The Romance Scam

Falling in love is hard on the wallet


Of all the scams online, this one is, despite the name, the most heartless.

Taking advantage of lonesome, and often desperate souls, these criminals may spend months trying to win their victim’s trust, and millions are falling for this every year. Since falling in love often makes us do irrational things, ruthless scammers have found ways to use this in order to make money.

In the beginning this scam usually began on various dating sites, but today it is just as common on social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc. Sometimes, the potential victim receives a simple email. Pictures are often shared, but you can be quite sure that the picture of the beautiful woman, or handsome gentleman, is a mere fake.

Of what we know, the male perpetrators are often located in West African countries, while the females are somewhere in Eastern Europe.

So What Is The Scammers Goal?

There are two steps, in the Romance Scam, and the first step is the way, to achieve step two, which is the ultimate goal.

  1. To win the victim’s trust.
  2. To get hold of the victim’s money.

As I have already written, these scammers can spend months trying to win the victims trust. Then, when time is right, the victim is scammed into sending money, but it can also go as far, as arranging a meeting.

When this happens, one of these two scenarios may take place.

  • Prior to the arranged meeting, something happens, and you will have to send money as soon as possible, to help resolve the problem.
  • If the victim’s family is wealthy, he/she might get kidnapped, and the family will thereafter receive a ransom demand.

As for advice on how to avoid falling for these scams, it can be hard, because most of the people falling for this, are exactly like the rest of us, and falling in love can make all of us do irrational things.

All I can say is:

  • Don’t send money to anyone you haven’t met!
  • Should you arrange a meeting, make it in a public place, and be careful.
  • Don’t EVER travel abroad just to meet with someone you’ve only met on the internet.
  • If you are rich, or you have a rich family, keep it to yourself during your correspondence. If it is a scammer on the other end, he/she may lose interest, if the potential price is to low.

I hope you find some of the advice in this article useful.

Stay safe out there, and remember that most of the scams can be avoided using common sense.

Thank you for reading.

Øssur

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