Canada dating personals single yahoo Live cam to cam sexno registration
‘Many criminals working similar scams will help each other.
It’s primarily small groups of disenfranchised young men – poverty-stricken, ill-educated – finding it virtually impossible to get regular work and make any sort of living.
‘There is no world capital of heartless scamming,’ said Mr Woodcock. Thanks to the West African diaspora it also goes on in hundreds of other locations, according to information reaching the National Fraud Reporting Centre – anywhere that the internet can be accessed routinely.
‘We work closely with colleagues in African countries to intercept tens of thousands of letters in circulation.
Often the victims are so embarrassed and ashamed that they don’t involve police.
However, Colin Woodcock, a senior investigator with SOCA – the Serious Organised Crime Agency – said: ‘This crime affects hundreds, maybe thousands of people in the UK, to the tune of up to £80million a year.
‘They frequent internet cafes, witness what others are up to and get involved.
Someone learns how to do it, teaches others and it develops into something of a franchise.
For some, being conned out of everything you ever worked for is too much to take.
‘Some people are so desperate to be loved that they will do almost anything. They are not prepared to admit that they have fallen for a fantasy.
They feel embarrassed and ashamed, they don’t want friends or family to know.
Victims typically lose from £50 to a couple of hundred to several thousand pounds, but some individuals have been taken for over £275,000.’ Mr Woodcock, who was awarded the MBE in 2009 for services to law enforcement, has devoted two years to exposing rom scams – many of which operate from Ghana and Nigeria.
He said: ‘We are seeing a great deal more romantic scamming.They typically pay subscription fees with stolen or cloned credit card details – and act quickly to inveigle their way into long-distance ‘love affairs’ over the net. Once a relationship is established, they’ll move in for the sting.