Christmas and New Year’s is prime time for scammers to go hunting for victims. Those rotten scammers know people become vulnerable around the holidays. Therefore, it is essential you keep your guard up and do not allow yourself to fall prey.
Scammers will identify with be lonely, claiming they are on an oil rig, deployed in Afghanistan, or working a big government contract overseas. They pose as widowers, single fathers, and the bite on the loneliness of others. However, it is all a manipulation.
Romeo Scammers and Military Frauds will inundate you with attention, false love, and dreams which will never happen. You will be surprised with their new email address, with your name, and the word love attached. It will make you smile, but the truth is it will only pull you deeper into the scam.
1. Anyone with a job in a foreign country is a red flag.
2. Anyone who claims they cannot speak on the phone is a red flag.
3. Anyone who claims they cannot video is a red flag.
4. Photographs do not identify a person.
5. Passports do not confirm identity.
6. Work or government ID's do not establish identity.
If someone contacts you online claiming they are Santa Clause, you would not believe them. Then why would you trust someone who contacts you and tells you A, B, C and D?
During holiday seasons, and anytime of year the best present you can give yourself is to be aware, be safe and think of you.
When clients hire me to identify if the person they met online is a scammer or not. One hundred percent of the time, the person is a scammer. Imagine that not one individual has ever turned out to be real.
A client had me search a man she met on an online dating site. He claimed he was an engineer living in Berlin, but traveled extensively. He asked the client if she would do some work for him, like a personal assistant. She picked Western Union, RIA and Money Gram payments from his alleged clients. She then forwards the money to banks in Turkey, China and also purchased and transferred bitcoin. She did not realize she was collecting money from other victims in her own name.
The relationship seemed secure, the scammer suggested she move to Berlin and be with him. Note, they never had a video conversation. Then it happened, like in all scams, disaster occurs. The scammer needed a favor, twenty-thousand euros to fix one of his industrial machines. The client transferred the money as requested, plus another ten thousand a week later.
Moving day was near, she sold her furniture and ended the lease on her apartment. To be sure, all was well she hired me to search if Romeo was real or not. Like every name that comes to me, he was fake. Not only did he wipe out her savings but his actions will make her homeless in thirty days.
No one ever expects to be scammed but it happens, and it can happen to you. If you are going to let a stranger you met on the internet into your life, it is essential to know if they are a scammer or not. Smart dating is safe dating!
Losing money in a romance scam is not difficult. These piles of road scum who prey, and lie are savvy and know how to manipulate. They are professionals, and they spend their days cruising dating sites and social sites like hungry dogs. When they do connect, they are like leeches and suck as much blood as possible; however, their blood is money.
After losing your savings, you would think it would be easy to find help. I assure you, it is not. You face two battles; coping with the emotions of the heart and seeking justice. For many, this is usually a lonely road.
One of the most frustrating parts of seeking justice is getting law enforcement to help. Some victims who live in small towns are reluctant to file a report for fear of the whole town finding out. Even worse many small-town police departments do not know how to investigate a romance scam. They see bank transfers to Ghana, Nigeria or Uzbekistan and they empty-headed. No disrespect meant, it is not in their purview. Some law enforcement agencies have responded to victims by stating, it is a civil matter, not criminal. Since when is fleecing someone not criminal?
I say put your emotions to the side because it is time to kick some scammer ass. If you wired money to a bank, contact them, send letters and be angry. Demand they open an investigation and not just blow you off and tell you to report to your bank. No! Have them deal with the issue, demand accountability. Be a pest! The same for the police, if you sent money to Baden Baden, write to the different police precincts and make them aware of the money laundering. Don't be afraid to contact the local newspaper. Then there are the people who received your money for the scammer. Demand restitution, tell the police about them. Do not hide in the shadows, yell, kick and scream for action!
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