Upon finding victims, scammers lure them to more private means of communication, (such as providing an e-mail address) to allow for fraud to occur.The fraud typically involves the scammer acting as if they've quickly fallen for the victim so that when they have the opportunity to ask for money, the victim at that time has become too emotionally involved, and will have deep feelings of guilt if they decline the request for money from the scammer.
Those who swallow their pride and do it anyway are like gazelles pasturing on a savannah, easy game for vicious hyenas.When I started my adventures on the online dating scene, I was very naive.There is usually the promise that the fictitious character will one day join the victim in the victim's country.The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money.Susan Shasshaty was nearly a victim of an increasingly familiar dating scam, someone you meet online asks for money. Money Gram seems to be the business of choice for these crooks to collect.
Pete Caddigan oversees the company's security investigations. "It's tough, every day I come in, there is a new scam and a new set of scammers," Caddigan says. "In the state of Virginia, what's interesting is that 50 percent of the total romance scams reported, happen in the first two months of the year.
A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.
Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victims' money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers or by getting the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.
"We also need to hear from the victim to understand how the scam works and the social engineering.
In other words, how they get into the victim's head and convince them to give up their hard earned money," Caddigan says.
He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.