Beliefnet cares first and foremost about its viewers, and keeping readers safe and away from harmful content is our number one priority. This page is meant to provide information to you, the community member, on how to detect and deal with messages that are scams and against the Beliefnet policy on safety. 

Security Alert:
Beliefnet has become aware of scam emails that have been circulating to its members. It contains messages desiring friendship or love, but can eventually take a negative turn towards a scam for money. If you would like to see examples of such emails please scroll to see below.
How Do These Scams Work?
Lonely people, susceptible to such advances, may respond to these messages. The scammer appears to fall in love with them. As a "relationship" seems to develop, they believe they have found love online. The scammer then convinces the victim to deposit a check sent to them, and transfer it to them in another country. They might be told that the money is for emergency funds for disaster relief, medical expenses, or some other dire need. However, the money comes from another scam victim, who thinks they are safely sending it to an American or other bank account. Little do they know that the recipient will simply transfer the funds directly to the scammer.
Use These Tips to Protect Yourself:

  • Make financial donations for disasters and emergencies ONLY through registered 501-c-3 charities found at www.guidestar.org.
  • Before you get too deeply involved with someone online, get their real name, street address and phone number, and check them out.
  • If your online romantic interest asks for money for ANY reason, be suspicious.
  • Do not cash checks or money orders sent to you by people you only know from the internet.
  • Never transfer money to someone you only know from the internet, especially in another country.

Examples of Email Scams Found on the Beliefnet Community

Hopefully this mail will find you in a perfect state of mind and good healthy condition. While going through this sites today, I came accross your profile which I personally find interesting and charming and decided to drop you few lines just to say hi,I am looking for a relationship in a man of your kind who unerderstands the need to love and be loved.Included here with this mail is my email address through which you can reach me.(mercyaw55@yahoo.com)


Hi Dear,
I am a lady, my name is mounace i found your profile today in community.beliefnet.com and become intrested in you, i will like us to be friends, please send your email address to my email box (mounace101baby@yahoo.co.uk)so that i will send my picture to you and tell you more about me.
i wait your email,
Please write on my private e-mail: mounace101baby@yahoo.co.uk

Links For More Information:

Can you recognize any of these faces or names? The photos are not actually the people who are writing to you. Instead, they are innocent victims whose photographs are used without their permission. These pictures are from scammers working in Nigeria and Russia, two countries where many online scammers live.
Avoid the 'Romance Scam'

MSNBC provides terrific tips that will help you protect yourself from email or internet scammers. Take a look at one of the recent stories of hoaxes used to pull in innocent and unknowing victims.
A Recent MSNBC News Story

This article not only provides information on email scams but also scam methods used in newspapers or letters. One notable section in this Wikipedia article points out that many individuals will try to trick women by offering a romantic relationship, and thus later scamming the victim. These are good tips and information to protect your wallet as well as your heart!
Wikipedia on Internet Scams

Check out how the FBI is helping those who are pulled into scams, especially those happening on the popular social networking site Facebook.
Actions from the FBI

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