The scammer keeps the victim believing that they are sincere, until they are able to build up enough rapport to ask for thousands of dollars to help bring the gold into the victim's country.
The scammer will offer to fly to the victim's country to prove that they are a real person. However, when the victim goes to meet the scammer they never show up.
Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce.
Funds sent by Western Union and Money Gram do not have to be claimed by anyone showing identification if the sender sends money using a secret pass phrase and response, and can be picked up anywhere in the world.
Upon finding victims, scammers lure them to more private means of communication, (such as providing an e-mail address) to allow for fraud to occur.
The fraud typically involves the scammer acting as if they've quickly fallen for the victim so that when they have the opportunity to ask for money, the victim at that time has become too emotionally involved, and will have deep feelings of guilt if they decline the request for money from the scammer.
Victims may be invited to travel to the scammer's country; in some cases the victims arrive with asked-for gift money for family members or bribes for corrupt officials, and then they are beaten and robbed or murdered.
A rapidly growing technique scammers are using is to impersonate American military personnel.