Every day I think about various strategies, tactics, and insights that I can share so people can avoid romance scams. Unfortunately, my bullhorn is limited in reach. Still, I do believe shouting as loud and as much as possible to the dating world is one solution.
The most straightforward advice is to not send money to someone you met on the internet. No money sent equals no loss! Also, play detective and demand a video conversation. Ask questions, make sure they respond, and watch to see if their mouth and eyes move. Does the face on the screen match the photo? Be aware scammers hold up pictures, shake them, and mumble in the background.
The ability to meet a person in an instant has its dangers. One's loneliness can be conquered in a matter of hours by a new doting/dating partner. Your guard can drop as the scammer love-attacks you with attention no man has ever offered. It is easy to fall prey; what harm is chatting, you think? The chatting is the hook!
Today I give you a pop quiz.
Q. What professions do romance scammer like to impersonate?
A. Soldier, Oil Rig Worker, International Businessperson, or all?
The answer is all, and then some. Scammers pose using many professions; however, the red flag is a profession that keeps them out of direct contact and in a foreign place.
Q. Do scammers have sufficient internet service?
A. Scammers say no.
Scammers claim that their internet service is slow, which prohibits them from videoing or talking. If they tell you this, ask them why they can text, email, and everything else on their mobile.
Q. Do scammers have good mobile phones?
A. Scammers say no.
Every scammer claims that the camera on the phone is broken. Tell them to come back when they buy a new mobile.
Q. Can Oil Rig Workers video?
A. The answer is yes!
Oil Rig employees can video on oil rigs. One scammer told a victim that he could not video because it could ignite the nuclear reactor.
Q. Can Soldiers video?
A. Some can and some cannot.
I guess it depends on where they are located. The ones who claim they cannot have a video chat still send texts, emails, and photos, plus find time to hang in Google Hangouts. One should consider that suspect.
Q. Does the military charge soldiers to go on vacation?
Fake soldiers claim they must pay the military to go on holiday, and that they are responsible for their own medical needs, even if shot in the field. Imagine that? Also, soldiers do not pay for legal assistance if they have legal issues.
Q. Do passports, and government ID's confirm a person's identity?
Any simpleton scammer can copy and paste a photo onto a passport. If you do not see their face on camera, their lips move and respond to questions you ask; they are fake!
Q. Do scammers ever use their real names, photos, and phone numbers?
Scammers steal photos from social sites, assume other people's names, and always use prepaid mobile phones or phone apps. Scammers never provide truthful information.
Q. Do scammers answer their phone?
Most scammers do not answer their phone, because they lack language skills, and do not want their accent to prove them fake.
Q. If he admits he is a scammer, can he change?
A. Absolutely not!
It is the admission scam where they claim they have fallen in love with you and want to change. After that comes the request for money to disappear from the other scammers.
Q. Is the bank account link real?
Scammers ask victims to do them a favor and check the balance in their bank account. When the victims do, it displays a few hundred thousand dollars. It is a bogus website, and much of the time, the abbreviation BNK is in the website name, as opposed to the word bank.
Q. Is it a real shipping company?
Scammers use fake shipping websites to scam thousands of dollars for fake deliveries. If your internet partner sends you a link to a shipping site, it is false.
Q. My mate wants me to send money to a person in Nigeria, is it a scam.
A. Yes, yes, and more yes!
If someone wants you to send a cash payment or wire transfer to a person in Nigeria, Ghana, China, Turkey, or to anyone you do not know it is a scam.
Q. What do you do if your online mate calls you, my queen?
A. Block them immediately!
Scammers try to play the role of Don Juan and Romeo, but they fail big time. All they can muster up is my queen, my love, my sweetheart, my princess, and other weak attempts of affection.
Q. What to do if the person you never met drops the L-word?
A. Block them immediately!
It is irresponsible to think a person is in love with you if you never met them in the flesh or have had daily video conversations. Furthermore, it is reckless to believe you are in love with an internet profile that is nothing more than an unknown digital entity. It is a romance scam.
To prevent a romance scam, you must embrace the word no, and it begins with creating boundaries. No, I will not send money because I may never see it again. No, I will not chat with you until your mobile phone video works. Just say, no!
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