Lake Charles, LA –
Sheriff Tony Mancuso is warning area residents of a scam that has recently surfaced in our area. Victims report receiving a request on social media sites or apps such as Facebook or WhatsApp from an individual they do not know who will begin to message them. The suspect will continue to converse with the victim over a period of days, while speaking lovingly and affectionately and will use endearing terms such as “soul mate.” Victims then report the suspect will ask them to perform an act such as sending nude photographs or performing sexual acts live on a social media app. Once the act is complete the suspects states they are underage and what the victim has done is criminal behavior. The suspect will then threaten to go to the police or the victim’s family and friends if they do not send money to them in the form of a MoneyGram to the Bank of West Africa. This is a scam!
Here are some tips to be on the lookout for to avoid becoming a victim of this scam:
· The suspects are reported to make a common profile using fake photographs and information to create the appearance that they are American.
· The suspect’s profile will have indicators they are not from this area such as an abundance of friends with African surnames. They will also “like” many groups from the areas of Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast, as well as other African nations.
· The suspects will have difficulties typing properly in the English language. Pay attention to their verbiage.
If anyone believes they may have been victimized by these scammers, please contact the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office at 491-3605.