And this mastermind is not at all who you think (s)he is... A scammer usually finds a set of pictures of an attractive girl 18-45 years old female (or, if the scammer IS an attractive girl, she uses her own pictures) and places personal ads in as many international dating catalogs as possible.
A lot of scammers actively seek out new potential victims rather than wait for the victims to come to them.
In the money keep coming, the "lady" will continue to experience difficulties.
"She" will get robbed or attacked, may become injured or sick, may suddenly get arrested, or her apartment may get flooded or burned.
And so " she" will reluctantly ask for financial help again.
If the guy is determined to make her supposed trip happen regardless of the expenses, he sends the money again and again.
Some scammers fall in love and ask for money within 10 days, while others may correspond for 6-8 months before requesting any money.
The duration of the phase depends on the scammer's own work style.
Quickly, the " female" (the bait) falls in love with her Internet acquaintance, and shortly after " she" begins to plan her travel to see her Mr. Money issues arise, and, reluctantly, the bait asks the gentleman to help "her" with money for her visa and tickets.
Very often, the bait tells the guy that she has a work offer in his country, and she would be able to pay off the loaned money to him quickly.
Often, scammers use big online dating web sites to approach their potential victims.