Recently I posted a photo of my mother on my social media. Although she is not ready to meet a new partner yet, she is a widow and believes she is too old to find love again in the future when she is ready to date again and put herself out there. I believe that women of all ages can find love if they want to!

But I wanted to help her to regain confidence, so I posted a few photos of her on my social media.

I chose a few photos of her where she was dressed up for a holiday party looking elegant and beautiful because I knew she would get a lot of compliments and praise which might help boost her self-esteem.

And it worked- plenty of men and women commented on how lovely she looked. In fact, there were quite a few men who were interested in getting to know her, and they seemed sincere.

But there was one in particular who was obviously a romance scammer.

I am approached almost daily by romance scammers, and honestly, it doesn’t usually bother me. I am kind of an expert at spotting fakes immediately, and usually, I simply block and delete them.

But this was different. This man was attempting to scam my mother. If you think mama bears protect their cubs fiercely, you have not seen me when I feel someone I love is in danger!

But rather than get mad, I decided to put together an article with a few tips to help women (and men) spot a romance scammer quickly. Here are some of the classic warning signs :

1. They claim to be from a different country, or are temporarily abroad for work. Also, there are many scammers who are pretending to be local- until you want to meet in person. Then, suddenly they are forced to travel abroad for work or say they are in the military. This pains me to say because I lived in Nigeria for a year and I met so many lovely, honest Nigerians, but many of the scammers do originate from Nigeria or other African countries. Of course, I believe you can meet a wonderful person from Nigeria- I was married to a Nigerian man for several years. But sadly, you need to be extra cautious when online dating.

2. They ask for money, often claiming to be in a financial crisis or needing funds for travel or medical expenses. Many times they have an elaborate story of how they were robbed, framed, and in jail, or that their mother is ill and needs surgery.

3. They are overly affectionate or express strong feelings for you very quickly, without having met you in person. Now I get it; if you are as charming as I am, of course, you will have hundreds of strangers telling you how beautiful you are and declaring their desire to marry you. But maybe they might want to ask your name first!

One trick I have used is to ask a man who insists he is in love with you, to ask, “Why?” They may be startled at first, but often men have answered me, “Because you are beautiful.” My response is always, “Okay, but give me 10 reasons why.” It’s amazing to me that a guy cannot easily come up with 100 reasons why I am so charming, so damn, 10 should be easy.

4. They avoid answering direct questions or provide vague or inconsistent answers to your questions.

5. They ask you to communicate exclusively through email, instant messaging, or other forms of online communication, rather than meeting in person or speaking on the phone.

If you suspect that your online lover may be a romance scammer, it is essential to be cautious.

Do NOT send them any money or personal information. Especially if you are a female. Am I sexist? Sure, you can call me that. But for a man to be sending a man money, girl, please.

Unless you choose to have a transactional relationship. If are in an openly transparent, honest sugar mama/ sugar baby relationship and you have met the man and you feel that you are benefitting, and if you are okay with that, do your thing.

But do not be fooled into thinking things will change if you send him money now and later he will take care of you. It won’t.

One more thing; many people believe romance scammers are only the stereotype of the white military general who is actually a Nigerian man, or people who are never willing to video chat. Please know that romance scammers can be from any country, and they can be people you talk to, video chat with, and even people you may have met briefly in person while on vacation.

One of the most famous lines I have heard repeatedly from scammers directly and as told to other women who have been scammed is, “Omg, I’m a man. I could never take money from a woman!” Only to have them “reluctantly” agree to accept help via Western Union or Money Gram for their “emergency” minutes later.

“But only because you are forcing me to accept your money!”

Just beware, and don’t send money, ever.

I made an exception once and sent money to an ex-friend when he was supposedly in a desperate situation. But we agreed that he would work on my website in exchange so that he did not feel bad for accepting help from a woman. Mostly, I did not want to feel used or to feel that I had become a sugar mama.

He never did the work.

Overall, just be careful. If you keep your wallet, your legs, and your heart closed in the beginning, eventually you will know whether you can trust a man.

Go slow, do your research and verify their identity and background before continuing to communicate with them. And don’t give money. If a man is in a broke, desperate situation, he should not be focusing on a relationship- he should be a man and fix his financial issues first. He knows where to find you once he figures stuff out.

If you are in a relationship that is serious, and you do not believe he is a scammer but you want to know if he is using you for a green card or visa, check out these tips.

If you have been scammed, you can also report the situation to the authorities or to a trusted organization that deals with online scams and fraud.

Stay safe sisters!

Have you been a victim of a romance scam? Or has someone attempted to scam you and you were able to see the signs clearly before getting scammed? Please share your story or tips below!

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