I've been researching today to try to find a way to respond to the friends and family of the lady who is now in Ghana with the scammers. It is very hard for those who have not experienced being caught up in a romance scam to understand that the scammers exert a kind of mind control or psychological manipulation over the victims to get them to do what they ordinarily would never do. Victims caught in this web of deceit will find themselves doing anything from simply giving out personal information like phone numbers and addresses, to sending small or large sums of money, and on into illegal activities such as cashing fake checks or reshipping packages. Some even end up so enchanted (if that is the word for it) that they will get on a plane and fly to Nigeria or Ghana to be with this person. At this point often the scammer has confessed to being a scammer, but has truly fallen in love with the victim and has been changed into a good person. Then it normally becomes a green card scam so that the couple will marry and the scammer now can move out of their country into a much wealthier country, IF they can get the visa approved.
But how does this all work? How in the world do these scammers get control of us in the first place? Each of us knows we are much smarter than that...right? You'd have to be stupid or desperate to fall for some scam like that....right? WRONG!!! Romance scam victims come from all walks of life, all educational groups, and all financial groups. Doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, moms, dads, rich, poor alike have been lured by love into the darkness of this mind control.
I don't claim to know how mind control works. But we are all effected by it every day of our lives through the media, commercials, tv shows, movies, etc. Romance scams start out very simply with the first contact and moving into a quick intimacy which leads the victim into believing they have found the true love of their lives. When friends and relatives begin to see the truth and try to warn the victim, the scammer convinces the victim to pull away and lie and do other things the victim would not normally do. But the victim, by that time, is hooked enough to be more afraid of losing their new love than of losing friends and family. When the scammer sees this happening, they move on to the next phase of the mind control. If we can't convince our loved one they are being scammed, or something in their mind doesn't catch on at some point, the risk grows greater that they will end up in Nigeria or Ghana trying to get a fiance visa or spousal visa for the scammer.
For those of you who may be interested, I have included some of the links I found today. Maybe they will be helpful, maybe they won't. cp