Common sense tells us never to send money to a stranger. If such is the case, why do victims send money to people they do not know? The answer is simple. Scammers are manipulative and aggressive in their tactics. Simply put, scammers inundate with constant attention, compliments, and vows of love. So, all common sense disappears because the attention feels good.
If you do not keep the perspective that you are in an online/digital relationship with an unidentified stranger and recognize it is not a long-distance relationship, you will become a victim and believe the lies.
1. You will believe that the soldier needs to pay the military to visit you, and he needs your financial help.
2. The law detained the oil rig worker, and you must help with legal fees.
3. The diamond dealer sent a valuable parcel, and he needs you to pay the shipping fee.
4. The businessperson claims an expensive machine part broke, and he needs a loan.
Romance Scammers wield control of the relationship by dictating the communications. They decide when they will call, and they establish that calling them is not convenient. Most scammers never answer their phone; the number they provided or what you see displayed on caller ID is not their actual number but an app number or digital manipulation. A relationship needs to have a balance; it should not tip in favor of the other person's needs. They even claim they love you without ever seeing you in person or on video. How does love sprout from photos and text messages? Is that love or something else?
Scammers play the whoa is I card. The manipulation happens when they invent a disaster and expect you to be their savior. If you are involved with someone who falls on a tough time, and your money is the resolution- run, dump, and block that person. It is not your responsibility to save other people, especially at the expense of your savings account or credit card. Also, it is irresponsible of you to extend such to someone you never met.
The actual danger of a romance scammer is he or she will take every cent you have. And when that last cent leaves your hand, they will suggest you use a credit card, get a loan, a second mortgage, or borrow from friends or family. Scammers do not stop; they destroy to the very end. When you think it is all over, an email from a fake law enforcement officer or lawyer will pop up in your inbox. The claim, they located your money; however, to recover, you need to pay a recovery fee. Just another scam!
Employ common sense if you are dating online, and never send money to a person you never met in the flesh.
Frank M. Ahearn educates victims on romance scams.
He is the author of the New York Times Best Seller How to Disappear.
Email Addresss: ID@Scam.Guru