication of a scam. Never send money or provide financial information to someone you’ve met online, especially if you’ve never met them in person.
  4. Pressuring for personal information: If the person you’re talking to is excessively pushy or demands personal information about you and/or your family and friends, it’s a major red flag. Nigerian romance scammers often use this information to further manipulate their victims.
  5. Pushy to maintain constant communication: The scammer needs to keep the manipulation of your emotions going, and so they will keep contacting you, probably every day. They’ll wish you good morning and bid you good night. They want as little time to pass as possible to reduce the chances of you becoming suspicious or growing cold on your relationship.
  6. They shower you with complements: The flirting and complements will be a constant.  We all like to be told nice things, but be very careful if someone is praising you excessively – as the old proverb goes, they may be setting a trap for your feet.
  7.  Avoiding video calls: Somehow you can never seem to get them on a clear video call.  They make excuses for it not working, or can’t show their face.  There’s always an excuse as to why the pictures you are sent can’t be backed up by live video.  Oh, and they cancel trips to meet you in person or make up excuses why they can not make it.
Nigerian dating scammer

Steps to take if you have been scammed

If you have fallen victim to a Nigerian romance scam, it’s essential to take immediate action to minimize the damage and prevent further harm. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Do NOT send any more money.  What you sent you will not get back by sending them more.  Make excuses, but do not send another cent,
  2. Do NOT stop contact: Much advice you find online is well meaning, but that advice can actually harm the chances of unmasking and stopping the scammer.  If you suspect they are a scammer, do not let on your suspicion or else they may close up or even cut off contact with you. Continued contact will be very helpful for an investigator to “reverse socially engineer” the scammer to find out valuable information about where they are, their lifestyle, associates, phones, social media accounts, email and much much more
  3. Gather evidence: Document everything.  Get screenshots of everything. Record phone calls, emails, links, social media accounts, transaction records, and keep records of the date and time all of this happens. This evidence will be crucial when reporting the scam and cross referencing the data the investigator finds in their investigation.  If in doubt, RECORD IT and KEEP IT.
  4. Report the scam to your local authorities: Contact your local law enforcement agency and provide them with all the evidence you have gathered. They may direct you to the appropriate department or agency that handles such crimes.
  5. Contact Rexxfield and complete a Crime Report.  If cryptocurrency is involved, compete the cryptocurrency version.  Do this as soon as possible and an investigator will triage your case and then guide you on what information to continue to collect and a strategy on what can be done to stop the scammer and recover your lost funds.
  6. Report the scam to the appropriate online platforms: If you met the scammer on a dating app or website, report the incident to the platform’s customer support team. They may take necessary actions to remove the scammer’s profile and prevent them from victimizing others.
  7. Inform your bank and credit card companies: If you have provided your financial information to the scammer, contact your bank and credit card companies immediately. They can help monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity and take appropriate measures to protect your finances.

Reporting the scam to the appropriate authorities

Reporting the scam to the appropriate authorities is crucial in helping law enforcement agencies crack down on Nigerian romance scammers. Here are some organizations you can reach out to:

  1. Local law enforcement: Contact your local police department and provide them with all the evidence you have gathered. They will guide you through the reporting process and investigate the scam.
  2. Federal Trade Commission (FTC): File a complaint with the FTC through their official website or by calling their toll-free hotline. The FTC collects information on scams and shares it with law enforcement agencies across the country.
  3. Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): Report the scam to the IC3, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. They specialize in investigating and tracking internet-related crimes. (NOTE: Rexxfield can do your IC3 submission for you, to make sure we get it right).
  4. Contact Rexxfield: Rexxfield has a special relationship with the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Nigeria that enables your case to be looked at by the right people who can do something about it.

How to protect yourself from Nigerian romance scammers

Prevention is key when it comes to protecting yourself from Nigerian romance scammers. Here are some practical tips to keep in mind:

  1. Research and verify: Before getting involved with someone online, research their name, photos, and any information they provide. Use search engines and social media platforms to verify their identity.
  2. Guard your personal information: Be cautious about sharing personal information, such as your full name, address, or financial details, with someone you’ve only met online. Remember that scammers can use this information against you.
  3. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your gut instinct. Don’t ignore warning signs or dismiss your doubts. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  4. Stay on reputable dating platforms: Stick to well-known and reputable dating apps or websites. These platforms often have security measures in place to detect and remove scammers. This isn’t fool-proof, but it will reduce the percentage of people on the site who are scammers.
  5. Educate yourself: Stay informed about the latest scams and techniques used by Nigerian romance scammers. By staying educated, you’ll be better equipped to recognize potential threats.
Nigerian romance scammers

Resources for further assistance and support

If you’ve been a victim of a Nigerian romance scam or need further assistance, here are some resources that can help:

  1. Rexxfield has resources on our site to help you get educated.  If you are already a victim, we can guide you through the trauma and help you make a wise decision about whether and how to pursue a recovery of your lost money.
  2. National Consumer League’s is a resource that provides information on various scams and allows you to report scams online, including scams of the heart.
  3. The EFCC has valuable resources and information gained from millions of hours of scam fighting in Nigeria.
  4. The Federal Trade Commission has some useful upto-date information on romance scams in general.
  5. Your local victim support services: Reach out to local victim support services in your area for guidance and support. They can connect you with counsellors who specialize in helping scam victims.

Taking action to stop Nigerian romance scammers

Fighting back against Nigerian romance scammers requires collective action. Here are some ways you can make a difference:

  1. Spread awareness: Share your experiences and knowledge with friends, family, and on social media. By raising awareness, you can help others recognize the signs of a Nigerian romance scammer and avoid falling victim.
  2. Report your scam: Along with contacting Rexxfield and your law enforcement agencies, you should also contact any social media and communication companies that were used in the scam to have the accounts flagged and take down – but don’t do this until AFTER Rexxfield has completed our investigation, as we might need them.
  3. Consider contributing to PICDO (Public International Cyber Crime Disruption Organisation).  PICDO is a US-registered 501(c)3a Charity that disrupts cyber crime and scale and at source.  Rexxfield represents you and solves your case to bring you relief and justice, but PICDO can go much further – PICDO aims to burn down the entire digital infrastructure the scammer is using. This saves lives, costs the scammers time and money, stops more victims and even reduces the number of slaves used in scams.
  4. Look for other victims of the same scammer.  If you come across other victims, in chats, or message groups or anywhere online, then introduce them to Rexxfield and tell us that they are victims of the same scam.  Finding multiple victims GREATLY helps the chances of financial recovery and of stopping the scammers.

Spreading awareness about Nigerian romance scams

Don’t let romance scammers continue to wreck lives. Arm yourself with knowledge, learn to recognize the signs, and reclaim control over your online dating experience. Together, we can turn the tables on Nigerian romance scammers and put an end to their reign of deception.

Remember, prevention is key, but if you have fallen victim to a Nigerian romance scam, take immediate action to minimize the damage. Report the scam to the appropriate authorities, gather evidence, and seek support from the organizations dedicated to helping scam victims.

By working together, we can create a safer online dating environment and protect vulnerable individuals from the heartless tactics of Nigerian romance scammers. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and stay safe.

Conclusion and final thoughts

Nigerian romance scams have become a pervasive threat in the digital age, preying on vulnerability and exploiting the desire for love and connection.  The good news is that Rexxfield and the EFCC are working together to stop and recover assets lost by romance scam victims many times faster than what is usually possible through other law enforcement arms.

If you are a victim of a Nigerian romance scam, then don’t delay.  Contact Rexxfield now.

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Case Study

Initiating contact with the victim

Like in the case of Amy and Brian, the romance scammer, in most cases Nigerian, initiates contact through a dating app with their victim. He uses a fake identity, with an elaborate profile, and a fabricated photo of an attractive woman. 

Nigerian romance scam fake personaBuilding emotional connections

Over time, the scammer invests in building an emotional connection with the victim. They may share personal stories, express love and affection, and listen to the victim’s concerns and desires.

Creating a crisis or emergency

At a critical juncture in the relationship, the scammer fabricates a crisis or emergency situation, such as a medical emergency, legal trouble, or financial hardship. They claim they need urgent financial assistance to resolve the issue.

Request for Money

The scammer requests money from the victim to address the fabricated crisis. They may claim that the funds are needed for medical bills, legal fees, travel expenses to meet the victim, or other seemingly legitimate reasons. Scammers often employ manipulative tactics to pressure victims into sending money quickly. They may use guilt, fear, or threats to convince the victim that their assistance is essential.

Once a victim has sent money, the scammer may continue to invent new emergencies or financial needs, extracting more funds over time.



No Guarantees

It’s not new news that crypto currency scams are increasing at an alarming rate, and at a rate that is not being matched by increased training and funding for law enforcement.

The FBI IC3 website stats for 2021 were:

 – USD$6.9billion in victim losses to 2021

– 2,300 new complaints per day (over 840,000 in 2021)

– 550,000+ new complaints per year (5 year average)

Not all of the above were involving crypto, but these were all cyber crimes.  Let’s do some simple math to see what these statistics mean:

If each complaint takes 100hrs of investigation, then that is:

– 84 million work hours in one year

– an average working year has 2100 work hours per agent

– so to process that many cases in one year would require 40,000 full time cyber agents

– sadly there is currently less than 1500 FBI cyber agents, so each agent is expected to do the work of 26 agents.

– each agent would therefore need to process a case in less than 4 hours to keep up!

With those sort of figures, is it any wonder that there is stiff competition to get your particular case investigated?

 So with that volume of complaints, it has become painfully apparant that law enforcement must prioritise the cases they take on.

 And it’s why what Rexxfield does is so valuable, because we dramatically cut down the 100 hours of work, enabling the same number of agents to take on more cases.  Perhaps take yours.  A known quantity case that requires, say 25 hours of work compared to an unknown quantity 100 hour case…

Which would you choose?


It will likely come as a surprise, but victims of crypto romance scams perpetrated in Nigeria have a higher chance of some money recovery than in most other countries – IF you report your case to Rexxfield so we can work with the EFCC.  The reason we are so confident and successful is due to our high-trust relationship with the EFCC.  We leverage our professional skills and networks, and they leverage the access and authority they have as law enforcement, and through our public-private partnership, together we are able to get you the results that very few can. 


But, you still must have realistic expectations about your chances of recovery.

The chances of recovery for a crypto romance scam are always low, but together we can get the answers of whether it can be done and then you can decide whether to give it a shot.


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Image: Rexxfield Founder Michael Roberts with the Nigerian EFCC team.