Upon finding victims, scammers lure them to more private means of communication, (such as providing an e-mail address) to allow for fraud to occur.
The fraud typically involves the scammer acting as if they've quickly fallen for the victim so that when they have the opportunity to ask for money, the victim at that time has become too emotionally involved, and will have deep feelings of guilt if they decline the request for money from the scammer.
The scheme usually involves accomplices, such as an interpreter and a taxi driver, all of which must be paid by the victim at an inflated price.
Everything is pre-arranged so that the wealthy foreigner pays high amounts of money for accommodation, is taken not to an ordinary public café but to the most costly restaurant (usually some out-of-the-way place priced far above what locals would ever be willing to pay), and is manipulated into making various expensive purchases, including gifts such as electronics and fur coats. The victim leaves just as alone but poorer at the end of the trip.
The merchandise is returned to the vendors, the pro-dater and the various accomplices take in their respective cut of the take.
As the pro-dater is eager to date again, the next date is immediately set up with the next wealthy foreigner.
Victims may be invited to travel to the scammer's country; in some cases the victims arrive with asked-for gift money for family members or bribes for corrupt officials, and then they are beaten and robbed or murdered.
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.
The victim contacts the scammer to ask what happened.
The scammer will provide an excuse such as not being able to get an exit visa, or illness of themselves or a family member.
Some scammers may also use Bitcoin as an alternative payment method.
Sensitive people are more vulnerable to online dating scams, based on a study conducted by the British Psychological Society.