There is so much to write about romance scams, especially what scammers love.
1. Scammers love to pose as oil rig workers, soldiers, engineers or self-employed business-people with a foreign government contract.
2. Romance scammers love to claim they are widowers and have a young child. To support their fraud they have photographs of them being loving fathers. Makes you want to puke!
3. Scammers love to love you and shower you with teenage attention. They love the word darling, oh darling, and my darling. They will even create an email address, mydarling@ or my onlylove@.
4. Scammers rarely go on video but love to tell you why they cannot like he broke his phone camera. One scammer who stated he was on an oil rig suggested that using his camera would cause an explosion. Another said he was shy, but he wasn't too shy to ask for money.
5. Scammers love not being connected to their crime, so they have you send money to a third party. Typically, Turkey or Nigeria. If you are dating a real US soldier why on earth would they need you to send money to someone in Abuja or Istanbul?
6. Scammers love avoiding your phone conversation. They claim they are in a bad service area, where are bad mobile service areas these days. Oh wait, some claim war zones. Then how the hell are they emailing you or chatting in Google Hangouts?
7. Yes, dating scammers love Google Hangouts. If you met a person on the internet and you are chatting in hangouts, you could be a victim.
8. Scammers are lazy nine-to-five workers who seem to scam only on their time zone. If the person you are involved with says they are in London or Dubai does their communications time line up? Many scammers work in internet cafes, so some scammers need to wait until nine in the morning for the cafe to open before they can make contact.
9. Scammers love not taking your phone call. Many use apps that ring and transfer calls to a voicemail or email. Ask yourself, how many times has your so-called mate answered their phone?
10. Scammers love to write endearing words of love to their victims. If you copy and paste the words into a search engine, you will see they copied the love words from a website.
11. Scammers love to ask your help in shipping a package to you. When you agree you will discover it will cost ten-thousand-dollars.
12. Most of all romance scammers love your money and love destroying your life. Wake up, and never send a stranger you met on the internet your cash!
Every romance pre-screen I have done for a client has resulted in the target being a romance scammer — not one honest person in the bunch. The betrayal, the lies, the embarrassment, and the loss of money, it is no doubt a painful truth to face.
Many ask me how it is possible to move forward, considering. There is not an easy answer, but I do know that being angry at one's self or going an even darker route is no solution. It is crucial to realize that you were a victim the second you said hello. Also, the person who victimized you is a professional and most likely part of a criminal organization. I suggest you put the emotions to the side and prepare for the scams to come.
If you confront a scammer and reveal that you know they are fake. The scammer will turn the table, and admit to their wrongdoings. Then they will claim they love you and will leave the scamming life behind. It is dangerous to believe such lies because, in time, the scammer will tell you that they need money to get out of the scamming life, or they have been arrested and need your help. You will be back where you started.
After the scam, you will receive an email from a lawyer, barrister or fake law enforcement agency. They will claim the scammer is under arrest and they can recover your money. Naturally, the person or organization contacting you will want a fee, it seems that ten thousand dollars appear to be the magic number. No law enforcement agency or officer of the law will ever ask for money.
The rats will come alive from your social site. Another part of the scam is someone on your social site will reach out to you. They will claim that the scammer scammed them. However, they offer good news; they know someone who can recover the funds. As mentioned, the magic number to get your money back is about ten thousand dollars, or whatever you can pay.
If you are a victim of a scam, it is essential to be aware of those who contact you after the fraud. It will no doubt be the miscreant who defrauded you.
When a person contacts you via a dating app or on a social site, have the attitude that they are a scammer until proven otherwise. Sure, it is a cynical approach, but online dating is a battlefield, and the casualties are your heart and bank account. If you heard the horror stories I have, you would instantly take heed.
The first lesson in online dating is if the person you are chatting with says the word love or the phrase I love you, before seeing you on video or talking on the phone. You must STOP and ask yourself, does it make sense that a total stranger can fall in love without ever seeing your eyes blink, lips move or hear the sound of your voice? Think about it; all communications have been through technology, not human interaction.
On the flip-side, if you have texted the love word or phrase I love you before seeing them on video STOP! You are falling into a Romeo scam trap. If you had an eighteen-year-old daughter and she told you she has fallen in love with a soldier overseas you would say to her slow it down. If she told you that she is in love and never has seen her soldier on video, you would say she is crazy, maybe not so much in those words but you would say or do something to wise her up. Parent yourself in the same situation.
Enough of your fake daughter, let's get to your phony relationship. Are you really in love with the unidentified, engineer, soldier, or doctor who claims he is working for the UN in war-torn Syria? Are you really in love with the man you never spoke to on the phone but wants you to send him five-hundred euros via Western Union? Are you really in love with the man who never answers his phone? How can you be in love, when the extent of your communications is text, email or Google Hangouts?
Online dating scams are a multi-million dollar business and no doubt an organized criminal enterprise. These scammers know what they re doing, they know which buttons to press, the words to type and the excuses that keep you at bay. More dangerous, they know how to lead you in the direction of emptying your bank account. Last month alone, I have encountered a handful of clients whose losses tallied upwards of two-hundred-thousand euros. All of them were in love, none of them saw the scammer on video. Each of the scammers claimed a job overseas; as well as feigned financial trouble. One was a shipwreck in Malaysia, the military brig for a decorated soldier, and school books for a niece.
Do you genuinely want to be in a relationship of where so much is unsure? Life can be lonely, but it is a lot more solitary without your life savings.
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