They then record their victims, play back the recorded images or videos to them and then extort money to prevent them from sending the recordings to friends, family, employers, often discovered via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc.
The young woman will contact a victim and tell them of their plight of not being able to remove the gold from their country due to being unable to pay the duty or marriage taxes.The woman will be unable to inherit the fortune until she gets married, the marriage being a prequiste of the father, uncle or grandfather's will.Unlike a gold digger, who marries for money, a pro-dater is not necessarily single or available in real life.Another variation is that the scammer insists they need to marry in order to inherit millions of dollars of gold left by a father, uncle, or grandfather.Scammers prefer to use the images, names and profiles of soldiers as this usually inspires confidence, trust and admiration in their female victims.
Also because military public relations often posts information on soldiers without mentioning their families or personal lives, images are stolen from these websites by organized internet crime gangs often operating out of Nigeria or Ghana.
Sometimes the third party is real, sometimes fictitious.
Funds sent by Western Union and Money Gram do not have to be claimed by anyone showing identification if the sender sends money using a secret pass phrase and response ,and can be picked up anywhere in the world.
Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce.
In some cases, online dating services are themselves engaged in misrepresentation, displaying profiles which have been fabricated, which use personal information from users who have not agreed to be depicted on the site social accounts, classified sites and even forums to groom new victims.
The merchandise is returned to the vendors, the pro-dater and the various accomplices take in their respective cut of the take.