The client is a 50-year-old man in the US, the attractive young white woman he is chatting with online is Gingerhoney, a model whose profile image shows her lying prone on her bed. The client thinks Gingerhoney is nearby but he has no idea that she is actually a man far away, in Nigeria.

Men across the world, like this one, pay hundreds of dollars on adult websites to chat with what they think are attractive young women, but could in fact be anyone, the BBC has found.

Months of gathering evidence revealed a global operation which is behind these fake profiles, reaching from The Netherlands to the US, via Suriname to Nigeria, where it may be breaking strict laws on adult digital conduct.

Nigerian university student Abiodun (not his real name) is one of many people operating fake profiles on dating websites owned by Dutch firm Meteor Interactive BV.

Abiodun switches profiles between the dozens of fake accounts he manages on these websites, but each time he purports to be an attractive young white woman.

On one site he is Gingerhoney, a 21-year-old model with a pink-coloured duvet draped suggestively around her waist.

She describes herself as the best thing since honey and encourages men to call her Ginger – “the same colour as my hair”.

Somewhere on Abiodun’s computer is a folder containing various lewd images of Gingerhoney, just in case a client requests more erotic pictures.

The images, including the profile picture, are stock photos taken from various sources.

Abiodun is not the only one with access to Gingerhoney’s profile – dozens of other people manage her around the clock on a shift basis.

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