(quote) Ginia-1026653 said: http://www.forbes.com/sites/billsinger/2013/02/15/fbi-warns-about-online-dating-scams/
I wanted to share some of my experience with online dating scammers. Yes, I was an unwitting victim. And I want to help educate others so they can avoid what I went through. Forewarned is forearmed.
Here is a typical first letter.... http://www.romancescam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=77&t=32858&sid=8a6e36fb782142884e8aa84e4a86626a
The Germans have a website dedicated to my 1st scammer:
Have you run into any of these fakers?
I have run into them in droves. Awhile back --- several months ago we had a thread on this topic and I wrote a huge detailed post about them because I was rather incensed by them. Suffice it to say, the first one was supposedly a 30 year military guy currently stationed in the Middle East etc with a young son who was in the care of his elderly uncle who had also raised him. . .I had some serious red flags with the guy and kept waiting for the shoe to drop. . . he began mentioning his son complaining of serious stomach pains -- I encouraged him to get his uncle to take him to the doctor as it could have been an appendicitis, blah, blah -- sure enough that is what the doctor decided (a week or more later) and he would need surgery but they wouldn't do it until they had received 1500 dollars. Some serious issues with this scenario:
1. if truly military this kid would have been covered on his father's Tri-care
2. the military would have made sure all details of the kiddo's care had been outlined before deployment
3. the father would have made child support/funding arrangements for the kiddo before deployment
4. An appendicitis is an urgent medical need and a hospital would have operated and worked out a payment plan later.
5. having waited this long the chance that the kiddo was still alive with a by now burst appendix and massive internal infection would have been a miracle.
Anyway I didn't bite at helping with the $1500.. . elder uncle scrounged together all but $350 -- he asks if I would help -- I said absolutely: give me your sons full name, the hospital where the surgery will take place and I will call immediately and set up the payment.
Not good enough, his uncle was very proud I should just send him the money via Western Union. . . I stick to my guns, if you want my help this is the only way I can do it. . .I got all sorts of hateful emails after that --- how could I do that and let a child suffer, blah, blah
My son in the meantime who was deployed was having a fit. He emailed the guy and got him to email back. Josh took the email and forwarded it to their security detail. Yep somewhere from Africa far, far away from Kabul. . .anyway Josh taught me how to get the IP address as well and look it up for destination.
Bottom line these guys all follow the same scripts with minor variations. Watch out for these especially: guys who are supposed to be in the military and guys who are engineers - self employed - and building massive bridge projects mostly on their own dime and are stranded -- I know of a fella who was taken for $3000 he took out a loan for and then was completely frantic to come up with another $50,000 for his "love" who was stranded and playing all the guilt cards on the guy, including but this other guy is giving me $25,000 -- how can i marry you if you can't help me. This poor fella was already massively depressed and desperate for love and this nearly undid him. I spent most of a day getting someone to him to keep him from doing something really stupid.
I guess I am still incensed. In my FB other messages I have over 100 messages from these guys. I have only run into one or two from here and they didn't survive long. But, other venues are more accessible to them.
A couple of warning signs:
1. the story -- see the link Ginia posted
2. they cannot write like a native English speaker
3. the writing and interaction will be inconsistent -- some will be better and some will be poor - grammar wise -- because they are sitting in a room -- several of them and you are probably speaking to more than one.
4. they come on crazy strong
5. they are preying on the lonely and desperate for love
6. check their IP address
7. check for messages from mobile versus from web
8. if they give you a yahoo address and want you to talk on yahoo messenger -- BEWARE
9. copy and paste part of their letters into google and you will generally find a version on a scammer website
10. they whip out the guilt language if questioned or refused.
What can you do?
1. flat out reject them
2. get an email and check the IP address
3. report them to the admins of wherever they contact you from
4. report them to the military -- they have a website specifically for this.
5. warn others
I hadn't intended to write such a long response but these guys really bug the fire out of me.