A story out of Florida reveals another incidence of Nigerian scammers using online chatrooms to scam people out of money. According to the article:
"On Nov. 2, near the end of a long chat, Smith asked Tennenbaum what seemed to her a simple favor: If he sent some traveler's checks and money orders that he couldn't cash in Nigeria, could she deposit them into her bank account and send him the cash through Western Union? She obliged, figuring MasterCard traveler's checks and U.S. Postal Service money orders must be safe.
"What she didn't know is that Smith, which is probably not his real name, was cleverly manipulating her for his gain.
"It was an example of an increasingly common scheme in which Nigerian fraudsters befriend people in dating sites and chat rooms, and persuade them to send cash in exchange for money orders or traveler's checks that turn out to be fake. When the victims learn that the checks are phony, it's too late, and thousands of dollars have already been sent to the 'friend.'"
Nigerian scammers have been known to use online dating services to cheat unsuspecting singles out of money as well. Words of warning: if anyone that you have not met in person is asking for your money online, don't give it to them. Period.