Nigerian girls love Instagram, and as expected, they have welcomed Instamessage, a related app, with open arms. A free social application that lets you privately chat with members of the popular image-sharing service in a text-message-style format, Instamessage allows anyone to connect directly and enjoy a totally private conversation with nearby Instagram users whose photos they find attractive.
Unfortunately, as it is with most other social media sites, con artists and criminals from around the globe have made this platform a hunting ground to perpetuate love scams, and Nigerian girls at risk of becoming victims.
While finding love on the internet can be a gift from heaven, no one wants to be scammed, ever. The only way to avoid a love scam is to be aware of their occurrences and also knowing how to spot them before they begin. If you are a Nigerian girl and you use Instamessage, read on to discover Jovago’s 5 ways to avoid being scammed out of your time, feelings or even money on Instamessage.
1. Ignore private accounts
Be suspicious of messages from contacts with private accounts. If possible, ignore them entirely as the restrictions on their accounts prevent you from clearly viewing their profile or wall and deny you the chance of even gaining an idea of what they look like or finding out clues that may tip you off.
If you feel you have a good vibe about them, and you end up replying them, ensure you engaging them in a conversation and ask them to change the settings for you, that way you have access to their profile. If they refuse to grant your request, be assured that something is certainly amiss. Run!
2. Take note of every detail on their Instagram wall
The minute you get a message from a person, do not rush to reply, first view the person’s profile, then head on to their instagram wall to view their pictures. The pictures on their instagram wall will tell you a lot about them. You will be clue in on what they look like, the kind of people they hang with, places they go to, where they work , their hobbies and a lot more.
If the pictures are few or look unreal or even photoshop, it is certainly a red flag. Do not ignore your instincts. Do not engage them. If you insist on replying them, ask them to send you a recent picture or a short video of themselves. Again, if you can, use a facial recognition/photo recognition search engine such as Google’s search by image to see if the person’s picture is one of a kind or one of many. Scam artists often pinch photos of people to make up a persona and a little digging can quickly reveal this.
3. Check their spelling and grammar.
This might sound superficial, but it is very relevant. Consider the language the person is using. Although a lot of people have bad grammar or spelling, if it is inconsistent with the way people speak from where the person claims to be, you have a scammer. For instance, a person who claims to be from the UK should type ‘mum” rather than “mom” , and use certain expressions like, “engaged” instead of “busy”, Zonked” instead of “exhausted”.
Try to engage the person in an audio chat, poor English or an inconsistent accent is a red flag as it can be an indicator that the person is not genuine. Again, pay attention and look for the wrong name, misspellings of your name or other personal things that a person falling in love ought to get right, repetition and things that sound vague. If his words sound like lines from a movie or magazine, it probably is, check it out.
4. Ask personal questions and check for consistency
His pictures may check out and all the information he gives you may seem authentic, however, ask him personal questions any chance you get and find out if his responses match up with his claim. For Instance is their Facebook account linked to his Alma mata or place of work?
If he does not like to answer personal questions, and often gives conflicting answer that are not coherent or answers that seem far-fetched, be on alert. Also, if they are unfamiliar with any of the local landmarks and attractions that are common in the areas they claim to have lived or been in, it is another sign. Again, if the person you’ve just met on instagram starts to ask probing questions related to your finances, your personal life and the people you know, do not give them straight answers.
5. Beware of eager romance
If they give you a pet name or start to use endearments such as hon, love, babe, sweetie, e.t.c immediately; start to discuss marriage and children after a few chats; claim that you were destined to meet, God revealed you to them, or that they cannot live without you, be on alert. Most scammers play on emotions to trap their victims. All their confessions are to lure you in. They tend to shift the relationship into intimacy really quickly, because they want things to get moving. Be wary if things seem too good to be true or are happening too fast.
Author: Nkem Ndem