overun by Nigerian scams?

With Plentyoffish I constantly write more lines of code to deal with scammers than all other code combined. As a result there isn’t a single media story of someone being scammed by Nigerians on Plentyoffish. Nigerian scamming is a massive business. There are many Nigerian scammers that make a living trying to scam people on paid Dating sites. It doesn’t matter how many background checks does they will never catch someone using a stolen credit cards and addresses. In the last 6 months these scammers have stepped up their game in a big way and it takes a lot of time and effort to stay ahead of them. has got some major publicity in the last 2 weeks. Sounds like these Nigerians are becoming an epidemic. User Scammed out of 1 Million. user Scammed

match user scammed for Millions.

Another match scam. user scammed scams on ABC News 20/20

41 Responses to “ overun by Nigerian scams?”

  1. Dating Savvy Says:

    Avoiding the headlines so far is great, but I’m sure it’s not that aren’t trying. It appears to be a massive problem that’s only going to get worse as more of the ‘third’ world comes online.

  2. Markus Says:

    Oh its brutal and its non stop. They are all using botnets now which makes it way harder than it used to be. But these kind of headlines are not welcome for the industry.

  3. Mike Kasper Says:

    Any thought of creating a scam clearinghouse like It seems like their spammers are a different group than dating scammers.

  4. Markus Says:

    Most of them are using botnets. You can actually see the scammers rewriting their automated programs every couple of minutes to try something different.

  5. Mike Kasper Says:

    Well, what they do at which I just started using on my site since Elgg has a plug in for it, is provide an API where your application can query based on IP, email, or username, and if there is a match you can just reject the user registration. That way they have to keep changing IP address or email address to beat it. I’m sure it results in a lot of false positives so they have a process to “clear your name” similar to how email spam blacklists work. So far it seems like has a good database but what is missing are the APIs to automate checking and simplify reporting.

  6. dogger Says:

    Interesting, as always, Markus

    So why do think it is Nigerians who do this?

    Why not, say, net savvy North Americans?

  7. treborc Says:

    Because most of the scams are coming from Nigeria or are you saying they are not educated enough

  8. GADEL @ Single Moms Poem Says:

    Hi Markus,

    I just want to know when Ghanaians would be allowd to use your website Plent of Fish? Thanks a lot.

  9. Markus Frind Says:


  10. Bikerchic650 Says:

    “Dog and the Bone”.

  11. Rabishu Says:

    It’s not as though Nigerian scammers don’t have their own site, anyway…

  12. flirtygirl Says:

    Why do you have such a bad customer service? I have tried to close my account for three days, many emails to customer care and NO response. PLEASE close: and remove all information.

  13. The Danger Zone Says:

    Hey Marcus,

    How’s it going. You know who this is and yes, I’m still learning from you. But every great once in awhile the teacher must become the student and the student must step up with a lesson. I have to say that unfortunately this is one of those times.

    You’ve done an amazing job on pof and I admit straight forward your extreme limiting of scammers on the site is nothing short of nobel worthy. However, you seem to be ignoring your once glory child that is somehow appearing to become an ugly stepchild at an uncomprehensible pace. has the same problem your mentioning here in regards to Can you tell me that this profile is real?

    Everyday on evow it’s the same issues cropping up. Incredibly young and beautiful ladies messaging considerably older men talking at length about going on walks on the beach and undying love with total devotion and so on and so on and so on. Heck Marcus, their profiles alone could be the algorythm. lol

    Drop me a note, you know how to catch my attention and I’ll relay you a few more bits here and there that we’ve learned from you and even tweaked a few of our own on this end. Keep up the great work.

  14. Toby Says:

    The real number might be a lot higher as most people are probably embarrassed to tell anyone…

  15. duke Says:

    What is the POF scam where a woman wants me to check out her facebook account for better pictures, and “she just might add me LOL” ??

  16. Daniel Says:

    If majority of people are bad what do you do about the small minority that may be sincere, im so so fed up with people online painting all as bad.

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  18. just me Says:

    Oh pof and evow are sio much better, they are overruned with married men looking for a quick peice of ass and men / females who are passing out stds has they were gifts. and oh, dont forget the men who cannot handle beind rejected, the moment you turned them down they report you and before u know it you are deleted.

    And if memory serves me right, pof is being sued for using a dead soldiers photo in a profile, so pof and evow are no better than, you people are just too cheap or broke to pay for dating.

  19. Char Says:

    So so easy to do an IP address search from the header of a personal email if they give you one, which they will, because, they are “going off the site soon”. I know, total BS. I always do an IP search, just to make sure it is in my own city, if that is where the person says they are from.
    The last one, and I did suspect came up Lagos Nigeria….
    Give it a try with people that you know and know of their location. It is quite accurate!

  20. TheDatingJudge Says: personals are full of scammers as well. 90% of the ads in the Casual Encounters section are scams…

  21. Donna Jean Says:

    I met someone that tried to scam me from Nigeria 2 yrs ago…since then I have returned to Match and see nothing has changed…I can spot one of them right off now. Fool me once, shame on them…fool me twice..shame on me.

    • Barb Says:

      You are right Donna Jean. It is awful. Stick with your local people. Do not pick someone from out of your area. If you do pick locally and they respond, check them out. Google them. Get their full names and where they live. If they don’t check out drop them.

  22. Barb Says:

    I have come across 7 scammers already within 2 weeks on It is ridiculous. I can spot them a mile away with their poor grammar and spelling. I just ask them to show themselves on webcam and they never will. I suggested to that they get rid of their 7 day free trial. That is when the scammers get on and “reel in their fish”. should only be for paying customers and the Nigerians will never pay to get on.

    • Zach Says:

      Getting rid of the free trial wouldn’t do any good anyway becuz the scammers use stolen credit card numbers. It would only make real legit ppl pay more.

  23. Kaarina Fager Says:

    In April 2012 I met a soldier Army Commander Peter Haggard u.s soldier who was a “widower” and worked in Kabul.He said that he had a son Curtis 14 years old in boarding school. At first I was very confused because of his love letters. He sent me in June a present via London and a man named Jeffery Code was bringing it. At once the customs wanted 6500,00 pounds and after that 14000,00 pounds more. I was a fool and I sent 6500,00. After a long struggle I got 4000,00 back. According to papers the date of Issue is 18/09/1980 and date to expire 18/09/2015. He said that the Afghan government has given him cold, because of being a good soldier etc,,,, he was afraid that he will be killed because of it.His address was course this address does not work any more. The last message I got was in 29.8 2012.I have some photos of him. I`d love to know more about this widower, who wanted to move here and marry me he, he.I never understand why I sent that money.The count was to mr. Raymond N Opoku, and London Halifax bank.I think that Opoku is a real person, because he sent 2 X 2000,00 back.Thus I lost 2200,00. If you know anything about these fellows,please let me know.Here in Finland I have informed the police, but the crime happened abroad, thus our police is hopeless.Once I spoke with P H on web cam, and to me seemed to the same man who is in pics.

  24. MsTery Says:

    I work for a company that provides training and education to bankers. I’m an editor/publisher of a bank security email briefing. We received the following alert today:

    ING DIRECT/Capital One is currently investigating a large mule ring, where the mules all met the fraudsters on Match.Com. After the accounts were opened they were instructed to provide the fraudsters with their account and log in information. The mules then linked several different accounts from Wells Fargo and attempted to move large amounts. We have captured numerous IP”s, if any other financial instructions have experienced similar activity or if any Law Enforcement agency is currently investigating a similar case please contact either of the investigators below.

  25. jjm Says:

    The same thing happened to me Kaarina. Guy said he was a widower and had a son that was 14 in a boarding school… I tried to send money. Thank God Western union didn’t allow the funds to be sent. Can’t believe there are such terrible people out there!!!

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  28. Brian Says:

    Just spent the past week talking to ” cvlloyd34″ supposedly from Carrollton,Ga. on She told me she bought and sold antiques from there and transfered to Ga. to resell. Eventually ask me for $ to have enough to fly to me so that we could meet in person. Said she pay me back later. NOT. Wanted it sent Western Union. NOT. The address she gave me was
    Candice Lloyd
    105 Allen Ave.
    Ikeja,Lagos, Nigeria
    Test Question: Color?
    Answer: Blue
    Goes by username: cvlloyd34
    Wasnt aware of the Nigerian scam, but i am Now.Watch out for her.If anyone can give me info on the name at all, let me know.

  29. Busty Says:

    Ok so here is my scammer, from, not even chatting for 2 weeks and he already asks for money. He is in Malaysia on ‘work’ and has run into some money problems. cannot get his money from his bank in NZ or the Netherlands…. etc etc, blah blah. funny thing was that morning he rung my cell phone and I thought what a funny number, 13 digits…. So after 4 hrs of reading on the comp and discovering the number was from Nigeria and that he is all a scam. His name existed no where and he wasn’t even a Gemologist… blah blah…. Confronted him that night and he had the gall to have a go at me and say that I was wrong and he was not like that at all… Anyway it took another 2 days for him to ask for a smaller amount of money and I just let it rip at him. Told him to go find some other sucker as this one was keeping her money. He had the audasity to reply with, “I do like you calling me names,no wonder your single” He forgot that I left my husband, not the other way around. Suffice to say he is long gone, so ladies beware and always do checks on them, email address, names etc,anything you can get from them, do it AND DON’T EVER GIVE A STRANGER MONEY!!! Good luck in finding love ladies and gentlemen

  30. Ted Says:

    29-31 year old “females” who NEVER drink. Sounds like Nigerian Muslims to me…it would offend Allah to imply alcohol use.

  31. Rich Says:

    I was a member my first day I had two scams, second day eight I was on to them the second one, the follow the same pattern every time.
    1) They compliment you or on your looks or profile.
    2) They ask you who long you have been a member.
    3) They ask you to go to Google chat or Yahoo
    4) The tell you they moved out of the State and now live in another country. all profiles were never married and were eager to start a relationship ASAP. Hope this will help someone, I now have fun with it when they show up I tell them they are being reported to the FBI I also send the profile to Match and block them they disconnect right away.

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  34. Says:

    Not only are the scammers using but from my own investigating some dating sites are actually scams themselves. The scam dating sites create fake profiles to get men to register on their sites ans then send fake emails and all this stuff to get men to buy paid memberships, it’s nuts!!

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  36. alexander bob Says:

    I received email from a woman who described herself as Barbara,60yrs on sick bed and needs my account number to share her money with.I decline and she suggested I gave her my postal address to receive cheque which I provided.Unfortunately, The bank bounce the cheque and I was supposed to pay $6,000.I contacted the Embassy that confirm ut was a Ghana scam and was reported to the Ghana Crime Unit (info.ghanapolice at consultant. com) and scammers are arrested.

  37. Gisele Wayne Says:

    Met him on and he introduced himself as Sgt. goodwill from USA in mission at Iraq, wife died and had son with a friend in Ghana. We chatted for month including his son Perry on cam. It happened that he found a briefcase of gold and wanted to ship to me but had no way then he brought the idea that his friend in Ghana knows Ghana Customs and can pass gold there to me, it started with few $ until I paid almost $46,000 during the process until I found on the web that it scam and I contacted the Ghana Serious Fraud Crime Unit(info.ghanapolice at and he was arrested and some of my losses recoverd.Beware of scam from Ghana contact officials!

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