People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.
Alternatively they may prey on your sympathies, telling you a family member or someone else they are responsible for is ill and they need money for medical treatment.
Once you send them money, the fraudsters will keep coming back and invent new reasons to send them more.
They may have arranged to visit you, but need money to pay for the flight or visa.
They may tell you everything has been booked but their ticket has been stolen, and you need to send money quickly to get them on the next flight.
Fraudsters may also use the conversations you have to find out enough personal information about you to commit identity fraud.
They’ll ask innocent-looking questions about you that make it look like they just want to get to know you, such as your date of birth, home address or family background.
Armed with their fake identity, the scammer proceeds to forge a bond with you.
They often communicate with you for weeks and months so you think you are getting to know them better while it is actually all part of their master plan.
When they aren't, you have agreed to personally make them good.