1. Artificial Long Distance Relationships:
A long-distance relationship will begin with electronic chats. The more, the better. Conversations are focused on flattery, something that’s easy to do because the victim is lonely and often vulnerable. They’re then encouraged to make a trip to meet the “love of your life.” In reality, the person you’re talking to doesn’t live in the country you live in. The scammer must be very good at online games, and then have some of the money spent to take you to the destination. The victim is then asked to wire some more money so the scheme can continue. You never get to meet the person you thought you were talking to.
2. The “Other Woman”:
Scammers will often target married women or women of high status in business.
What are Romance Scams?
These schemes are unfortunately common. Nearly one in four people has been scammed in the past year. The average age of a victim is 56 years old. Over 60 million dollars was stolen from American citizens, and women are the majority of the victims. Millions of dollars are paid out to scammers every year. The FBI reports that romance scams are often the most expensive social engineering schemes. That means they are most likely to make criminals rich. The biggest victims are often lonely men and women who put trust in someone they thought they knew. Romance scams are a more modern variation on a classic con.
How Do They Work?
Romance scammers tell victims that they are strangers or old friends from years ago. They may work for a small business or a state agency.
How to avoid scams
If you want to avoid falling victim to romance scams, there are a few things you can do to help keep you protected and prevent you from losing thousands of dollars to a scammer.
Always do your research
It’s important to do some research prior to meeting someone online and setting up a date or hookup. This way you can know a little more about the person you’re getting to know. A quick search online for your potential date’s name and then check out their public profile with the same name is a great way to identify potential scam artists.
Don’t give money to a scammer right away
No matter what the situation is with the scammer, do not give any money to them immediately.
Tips for victims of romance scam
If you are contacted by someone who claims to be a foreigner, and they want to meet you, avoid meeting the person at a public place. These people are usually on holiday or not who they say they are. If you are ever in doubt, contact the police immediately. Don’t send money to someone you have never met in person. Scammers usually rely on the good nature of the person they target.
Advice for men
If you are a man, your odds of being targeted by a scammer are much higher than your female counterparts, according to Dr. Lawton, but you can still protect yourself from being a victim. Scammers can make any woman vulnerable by exploiting her love of compliments, caring manner, and concern for other people. Scammers will convince you to send them money with the promise that they will do something special for you in return. Once they have your money, they stop communicating, making it almost impossible to get it back.
These scams are always evolving, so you need to stay aware of the latest tactics. With each passing year, they become harder to recognize and to thwart. As with most issues in life, common sense goes a long way towards protecting you from online fraudsters.
Avoid investing in a relationship. When you invest in a relationship, you take a chance that the other person will eventually use or misuse your money. Don’t be pressured into buying any gift cards, flowers, or jewelry. Tell the person you meet that you’re a bit tight for cash. Always have a way to contact the person.
Advice for women
Remember: You must show interest in a man if you want him to show interest in you. The scammers try to encourage you to go out with them, even though they could have friends and family that have been stealing their money. But if you feel you’re falling for them, just give it a try, even if it doesn’t work out. Never share any money, gift cards, or valuable personal information with someone you haven’t met in person. If you’re uncomfortable, just move on.
Advice for men on how to spot a potential scammer
Any communications that include references to the man’s bank account or credit card statements or other finances is a red flag. One of the most common threats to scammers is the use of personal information. These messages could contain information about your favorite pet or the neighborhood you live in. The scammer might also use things you say to garner sympathy or trust. Also, be on the lookout for imposters that create fake social media accounts to impersonate you. Scammers are usually prolific users of social media so that they can create a very believable and specific image of themselves.
Advice for women on how to spot a potential scammer
The reality is that over 50 percent of women who are at least 30 years old are victims of romance scams. With the number of fake profiles online, it’s really difficult to tell the fake profiles apart from real ones, and they’re very convincing. It’s common for scam artists to create a profile for a woman that is very convincing and look just like a woman she is impersonating. It’s important to know the difference. By simply asking a few simple questions, it could save you years of your hard-earned money.
Tips for women looking for a scammer
If you’re not sure if you are on a date with a real person, you can always ask questions like “How did you meet?” or “How did you know about me?” These questions might catch a scammer’s attention and start him to sweat. It is also best to stay calm.
The current environment is filled with several scammers and conmen, who may be threatening or a lot like scammers in the past. Be careful! Make sure you are not falling into a romance scam trap.