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.
Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce.
The money is always sent to a third party to be collected for the scammer.
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.
A rapidly growing technique scammers are using is to impersonate American military personnel.
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.