First, never send money to somebody you only know from the internet, or phone calls!
There's no way around it.
Nobody who is online asking for money is going to starve, get arrested, get evicted, or have anything bad happen to them because you didn't send them money.
(OK, there is one bad thing that may happen to them.....they may have to get a real job!)
Nobody is going to send you a 'trunkbox' full of money, gold, or jewels because you paid some courier or customs fees.
Always expect to see a face on cams! (Most of these scams are conducted using stolen pictures and/or identity. You are not in contact with the person in the pictures, and who they claim to be.
There are cams everywhere. The scammers will use many excuses why they can't use one. Move on.
Long distance, cross-cultural relationships are difficult enough. Make sure you are in contact with somebody you can interact with.
Learn to use Google!
(Good scambaiters, and victims, post the information about scammers online, so other victims may avoid being scammed.)
Want to feel real stupid? Send money to a scammer or scam mode that has been operating for years, with the same face, story, and often the same email address.
We have provided information to help you. USE IT!
Do a google search of email addresses the scammer uses, also any courier company, phone number. You'll be surprised.
Have realistic goals if you are hoping to find somebody 'special' online. Appropriate age, etc.
As a fat middle-aged man, I know young sexy, pretty ladies are not really interested in me.
Affluent men don't seek out 'average' middle aged ladies online, from Podunk, Nebraska, either.
(Sorry, but that's reality.)
There are some nice, real people online. Don't waste your time, or throw money at fakes and scammers.
Guys, young hot ladies in other countries won't show up at your local airport to meet you if you send them money. It doesn't happen. The requests for money to do this are called 'visa and travel' scams.
Ladies, glove-trotting businessmen or professionals do not need you to 'rescue' them, financially, while they travel. People who travel for work or business have resources to replace lost or stolen passports, wallets, and to pay hotel bills.
Need help with a possible scam or scammer? The following sites can provide help and information.
Dragonladies.org, Help with internet romance scams from Asia
Learn to do your own 'detective' work! You'll be surprised what you can find out about 'real' people, also. That charming guy or gal you meet online may be married, or have some personal history they may not tell you about.
I have used Spokeo for years, and find it a helpful tool in researching both scammers, and 'real' people.
Good luck, stay safe, and don't send money!