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For the youth of the West African nation of Ghana, a country on the margins of the global economy, the growth of the Internet in the 1990s was full of promise — the promise of sharing in the prosperity of the information age, and of forging meaningful connections with the rest of the world, politically, economically, and socially.
But when Internet connectivity finally arrived after the turn of the 21st century, many of these optimistic youth struggled to form connections with the foreigners they encountered online.
Many of those being targeted are senior citizens longing to get back in the dating pool."I got lonely and I spent a lot of time on the computer playing games, and I just happened to go to the date site," Janet Cook told us.
When Janet Cook went looking for love online, 17 years after losing her husband, she found someone on the very first day."I liked him you know because he said sweet things and he was very charming and had a kind of a gentle demeanor about him," Cook said.
A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.
Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victims' money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers or by getting the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.
His charm and confidence have won him many friends.least to those that have not seen his other side!
There is usually the promise that the fictitious character will one day join the victim in the victim's country.
The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money.
We've all heard of on-line dating scams that try to get you to send money to someone in Ghana or Nigeria.
But now, the number of people falling for those scams is growing at an alarming number.