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Unfortunately, scams like this are quite common. We get many, many questions from people who have met a woman or man online from Ghana who they believe to be legitimate only to find out they have fallen victim to criminals. I have heard many times the story of a woman who has a large inheritance but must be married first. The fact that you have sent a bunch of money and suddenly can't contact her is consistent with the way these scams work - these criminals will take as much money from people as they can using a variety of excuses (often having people wire funds, as it basically unrecoverable once sent) and then when they feel as if they can't get anything additional, vanish or stop talking to their victim. Both the "woman" and her "lawyer" are part of the scam and not who they claim to be.
If you believe you are a victim of an Internet scam, you can report it to the FBI at ic3.gov, which is a joint task force of the FBI and foreign authorities. But the reality is I have never heard of anyone recovering money in these cases. These criminals work out of internet cafes using fake names and false information, and because they typically work out of internet cafes, they are entirely portable and untraceable.
You should also talk to an accountant or tax professional as money lost in a scam may be able to be claimed as a loss on your taxes. While a tax deduction is by no means the same as recovering the money, at least it would be something.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs also has additional information on Internet Dating and Romance Scams.
If you suspect you may be the victim of a scam, please read through our information on Resources for Victims of International Financial Scams. In the aftermath of a scam, some people have also found support and camaraderie at the following sites started by and for scam victims. Participants have reported that the groups help underscore the breadth of the problem and allow people to see they are not alone. Please note these sites are in no way affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. government.
Yahoo Group: Romance Scams
I am truly sorry I could not give you better news, but it would be unfair to you, and unethical of me, to tell you less then what I believe to be the truth.
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