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.
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 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 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.
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.
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".