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An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

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An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

In the past several months, I have noticed an increase in issues regarding Ghanaian “friends” who were met over the internet, or who are cyber dating through internet dating websites. Some questions are posted to this forum, and you can scan through the issues to see the ones I refer to, while others have emailed me directly for my advice or thoughts, as I am an American living in Ghana and married for 17 years to a Ghanaian. Many questions have to do with the sincerity or veracity of the “friend” from Ghana, who urgently needs either money or the shipment of goods to him or her here in Ghana.

In the vast majority of cases, all of these poor innocents were being scammed or conned by the Ghanaian friend, whether male or female, it mattered little.

I have heard that the Ghanaian needed $400 for a new cell phone which was stolen, though you can buy a new activated cell phone here for as little as $35. Someone else needed work boots and other items sent to him, shipment of which would cost $400 from the States (truly very very expensive to ship to Ghana), and all those items are easily obtained here in Ghana. Someone else needed $300 because her father was having eye surgery; the cost of a normal doctor visit is less than $5, surgery may run about $100-$140, if that. Someone else needed $3,500 for their mother’s funeral… funerals in Ghana are not like funerals in the US, and while I don’t know the cost, I know for a fact that “donations” by mourners at the end of the funeral period usually more than cover the cost of the funeral outlay. But no way is it near $3,500 unless perhaps the person who died was a village chief or something. Anyway, I am sure you are seeing a pattern here. It is gimme, gimme, gimme.

There are several websites that now have information about cyber-dating scams, and I am listing them below.

www.osac.gov/Reports/report.cfm…

…blogspot.com/2006/06/charade-has-internets-…

delphifaq.com/faq/…f1145.shtml

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15576004/

usembassy.state.gov/accra/wwwhvisafraud.html

Here is some more common sense advice.

Google their “name” and see if you get any hits.

If they are white claiming their Americans born and “stranded” here, don’t believe it. Even if you see a picture, it’s one they downloaded from the internet. Want to know what they really look like, ask them to go to a cyber café that has web cam and IM you at the same time; all the big internet cafes here in Accra have it, BusyInternet, SmartNet, etc. It is not expensive to do that, maybe like $2.

If the issue is an unpaid doctor or hospital bill, tell them you will send money only to the hospital. Go to Ghanaweb.com and check the directory/phone book for a listing, don’t believe what they tell you.

Tell them you absolutely won’t send them any money, see how fast they drop you.

The bottom line is, don’t lose your heart, your head and your wallet over an internet romance. Tread cautiously.

I invite others to post here with their experiences, to save someone else from real grief.

Good luck,

Barbara

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Ghana
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11. Re: An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

Just thought it might be a good idea to bring this back up to the top of the page for a bit.

Barb

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12. Re: An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

Hi Barb,

My name is also Barb and I am from Canada. I have met a man on the internet by the name of Micheal Wilson who is suppose to be canadian but is in Accra, Ghana on business. Everything was wonderful talking on the phone and internet. We im everyday but I was told by him that even though he could see me on the webcam that the internet in Ghana doesn't support it for me to see him. The photos he sent of himself were gorgeous and his son is a cutie. Well I found out the hard way being new to all this that he is indeed a fraud. Unfortunatly I fell for the lies and sent him money because he was in trouble there. But then the request for money never stopped. He needed it for the hotel bill, then he was in a car accident with his young son and needed it for the hospital bill, now it is for immigration because he has stayed to long and his visa has run out so they are giving him a fine of $4000.00 and then deporting him. He is suppose to be white and is working with a man from ghana named Jeff Donkor. Ladies beware of these men. Micheal is a smooth operator and preys on women from Christian dating sites like eharmoney where he met me. He is a charming romantic man and it is so easy to get caught in the lies when you are new to this. I am thankful for this site and I wish I had see this before sending him money. After reading all these postings everything fell into place for me and made sense. He is suppose to be british and living in Canada but it is easy to see he knows very little about this country when you start asking questions. There english language skills are very poor as well if you pay attention ladies. I wish my heart had not been broken by this fraud but I know enough now not to get caught again in this kind of deception. The only thing that still confuses me is that when I started questioning and accusing him of being a lier why didn't they just move on to the next victim. This man persisted for 6 weeks and got what he wanted in the way of some money sent. Making me feel guilty for not trusting him. I feel very stupid and foolish over this ordeal but I wish there was a way that you could get your message out there to more women that are internet dating. And Ladies be smart enough to make them come to you to meet for the first time. Do not go to a foreign country by yourself to meet the man for the first time. That is more dangerous than sending money. Women do not always return home, they just disappear. Be careful out there please. Money is replacable but your life is not. Make them come to you where you have family and friends around for protection ok.

God Bless,

Barbara

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13. Re: An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

Barbara,

I am so terribly sorry for your trouble. And I do appreciate the information you posted here on this website. I am still hearing from women who insist that their "friend" is on the up and up, only to find in the end they have fallen victim to their lies.

The line that he cannot use webcam from Ghana is just a that, a line. Why would the internet cafes have them if they didn't work. Ladies and Gentlemen, INSIST that they use webcam so that you can see exactly who you are corresponding with.

Red flags should be poor English skills; most of these scammers only got as far as junior high school, if that. Asking for money for doctors and hospitals and accidents at amounts that rival would you would spend in a developed country... no way! I can get a mammogram for $25 so how the hell would a doctor visit cost hundreds!

Be firm, don't send them money. Block them from your IM features. Make sure your firewalls are up on your computer.

Good luck to you all. Please, don't let these horrible conniving people put you off entirely from Ghanaians or indeed any other Africans. I am married to one, and I live here, and I know that it's not right to judge all Ghanaians by these unconscionable frauds.

Barb

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14. Re: An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

Hi All,

Here is another link about internet dating, direct from Nigeria.

nigeriaworld.com/articles/2005/nov/288.html

If you have other links to more information on internet dating scams, please post it here.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER AND FORWARNED IS FOREARMED!

Barb

Schenectady, New...
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15. Re: An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

Barb, I'm so glad you posted that link to the Nigerian article. I've heard about lots of women being caught in this web, but never have I heard of men being caught in it. Especially so for me, because here in the States, it's being said that we are targets because they particularly hate Americans. That leads to a fear of going to Africa and a fear of Africans in general, the people who "hate" us. I was surprised at the attack on their own countrymen and other African men. That was so very interesting. Thanks for the information.

Shelly

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16. Re: An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

Hi Shelly,

You're more than welcome. It is a sad fact but men get caught up in this too. I think I mentioned above about a nice guy from California who fell head over hells for a young beautiful blond white lady born in Ghana to Australian parents who somehow got "stuck" in Ghana. Never happened. She was actually a very pretty black Ghanaian scamming this poor guy.

As for the hatred, I am not so sure that that is it, exactly. It's more that they have this notion that Americans and Brits and Europeans are ALL very RICH. True story, my husband went to buy some dried smoked shrimps and complained to the woman how expensive they were. She knows of me. She says to my husband, oh, but you're married to a rich white lady from America, so you can afford it. Fortunately, my husband enlightened her, and told her that except for the time I stayed home with my kids, I worked full time in New York and Washington. You see, they can't believe that we actually WORK, since we live in the land of riches and opportunity.

Anyway, hope all is well with you. Still coming?

Barb

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17. Re: An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

hello my name is jimmie and i am talking to some ghana women and i have met a lot of scams the most i hear about is a bride price of 5000 dollars is this true and also i sent a package to one young lady of panties body lotions cell phone computer cam and pads. i don,t know if this is a scam or not she also said that her mother just had a stroke but her family can take care of their own. also she say the bride price must be paid directly to the uncle who she lives with. also i will be coming to ghana in july i want to teach english there r there jobs there for americans. I have a batchlor,s degree in media arts. arts and science degree. i am now attending a siminar course called telef to teach english in thailand would that certificate work in ghana. Also where would i live as i don,t know anyone there. Is there anyway that i can make arrangements with someone before i leave usa for lodging and board. Please help me i am in dier need, u r my only connection in ghana for me ok. please respond soon. Jimmie Thorne 252 2925691 thank you

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18. Re: An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

hello my name is jimmie and i am talking to some ghana women and i have met a lot of scams the most i hear about is a bride price of 5000 dollars is this true and also i sent a package to one young lady of panties body lotions cell phone computer cam and pads. i don,t know if this is a scam or not she also said that her mother just had a stroke but her family can take care of their own. also she say the bride price must be paid directly to the uncle who she lives with. also i will be coming to ghana in july i want to teach english there r there jobs there for americans. I have a batchlor,s degree in media arts. arts and science degree. i am now attending a siminar course called telef to teach english in thailand would that certificate work in ghana. Also where would i live as i don,t know anyone there. Is there anyway that i can make arrangements with someone before i leave usa for lodging and board. Please help me i am in dier need, u r my only connection in ghana for me ok. please respond soon. Jimmie Thorne 252 2925691 thank you

north carolina
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19. Re: An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

hello my name is jimmie and i am talking to some ghana women and i have met a lot of scams the most i hear about is a bride price of 5000 dollars is this true and also i sent a package to one young lady of panties body lotions cell phone computer cam and pads. i don,t know if this is a scam or not she also said that her mother just had a stroke but her family can take care of their own. also she say the bride price must be paid directly to the uncle who she lives with. also i will be coming to ghana in july i want to teach english there r there jobs there for americans. I have a batchlor,s degree in media arts. arts and science degree. i am now attending a siminar course called telef to teach english in thailand would that certificate work in ghana. Also where would i live as i don,t know anyone there. Is there anyway that i can make arrangements with someone before i leave usa for lodging and board. Please help me i am in dier need, u r my only connection in ghana for me ok. please respond soon. Jimmie Thorne 252 2925691 thank you

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20. Re: An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating

Jimmie,

It does sound like a scam to me. While some of the tribes in Ghana do have a dowry to be paid to the bride's family, it is never an amount as extreme as $5,000 which equates to about 48 million cedis! That is astronomical and more money than the average Ghanaian could hope to earn in a couple of decades.

The things you sent, are the typical things that a Ghanaian scamming woman would ask for, but all of them are available here, including the computer and cell phones. I mean, a new cell phone is about $40.

As for teachng here, you'd need to understand that unless you got a job at one of the top international schools, like Lincoln or Ghana International School, you'd be paid peanuts in comparison to what you could make in another country. I am talking like $200-300 a month.

Hope I've been some help to you.

Barb

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