- Author, Ruchira Sharma
- Role, TV
Wen Cecilie Fjellhøy give pesin wey dey scam her £200,000, she tok say she bin trust am completely.
Cecilie tok say e spend months dey build up her trust – and e lead her to believe say dem dey inside relationship, so she collect plenty loans to help am.
Six years later, she tok say she still dey battle wit di effects of dat traumatic event.
“E be like say my future don kind spoil wen e come to money mata,” she tok. “Also, I still dey go see therapy.”
Dis also don fuel her to support oda fraud victims through LoveSaid – one fraud centre and think tank she co-create wit Anna Rowe, anoda former romance fraud victim and activist.
Some pipo fit don hear Cecile tori and dey wonder how she fall for dat kain scam, odas fit dey ask, how I fit avoid make dis no ever happun to me?
Dis na ogbonge tips not to fall victims to scammers.
For 2023, scammers dey everywhere. Around 40 million adults na im scammers target for di first three months of dis year alone, according to Citizens Advice.
Rebecca Mason na fraud detective wey be expert for romance scams. One red flag wey dey consistent across these kinds of scams, na say di fraudsters go dey reluctant to meet you, she tok.
Analyse di messages you dey receive. Look out for inconsistencies for how dem dey tok, or if dem dey forget small-small details all di times, because e fit be say na different pipo you dey follow tok.
Romance scammers most times na organised crime gang, she explain.
No share personal details
Most times scammers no no go meet you di first time begin ask for money as dis go raise alarm bells, Elisabeth tok. “But dem go dey tok things like, ‘I no well as I dey like dis. Dis bill don too much, I no know wetin I go do,’” things wey go trigger one visceral response in victims to help.
She also warn say make pipo dey careful wit di way dem go dey share dia personal address.
For di beginning of a new relationship, pesin fit dey send you chocolates and flowers but di reality na say if di pesin na fraudster, dem fit use dat opportunity enta you and collect informate from you and threaten you wit di informate you give
To dey your own lane na key, Rebecca tok: “Romance scammers go work hard to create Romeo and Juliet-type of situation, like na us against di world.” Dem go try make you feel say your sources of support, like your family, friends, di police or di bank no good and dem dey tell you thinks like: “di bank just wan hold your money”.
Be your own detectives
Rebecca dey encourage everyone to be detective wen e come to mata of dating.
She recommend say make pipo dey do Google image reverse search of dia pictures, or use one app wey di name na Face Check ID, dis app dey pull up all di image profiles wey dey associated wit an image.
If pesin get little or no digital footprint, dey careful, she tok.
Report di crime
All experts encourage pipo to report fraud, and even report on behalf of a friend or family if dem dey concerned for dem.
“Fraud na crime wey really, really dey underreported, wit only around five to 15% of victims ever reporting,” Elisabeth tok.
Part of di reason na say plenty pipo no dey report mata of scams because of stigma, Cecilie tok.
You wan protect yourself against scams? Here na summary of di expert advice:
- Dey careful of pesin wey you dey date wey no want make una hangout.
- Analyse your messages to check if you no dey tok to more dan one pesin wey dey disguise as di same pesin.
- No share personal details like your address or workplace.
- Report any type of scam, as e go help officials protect odas