FTC Warns Consumers About Online Dating Scams

A new study has raised concern, as more children are talking to and meeting people they meet online, with dangerous consequences. When Morrison suggested that her suitor put his daughter on a plane to get better medical attention at home — and even offered to pick the girl up at the airport — a new crisis struck. By then, Morrison knew she was dealing with a scammer. Though the amounts and details of the scam vary from victim to victim, when it comes to romance scams, the con is almost always the same: The crook wants to get a besotted victim to wire money or provide access to a credit card. If the victim doesn’t figure out the con after the first request for cash, the crook will keep milking the relationship for as much as he or she can get. When the victim gets wise, the con artist gets scarce. To be sure, these scams aren’t new.

Online Dating and Romance Scams

Cases Reported in Love Scam An overview of love scams: Love scammers pretend to be looking for love, engage the affection of their possible victims by using photos from the internet to present a gorgeous view of themselves. They often target people on dating sites or in chat rooms and will repeatedly say that they are in love promptly in an effort to make the victim fall for them.

To fight back against love scams , there are websites who are going beyond the mainstream approach to report and take actions against love scammers. They share their experiences and information in the form of portable documents. How love scammers get you trapped:

NEVER give credit card or online account details to anyone by email.

They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad. Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging.

They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency.

For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street. The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere.

They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Philippine PI, a professional private investigation company based in the U. He urged urge consumers to proceed with caution in romantic relationships involving the Philippines. Philippine PI is one of the largest private investigation firms operating in the Philippines, with agents in Manila, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan.

The truth is Africa is not as corrupt as it used to be, and this excuse is getting really lame.

Here’s how it happened. Before she knew it, her savings were gone. And the man of her dreams? He might not even exist. A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December , under the subject line: Later, when she puzzled over their relationship, she’d remember this. She had contacted him, not the other way around. That had been a fateful move; it made everything easier for him.

But she didn’t know that yet. So much of this was new. It had been over two years since the death of her husband of 20 years; four, since she had lost her mother. Two sharp blows that had left her alone in her late 50s.

RUSSIAN WOMEN BLACK LIST: dating scams and known scammers

According to a press release, in the scam, con artists often meet their victims on social media or dating websites. They may also send forged photos or documents to prove who they are. A doctor working overseas who is robbed and needs money for a new passport. An engineer building a bridge in India who is robbed and needs money to come home. A jeweler traveling in Africa detained after trying to board a plane with a diamond. The con artist will usually tell the person to send money using a wire-transfer service, money order, prepaid card, gift card, or other hard-to-trace payment method.

We reasonably rely on quick indicia of reliability to make quick decisions — was he wearing a badge?

Claims he is on a mission? Ninety-Nine percent of these relationships never move beyond texting, email or Google Hangouts. It is more than likely you never had a video or phone conversation with your online partner. Locate Online Dating Scammers The scammer will vow their love for you, change their emails to iloveyou , or sweetsomething. They will be extremely loving and caring until the bomb drops, a disaster occurred, and they need your help.

They will want you to pay for a package, pay an embassy for a visa, help them out of a legal issue, lend them money for a business disaster or medical situation. Either way, it is all a scam. Some for the amounts of one thousand dollars, others two-hundred-fifty thousand euros. No doubt lives destroyed. If each of them used netScammer, not one would have lost a single cent. Before you invest time, emotions and trust with a stranger online make sure they are who they say they are, and not some scammer.

Ahearn If you are trying to identify, search for or recover funds from a romance scammer, you must be cautious that you are not employing the scammer themselves. The criminal who swindled you will contact you using another identity and claim they can recover your funds through a lawyer or law enforcement. They will request a payment to process the case, do not send money.

Dating & romance scams

Clues for spotting a fake dating profile Close One day Georgina received a friend request from a serviceman on peacekeeping duties in Afghanistan. She decided to accept the request and allowed ‘Jim’ to be her Facebook friend. Soon after befriending her, Jim told Georgina he had lost his wife to cancer and his story of looking after her was similar to her own experience when her husband had died of cancer.

Just before I left Australia, Bill and I celebrated his 80th birthday.

Jan 16 Fraudsters Automate Russian Dating Scams Virtually every aspect of cybercrime has been made into a service or plug-and-play product. That includes dating scams — among the oldest and most common of online swindles. The dating scam package is assembled for and marketed to Russian-speaking hackers, with hundreds of email templates written in English and a variety of European languages. Many of the sample emails read a bit like Mad Libs or choose-your-own-adventure texts, featuring decision templates that include advice for ultimately tricking the mark into wiring money to the scammer.

The vendor of the fraud package advertises a guaranteed response rate of at least 1. One of hundreds of sample template files in the dating scam package. The dating scam package advises customers to stick to a tried-and-true approach. For instance, scammers are urged to include an email from the mother of the girl in the first 10 emails between the scammer and a target.

Interestingly, although Russia is considered by many to be among the most hostile countries toward homosexuals, the makers of this dating scam package also include advice and templates for targeting gay men. It is in this critical, final part of the scam that the fraudster is encouraged to take advantage of criminal call centers that staff women who can be hired to play the part of the damsel in distress.

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For those of us genuinely searching for that “one special woman” Elena restores a lot of lost faith that we may actually be able to do this without losing a fortune and getting a broken heart in the process! USA Thanks for all of your information, particularly the scam warnings. I am interested in Russian women not only for their impressive beauty, but even more for their obvious intelligence, grace, and desire to live with men, rather than compete.

This is a minefield, but the treasure is certainly worth it. Tony USA I got this scammer on my personal ad last week. I had never imagined of looking for someone in Russia.

If you agree to meet a prospective partner in person, tell family and friends where you are going.

The Nigerian dating scams target the lonely and vulnerable. The most common comment of victims who think they have found the love of their life is “I can’t believe I was so stupid! The Nigerian dating scams are hugely profitable. The Nigerians call them ‘maghas’ which is slang for gullible white people. The scammers spend their day trolling the dating sites and chat rooms for contact emails, and then send off thousands of fraudulent letters and emails awaiting the victim’s replies.

They are offering the chance of finding true love and happiness, and there are plenty of takers! However sooner or later, the vulnerable hearts receive requests that will ultimately lead to financial losses and heartbreak. The scammers choose chat rooms and dating sites because the person in love offers the chance of the biggest payoffs. How Does the Scam Work?

The Nigerian dating scams are often not easy to detect as the scammers are often highly educated, have exceptional patience and they do their homework! The scammers start by stealing a photo from an internet site. They prefer to use images of white people capitalising on stereotypes and perceptions. The photos are usually of beautiful people and the quality of the photo is high. If you think you are being scammed, go to this site and browse all the photos to see if the person you are communicating has a photo on this site.

Victim out $510K after online romance scam