After the romance scam, victims want justice by identifying and locating the scammer. Although finding the identity and whereabouts of a thief in a far-off land serves no purpose. Plus, it isn't straightforward to achieve. Also, the person you have been communicating with is not one person but most likely multiple people. Even if you did identify the culprit, what then? Ask the local police to make an arrest?
I often say that the only truth in a dating scam is someone who sent money, and someone received it. Such being the case, all actions after the fact is aimed at the receiver since they saw your money last. Sometimes they are money mules who take a percentage of the funds, and other times, victims caught up in money laundering.
Getting your money back means you must be loud and do not take no for an answer. You are a victim, and you deserve justice. Do note that some law enforcement agencies tend not to consider romance scams real crimes. Do not accept no from the police. Demand they take a report and not focus on the romance aspect but the fraud; a crime is a crime.
I have helped clients recoup funds from banks, cash transfer services, and other online services. Some of the funds came back from Turkey, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Dubai, the US, and other countries. The process seemed subjective, and the organizations never reveal the reason for the refund.
Have your bank recall all wire transfers. The banker might tell you it is too late, such is untrue. You have the right to reverse the actions anytime, especially if there is a fraud. The receiving bank might report that the accounts are closed or have no funds. Your bank must confirm that the name you sent the wire to is the same name on the account.
Online dating scams are horrible crimes; it breaks the heart and the bank account. If you are a victim, don't sit back and allow the victimization to overtake you, do something. Because if you do nothing, nothing happens.
It is not easy to find the money sent to a romance scammer, but do not give up.
Privacy Expert, Frank M. Ahearn explains how to recover funds lost in a romance scam.
One of the misconceptions about romance scammers is that swindlers only want money. Untrue! Romance scammers also use victims as go-betweens for money laundering and stealing their identity.
Scammers will claim that they have a problem with their bank account and need to receive money from a business associate. They will request that you receive the funds into your bank account, and then forward onwards. Usually, that account is in some far-off country. Even more shocking is the scammer will tell you that the amount will only be ten thousand, but in a short period, your account will be bombarded with hundreds or thousands of dollars in deposits. After you reluctantly wire transfer the money offshore, your bank will likely freeze your account and begin an investigation.
The scammer does not stop there, and after they bleed their victim dry of money, they want the victim's identity. The scammer will tell you that he will send you back all the money you sent him. He will explain that his bank will contact you directly. A fake banker will email you and clarify that to wire transfer your funds they need a few items.
1. Copy of your passport
2. Copy of driver's license
3. Copy of a utility bill
The passport and license are used to establish identity. However, what is most important is the utility bill; which confirms a home address. With these three items, the scammer can quickly open a bank account online. Think before you give!
If you believe you might be involved with a romance scammer, or are a victim of an online dating fraud, Scam Guru can help.
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