Sunday, April 23, 2006

Nigerian ladies go man-baiting

Nigerian ladies go man-baitingSome Nigerian ladies leverage on technology to advance the old art of flirting, reports JOHN AWE.

"Quand je dis i,aime cest de tout mon coveur. Hey stop gettg confused. It's just d French way of sayg I just thought of u with all my heart. LUV U WIT ALL MY HEART."

This text will extract the same set of feelings and reactions from any man, whatever his background, race or creed- broad smiles and general feelings of accomplishment and appreciation. Except of course, if the text is from a source he does not know, in which case the next sure thing the recipient wants to do is to call the sender and clarify things.

Welcome to the world of man-baiting. Once you make the call, you are already in a game contrived by a lonely female in search of a romantic liaison. Lonely female? Well, not every time. Sometimes it is a female who is bored or broke, or both.

The sole purpose of the game is to pick up men without manifestly appearing to be doing so. It is mostly being resorted to by young women in tertiary institutions who are finding it tough keeping up with the financial demands of their rich life styles.

The targets are rich men who can afford to spend a few thousands on strangers of the opposite sex. But hitting these targets take a little time, wiles, and patience. All these the players have.
The numbers of those to try this game on is randomly chosen. A set of numbers that appear exotic however seem to be more picked upon than the others. Some numbers do point to the wealth, connections and power of their owners. Owners of such numbers, for example, one ending with 1234, do get preyed upon by man-baiters very often.

As a rule man-baiting texts look as innocuous as possible and are wired to excite curiosity. They look every inch like the senders know the receivers like Adam knew Eve. They have no fixed format, and come in different tones, tempo and character lengths.

There was one that simply stated: “C u tmrw”. For the benefits of those not versed in text language, that means “See you tomorrow”. Another variety of this that someone shared with Infosystems asks a question: “Are we seeing tomorrow?”

Those who receive these texts naturally spend the next few minutes trying to recollect what appointment they fixed but that they have forgotten. But if with their best efforts they cannot seem to recall who has the number from which the text originated, they will naturally reach for their phones to call. And when they do, the sender of the text is waiting with her sexiest voice.
And once this conversation starts, it takes a man who is able to resist the charms of a skilful temptress not to fall prey.

“Hello” you say as the phone is picked.
“Hello” a sexy female voice answers.
“You just sent a text now to this number. Are you sure you didn’t get the number wrong?” you ask the sexy voice.
“Oh I’m sorry; I meant to send it to a friend. This is so embarrassing. I hope your wife didn’t see it first?” she says giggling. Now, this is where she gets to know if she has landed a willing player or not. The answer, whatever words you choose can be categorized into two.
First: “No, lucky me. It is ok then. Bye.” That is the likely answer from any married man who has ears only for his wife’s voice.

Two: “I don’t have one yet. By the way, this is a very lovely voice”. This is the likely answer from a typical man not done with playing the field, married or not. And he is the one the lady is looking for. How technology solves the problem of two people in need!
In a few minutes, what they will be talking about next is where each party is located. A few calls later, they will be talking about where to meet.

As Infosystems investigation reveals, it is not every time the initiator of the game is interested in romantic escapades. Sometimes, all she wants is the next credit to continue her frequent calls to friends and lovers.

In this instance, after a few calls from the victim, the man-baiter requests for recharge voucher. If the victim plays along and sends it, she asks for more until the victim is annoyed and signs off permanently. That fits the description of what can be called advanced fee love fraud.

“What you call man-baiting is not totally new” said Tayo, a technical support staff of a Lagos based Internet Service Provider. “It is simply the domestication of a cyberspace practice. We have ladies going into online chat rooms for the sole purpose of picking up men. Some post their pictures on the web and when men respond they start an online affair”.

Indeed, pictures of Nigerian ladies seeking foreign lovers from cyberspace are numerous. Some genuinely want a man earning foreign currency who will come to rescue them from the grinding poverty in Nigeria.

Others are interested in the collecting some money they can use to set up themselves and their Nigerian lover at the expense of a foreign 'idiot'.

Some Nigerian men also go to online chat rooms to introduce themselves as women with the sole aim of picking up men. When any man falls into their traps, they use every trick in the book to convince him he has landed a pretty, lonely lady who is ready for marriage. After a while they demand for money and when the victim obliges, he begins a fruitless journey where he continues to part with his money till he is fed up and gives up.

Whether it is French-couched love professions sent out to strange mobile phones, or it is lurid pictures sent into cyberspace, the game is the same. And the facilitator is the same- technology.

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