In an interview with the BBC, a cyber criminal based in the Ivory Coast stated that he can make up to $6767 to $16,237 (€5,000 to €12,000) on a good month targeting victims with online dating scams.
The most profitable scams for the “brouters” (as cyber criminals are called in the Ivory Coast) is the “love method”, where online dating customers are are targeted because they are looking for love. The scammer would begin chatting with the victim and start exchanging pictures and messages. Eventually, they would lay out the “tax”, or the amount of money needed in order to visit the victim in person. For example, they would tell the victim that they would love to visit them in France, but they first need to pay $6,800 in debts in order to leave, and the victim would send them the money.
According to security intelligence services,online criminals in Ivory Coast is between the ages of 16 and 17. On average, each one of these teenagers are able to make around $13,000 a month from online fraud. At internet cafes, they pay less than $1 for 4 hours of online access.
Source: Tamasin Ford, “Ivory Coast cracks down on cyber crime,” BBC News, January 16, 2014.