Letters are exchanged between the scammer and victim until the scammer feels they have groomed the victim enough to ask for money.
Scammers are very adept at knowing how to "play" their victims - sending love poems, sex games in emails, building up a "loving relationship" with many promises of "one day we will be married".
Often photos of unknown African actresses will be used to lure the victim into believing they are talking to that person.
Per their results, sensitive and less emotionally intelligent people are more likely to be vulnerable to online dating scams.
This was the finding of a study by Dr Martin Graff of the University of South Wales presented on Tuesday 26 April 2016, at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Nottingham, England.
The scammer keeps the victim believing that they are sincere, until they are able to build up enough rapport to ask for thousands of dollars to help bring the gold into the victim's country.
The scammer will offer to fly to the victim's country to prove that they are a real person. However, when the victim goes to meet the scammer they never show up.
They tell their victims that they are lonely, supporting an orphanage with their own money, needing financial assistance because they can't access their own money in a combat zone, etc.
The money is always sent to a third party to be collected for the scammer.
A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.
Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victims' money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers or by getting the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.
Scammers prefer to use the images, names and profiles of soldiers as this usually inspires confidence, trust and admiration in their female victims.