The Dark Side Of Valentine’s Season , How To Spot Online Romace Fraud

Nigerians!! February 14th is coming like a lovesick admirer on a street corner, and the air is thick with anticipation. Red and pink hearts plaster shop windows, cheesy love songs play from every corner, and even the normally grumpy danfo drivers seem a little less likely to yell at you.

Valentine’s season, the self-proclaimed champion of love, is here. But hold your horses, lovebirds, before you empty your bank account on roses and teddy bears. There’s a dark side to this Hallmark holiday, and it’s lurking in the shadows of the internet – online romance scams.

Picture This

you’re swiping through Tinder, feeling lonely like Agege bread on the third day. Suddenly, a profile catches your eye. They’re gorgeous, successful, and their bio screams “perfect match.” They message you, showering you with compliments and sweet nothings smoother than butter on Agege bread (day one, of course).

You chat for hours, dreams of happily-ever-after dancing in your head. They even call you “love” after a week! But wait, something smells fishy like okpa gone bad. They need money for a “sudden emergency,” their “visa is stuck,” or they just “really want to meet you but need flight money.” Alarm bells should be banging louder than Kiss daniel and Davido’s latest banger! You’ve stumbled into the dark web of romance scams, and this “Romeo” or “Juliet” is more like a Robin Hood, stealing your heart and your hard-earned naira.

But fear not, This Valentine’s Day, be a love detective, not a lovesick victim. Here’s how to spot those online scammers trying to steal your affection (and your wallet):

  1. The Picture Perfect Scam: Don’t be fooled by those airbrushed, model-worthy profile pics. Do a reverse image search online. If it pops up elsewhere with a different name, bam! Red flag. Remember, nobody looks that good in real life, not even Ini Edo after a glam squad sesh.
  2. The Indomie Lovers : They shower you with affection faster than rain during Lagos downpour. They call you “soulmate” after two chats and declare their undying love before you’ve even finished your eba. This ain’t real love, babe. It’s manipulation. Real connections take time, not ten emojis per message.
  3. The Emergency Exit Runners: Their sob stories are more dramatic than Nollywood tearjerkers. They need money for emergencies that conveniently prevent them from ever meeting you in person. Remember, true love wouldn’t ask you to empty your account before even saying hello.
  4. The Grammar Scholars: Their messages are riddled with typos and broken English worse than a bad case of pidgin. If they can’t even spell “love” correctly, how much do they really love you (or your money)?
  5. The Disappearing Act: They avoid video calls like Buhari avoids press conferences. If they constantly make excuses not to show their face, they’re probably hiding something – like the fact they’re not who they say they are.
  6. The Money Monster: They start hinting (or outright demanding) financial help. Never, ever send money to someone you haven’t met in person, no matter how convincing their story. Your heart might ache, but your bank account shouldn’t.

Remember, love shouldn’t cost a dime, especially online. This Valentine’s Day, celebrate love the right way – with friends, family, or even a delicious plate of jollof rice (self-love is important too!). If you suspect someone’s scamming you, report them to the dating platform and don’t be afraid to block and delete.

This Valetines Season, let’s spread love, not lose money. Be smart, be cautious, and most importantly, have a happy (scam-free) Valentine’s Day!

Bonus Tip: If you’re looking for genuine love online, stick to reputable dating platforms with robust security measures. And hey, maybe consider exploring the beauty of the real world. Who knows, your true love might be waiting at the buka down the street, not behind a screen.

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