Home Money I’m a reformed Nigerian romance scammer – these are the tricks I used to fleece 50 women out of £55,000

I’m a reformed Nigerian romance scammer – these are the tricks I used to fleece 50 women out of £55,000

by Elijah
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Former scammer and heartthrob 'Christopher' posed as a US Army man

Rippling biceps, short blonde hair and a military uniform was the mask chosen by Christopher Maxwell.

For five years as a romance scammer, Christopher, now 24, posed as an American soldier to prowl social media platforms and dating sites looking for his next victim, successfully duping up to 50 women into to send a total of £55,400.

Speaking to Money Mail, the self-confessed reformed fraudster reveals the cruel and deceptive tricks he used to seduce women across the English-speaking world, from the UK to the US, Canada and Australia.

Christopher, who uses a pseudonym and now works as a consultant at anti-fraud group Social Catfish, began scamming in 2016 as a way to make easy money during his second year of university in Nigeria.

‘I had no money and my family was broke, so I had to do something. “I chose to dedicate myself to scamming,” she says.

Former scammer and heartthrob ‘Christopher’ posed as a US Army man

‘I know people might not understand it, but I’m a professional and it was my full-time job. It took us months to get to that level, like on-the-job training,” he says. “I scammed every day of my life at that time.”

Christopher says he used a 40-page bible for scammers in Nigeria titled How to Make a White Woman Fall in Love with You from Online Chat.

The book, which SocialCatfish has shown to Money Mail, offers a step-by-step guide for romance scammers with scripted romance lines, conversation starters and questions that promise to make vulnerable people fall head over heels in love with you. ‘.

He says the types of women who are “easiest to get” and who “will fall in love with you as soon as possible without much stress” are those over 40.

He says: ‘They are working, therefore they have the money you need. Furthermore, being single at 40, they are eager for love.

Once the target is identified, the manual instructs scammers to do their research before conversing with their “client.”

‘You’ll want to know as much as you can before you talk to her, as this will help you later. Check out her bio (on social media) for information.

‘It can be your hobbies, your pets, your job, your passion, if you have children, where you live, what you love, etc.

‘You can take paper and pencil and list them (next to) their name. This is something I like to do.’

For your opening message, she recommends complimenting women on their activities or what they enjoy and asking a question related to that. She says: ‘You want to be gentle and different. Don’t send a “hello…”. There are many people who have sent it before. You want to send him something he likes from the first text message. Something that will make her open your message and her heart to you.

‘For example, if you have photos of your dogs on your Facebook profile, you can use a line like: “Hi, I just spent the last 10 minutes debating whether those cute dogs next to you are mountain shepherds or Belgian Malinois. Please help me… by the way, they are super cute.”

Another suggestion is: ‘You always have the best music in your stories! I’d love to swap playlists.’

Once the conversation is flowing, the book says “make it about it.” She says: ‘Oyinbo women (a Nigerian term for Western women) like to talk about themselves. They will think you care and fall in love.

It then instructs the offenders to compliment the women using one of 60 suggested phrases, such as: “I can’t believe I found someone like you” and “Your mind is as sexy as your beauty.”

Women are more susceptible to receiving messages at night, she says: “Know her time zone and text her around 10 p.m.” Night is when you can easily make her fall in love with you. You will have her full attention and, if the talk goes well, she will sleep thinking about you.’

Scammers are told to take their time first when asking for money to build trust. He says: ‘He spends days talking about random things. It may take a long time, but it’s worth it.’

When it comes to asking for money, indicate “asking without looking like you’re asking,” for example: “When she asks you about your day, you can tell her it was bad and then tell her that you’re broke, you’re behind on your mortgage, and You will be fired next week and you have exhausted all means to get money.

She will only offer to give you money. If you want a new phone, you can tell him that your phone is defective and you won’t be able to chat anymore.’

These tricks have been widely used by romance scammers, including Christopher himself. But did he feel guilty for cheating on lonely women? “No, at first I felt bad, but at some point I stopped,” he says. “I was making good money. I never felt sorry for these people and I didn’t let any emotion come over me.”

Christopher says he was arrested in Nigeria but never charged for his romance scams.

He adds that he used social media platforms Facebook and Instagram to contact women, as well as dating websites. It primarily targeted women in their 50s and 60s who appeared to be recently divorced or widowed.

‘I can take advantage of that. Dating apps make it easy because you can set your interest in your profile to a particular age and this shows people in that age group,” she says.

Her profile featured photos of a man she had found online who was in the military and told women that he was American and had been deployed to Afghanistan, Israel or Korea.

Christopher says he didn’t have a prescribed opening line, but he said what came to mind while looking at that woman’s profile to personalize the message. At any given time, he was in one or two relationships and talking to women 24 hours a day, from his conference rooms until midnight to make up for the time difference.

He would wait until he gained their trust before asking for money. He says: ‘It would depend on the victim how long I waited to ask for money. I have received money in three days before, but sometimes it takes months. I would make sure to message every day.

‘I once met a woman who had a boyfriend but she broke up with him because of me and she was giving me $400 within a few days. I told her that I cared about her and that I would do everything for her. She was 35 years old, she was white and she worked at a communications company. She gave me $400 (£317). We talked for four months,” she says.

The 24-year-old says he had a series of false excuses for asking for money, including saying he needed money to take a flight and spend the rest of his life with the woman or to replace his uniform: “I started with small amounts and always I said I’d give it all back.’

His biggest windfall came from a 61-year-old American woman, he says, who sent him a total of $30,000 (£23,700) during their year-long relationship. However, she used Social Catfish, a company that verifies online identities through reverse image searches, and was able to locate Christopher.

When he confronted the woman whose life he ruined, he says he felt terrible and is happy he no longer has to scam to make a living.

The National Crime Agency says most romance scams come from scammers in West Africa, particularly Nigeria and Ghana.

Christopher says he was open with his friends and explained why he messaged women day and night. “There is a lot of poverty, so a lot of people end up here; they are used to it, so it was never a problem.”

Christopher reveals that the biggest sign you’re talking to a scammer is if they don’t show their face over a video call.

“Avoid anyone who says they can’t meet because they’re in the military or live abroad,” he says. If they confess their love too quickly and demand the same in return, it’s a scam.

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