Scam is a multifaceted; multi-billion industries with no headquarter yet have several thousands of staffs across the globe with ever puzzling creativity to make victims vulnerable, unconsciously thirst and subject them for exploitation.
Scam has gone by several names known and unknown. For instance, con artist, scam artist, Nigeria 419, yahoo-yahoo among others. It is a fraudulent act to twist victim’s minds, gain their confidence in order to use it against them, exploit their emotional vulnerability and devoid them of all forms of thunderclap of realization of what is truly going on until it is already too late. They creep into people’s lives as a harmless friend but are master planners who would maximize the information they are able to gather from you against you without giving you a hint. It is arguably believed that the first wave of this criminal act came from Nigeria with popular tag 419 was carved out from the section of the Nigeria criminal code which outlaws the practice.
Scammers use anything and everything possible to achieve their goal cat-fishing with deep and elaborate research with checks and balances to feed their victim fantasy and eliminate their doubts. They work in stages using loneliness, depression, or losing a partner as tools while their personality is being tailored to fit their victim’s need. They are everywhere with overwhelming attention to offer, highly romantic, sometimes posing to be older and financially buoyant.
The next face is the real game-changer, it is known as the grooming stage where they use all the information gathered to infect their victim’s brain by exhibiting themselves as the perfect answer for their preys’ wishes and prayers. It is a calculated brainwash mechanism preceding a convincing story either of their large some of their money trapped somewhere or an inheritance that is not accessible or a situation that need to be attended to, before you can be reunited but a bit overwhelming for them which would require you to pay fees, charges or taxes to release such fund. They may also use the trust-guilt mechanism on you, asking you for your bank account details to help them make some transfer from your country to theirs using your details.
Secrecy further makes the exploitation possible as many victims don’t report the crime, not even to their friends and family in order to avoid criticism on their gullibility and sometimes shame due to their emotional involvement with a virtual friend.