Definition of Scammer
The term scammer means cheater or swindler. This term is mainly used by love scammers on the Internet. These are people who do unscrupulously everything in their power to get someone else for their money. This is done through lies, tricks, deception and threats.
They create false profiles with fictitious names and stolen photos of attractive people to go in search of victims, who they usually write randomly on the Internet. Then they gain the trust of the victims and later acquire their money with fraudulent stories.
With general access to the World Wide Web and the anonymity offered by the Internet, fraudsters are becoming increasingly common these days. They are usually driven by personal greed or even pleasure when they destroy the victims’ lives unhindered by police, law or morality. They are the real face of the human abyss.
Where do scammers appear?
This kind of scam appears everywhere on:
- all social media
- all online dating sites
- and practically anywhere else on the Internet where you can imagine it.
They are doing their mischief almost unhindered in their daily search for potential victims.
Who becomes a victim in Online Dating Scams?
The scam is Romance Scamming, which according to the dictionary means love scam. Victims can be either women or men. In fact, however, women are much more often affected by this form of scam what is also called romance fraud.
Female scammers mainly come from Eastern European countries, but also from Africa and Malaysia.
The male scammers are mainly from African countries as well as Turkey and some Asian countries.
How does the scam works?
The men with the fake profiles pretend to love the women after some time. The dream of a common future is to become a lived reality in the everyday life of the victims and is painted in beautiful words.
Sometime it happened to the woman and she actually feels something like love for the new companion from the Internet. It comes to a deep emotional connection.
From this moment on the woman is like butter in the hands of the cheater and at some point she gives him all the money she has. He fakes emergency situations that have surprised him in foreign countries. Now he needs help and money urgently.
The scammers come up with an unusual life story that plays into his cards. In the fake profiles the scam artist is often a US-American (often, as a US soldier) and the type of dream man that is otherwise only to be found in the cinema. Sensitively and patiently he waits for his chance, until sometime the spark of love leaps over.
The fact that the victim only knows the man from his photo and his daily news becomes a minor matter at some point. The woman has fallen for the man with heart and soul and dreams only of the first meeting in real life. Scamming has already led to an emotional dependency.
If he then asks for help in an emergency abroad, she is there for him without hesitation. From this point on, her fortune has been lost. If she has no more money of her own, she sells valuables, borrows money from friends, family or the bank until she is completely in debt.
Do Romance Scammers always demand money?
Usually it’s about cash. But if a victim has no financial means at his or her disposal, this does not mean that he or she is not affected by scamming.
Mostly the Romance Scammers try to profit in other ways. This happens, for example, with the victim’s personal data, which is used for other scams on the Internet like identity theft.
It is particularly common for penniless victims to be drawn into the scam without knowing it. The con artist then explains that third parties transfer money to the bank account of the victims. The amounts the romance scam victim receives should be withdrawn from the account and then transferred by Western Union or MoneyGram to Africa, Turkey or anywhere else overseas in cash.
This form of forwarding fulfils the complicity as a financial agent, even if the person who does this has no idea that fraud is behind it.
Another variant of fraud is that the scammer delivers stolen goods to the destitute person with whom he is in contact. These are often mobile phones or other expensive devices. This should take them and then forward them to Africa or another country.
What damage is caused by Romance Scams?
It is difficult to estimate the financial damage because the number of unreported cases is extremely high. Most victims do not even go to the police out of shame. This is especially true if they have only lost small amounts in the four-digit range.
The FBI has announced in a statement that US Americans alone have lost more than 230 million US dollars in one year to Romance Scam. But that is at best the tip of the iceberg, because most acts remain undetected. No one knows how many scam victims there really are.
Also in Germany, Great Britain, France, Japan, Australia, Spain, Italy, Sweden and other industrial countries the damage caused could be up to 100 Million and more every year.
Love Scam is an annual billion euro business for criminal organizations like Nigeria Connection (that’s why they call it Nigerian scam) and others. What remains are debts and broken hearts.
The highest amount known to us in this variant of advance fee fraud was more than 600,000 Euros in one individual case. This is an unimaginably large sum that has left a ruined life behind.
How to protect myself from Online Dating Scam?
Because Romance Scammers are omnipresent on the Internet and social media, anyone can come into contact with the criminals. A healthy degree of mistrust is the only way to deal with a person you only know from fake pictures.
In online dating, if you meet someone who quickly speaks of love and relationship after the first contact, be careful. Most dating sites are interspersed with love scammers. As long as you know someone only from the picture and have never seen them live in-person in everyday life face-to-face, you never send money to them.
If someone demands your financial help without you knowing him personally, it is almost always a scammer. You can claim a refund, but the FBI can practically help you. Your money will then be lost.
Because the subject of scamming goes hand in hand with a multitude of stitches, be on your guard in any case where you have to pay something. Don’t get involved in an alleged joint account with someone you only know from a photograph.
Our advice on Romance Scams
If you have met someone who is travelling in other countries for professional or family reasons and is asking you for financial support, say NO. Never pay money. If he says that a family member has got you into trouble and he cannot help you abroad, don’t believe him. A chat, text messages and a few phone calls aren’t a relationship!
Here are tips for defensive dating to avoid online dating scams:
- Never give a stranger in chat rooms or social media any personal information about yourself.
- Do not send him nude pictures.
- Do not send him a copy of your passport.
- Don’t let him make wire transfer to your bank for you to pass on.
Beware of fakes. If he asks for money, you should see a red flag. It is then almost always an online scam. Check his photos and personal details on Google or Bing.
If you listen to your common sense, you will often recognize Love Scamming and Online Scams at the very beginning. Online dating can otherwise end in disaster.
If in doubt, ask a detective for advice. Our detective agency has probably handled more cases of Romance Scamming than most other private detectives. We are also happy to deal with your concerns and advise you whether the stranger you have met uses a false identity as a profile. We’re quick to spot a scam.
Talk to a private investigator now about Love Scamming in dating portals and other places on the net. We advise you discreetly and protect you from Romance Scam and financial losses. Send us a message now.