I’m posting this with the hopes that it will help someone from being scammed. Below are some of the examples I’ve experienced and observed. It's a bit lengthy but I hope you'll find it informative. Thank you for reading and/or writing a comment.
•You meet someone online and after just a few contacts they profess strong feelings for you and ask to chat with you privately. If you met on a dating website they will try and move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email.
•Their profile on the internet dating website or their Facebook page is not consistent with what they tell you. For example, their profile picture looks different to their description of themselves, or they say they are university educated but their English is poor.
•After gaining your trust – often waiting weeks, months or even years – they tell you an elaborate story and ask for money, gifts or your bank account/credit card details.
•Their messages are often poorly written, vague and escalate quickly from introduction to love.
•If you don't send money straight away, their messages and calls become more desperate, persistent or direct. If you do send money, they continue to ask you to send more.
•They don't keep their promises and always have an excuse for why they can't travel to meet you and why they always need more money.
*****I have to POINT OUT that many scammers these days are becoming good at expressing their words through writing; many are actually educated but poorly speak English. And when you speak to them, there’s an almost always weak internet connection issue. If you request to video chat they'll say their video cam is not working properly, you should take this as a hint that the picture(s) they have on their profile or they have shared with you may not actually his/hers, it may be of someone else and may have been stolen. SCAMMING IS THEIR JOB.
*****They have patience - in contact on a daily basis until they execute their plan to scam.
*****They are attentive and may remember most things you spoke about previously. They play and use the information you provided them about your religion, family, friends and work making you believe they are thoughtful and caring and have a special soulful connection.
*****They claim to be from a different country, travel for a business project overseas; this is when the subject of money starts. They’ll fabricate all types of stories from death, children, illness – in the hospital, being detained, was robbed, machinery broke down or machinery being held in Customs – need to pay extra fee for release of machinery or supplies, went to claim a payment their late father was never paid for but need to first pay bank fees and country tax fees before the funds be released, having Wi-Fi problems in the "remote" had trouble logging into his bank account due to bad reception, working in oil rig, etc., etc.
*****Some “businessmen/women” scammers will pretend to have an assistant. They will email you from a different email address pretending to be from their “secretary or assistant” if for example you and the scammer planned to finally meet and “the secretary/assistant” emailed you details of flight and hotel, all paid for.
*****They will provide a made up website that looks legitimate to access their bank account, they will ask you to do some banking for them at first using passwords they will provide or you may create. They will not ask you to give money at first. From the site, you will find fabricated deposits and balances on these accounts possibly by hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
*****Some of them may only ask a small amount of money, few hundreds at first for “your help”. Chances are they will ask for more at a later date. But some are daring to ask by the thousands.
*****These scammers have multiple accounts, they may delete the old account and open another. It's the same with phone numbers which can easily be changed and there are apps that one can choose numbers from another country even though they're not physically in that particular country.
*****They always promise to pay you back through wire transfer or Western Union or bring the money with them when they come to meet you.
REMIND YOURSELF: These people survived and are surviving life prior to knowing you. Ask yourself why all of a sudden they see you as their money issue solver and their problem became your problem and you haven’t even physically met this person, you only “know” them online. They have relatives, friends, colleagues, banks, financiers, “business” partners, charities, government and private agencies that can help them with their financial needs and above all, there’s ALLAH to turn to if they are true Muslims. No decent man or woman, Muslim or Non-Muslim will do wrong to fellow Muslims or any human being. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him said: A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. These scammers are harming others by their tongues with their made-up stories, lying every chance they have for the sake of money. These people are unscrupulous.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Pray, ask Allah’s protection from these bad people and remain faithful, hopeful and wise. No matter how many months these scammers try to play on your feelings, keep your guard up. The minute they start to ask for money - THIS IS AN IMMEDIATE RED FLAG - DO NOT SEND MONEY - STOP COMMUNICATION IMMEDIATELY and BLOCK THEM. DO NOT give them an opportunity to explain and waste more of your time, hurt your feelings or make you feel guilty. DO NOT even think of the “what if’s and maybe’s” (the possibilities of you and him/her together) because they will play with your emotions and sweet talk to convince you. Forget about how much time you have invested and the heartache they have caused. Utilize the BLOCK feature on your phone or computer. Follow your God-given instinct. Feel compassion but use your brain. Look forward and be thankful always grateful that Allah shielded you from further pain. May Allah protect the faithful from these wicked human beings and make it easier on us to find a decent Muslim man/woman we deserve.