From Russia with love? Fall for one of these online dating scams or romance scams and more than your heart will be stolen
Looking for love online has become quite popular in recent years. Services such as Match.com, Yahoo Personals and others like them have millions of members who post personals in the hopes of meeting their soul mates. There are countless success stories and we all know of someone who’s married someone they met online or at the very least had a long-term successful relationship.
It’s stories such as these which encourage the rest of us which has turned online dating into the huge industry it is. Unfortunately, online dating has more than its share of pitfalls. Someone posting their personal to the web can be easy prey for both players and professional scam artists. Both use similar methods to lure unsuspecting into complex webs of deceit.
A good con artist will take his or her time to woo you into complacency. They’re probably communicating with numerous individuals at one time and are very good at what they do, having refined their technique over time. At first it may be very difficult to distinguish a con artist from someone showing genuine affection but eventually the unscrupulous play the scam card and that’s when you have to stop listening with your heart and begin using your head.
I’d love to meet you but…
Meeting someone you fall in love with online is a logical step if they haven’t raised any red flags. A relationship isn’t going very far without some face to face interaction after all. This is also a perfect opportunity for a criminal to play the scam card I mentioned earlier. A con artist might tell you that they’d love to meet you but they just can’t afford the trip. That’s when either they suggest that you send them some money to finance the trip or even better, you suggest it yourself. They’ve been grooming you for this and believe me, it happens all the time. A better plan might be for you to suggest visiting them instead and see what reaction that has. Sending money, especially to someone abroad, is an extremely risky and unwise idea. Failing to do so may cost you the love of you life but it’s more likely to cost you every penny sent to this person.
I Need an operation
Another ploy used to separate online lovers from their money is the old “I need an operation” scam. Your true love may suddenly drop a bombshell on you by announcing that they’ve been told that they need an operation. Hearing that your beloved is ill can be very painful emotionally and a seasoned scammer is well aware of this. Be wary of anyone you’ve met online telling you that they need money from you for medical bills. It may be very difficult to refuse this request but doing so may quickly reveal your online lovers true motives.
Russian Brides – Mail Order Brides
Russian bride and mail order bride scams usually start with an unsolicited email announcing that someone has read your online profile and they found it very interesting. I get a lot of these emails and at first glance they might seem to be a bonafide message. Lots of us have online profiles and we all know how gosh darned interesting we are. The only thing surprising is that we get so few of these responses to our profiles. Under closer scrutiny the scam becomes obvious. The email is generic and could be apply to almost anyone. There are unscrupulous people out there sending these messages to thousands and thousands of people. Spam is what these “profile responses” really are. Reply to one and you will get a similar story. The young woman will sound extremely nice and sincere. She may be a doctor or a teacher and she will always be leading a hard life. Should you continue to correspond there will eventually be some out-of-the-blue declaration of love and affection. Shortly after that there will be requests for money to either help support her since jobs are so scarce in Mother Russia or she will want money for a VISA so that she can come see you. If that doesn’t work she’ll need money so that she can continue to use the internet, food or even an operation that only you can help pay for. If you start sending money there will be more and more requests for additional funds. Think of this as a hole you are throwing good money down because you will never meet this woman, she might not even be a woman at all, she may be married to someone but she almost certainly doesn’t really love you. She loves your money and that’s about it.
Did you know that convicts reciding in prison can post their profiles on websites? Well they not only can, they do. Some of these prisoners are sex offenders and some are even rapists. “How can this happen”, you say? While these inmates can’t post directly to the websites themselves, there are organizations with their own websites that allow convicts to send their profiles to them via the US Mail and they post their profiles online for them. This may not be a scam but the profile posters don’t have to indicate what they were sent up the river for. You may be told that their only crime was insider trading but the reality might be that they are a violent sex offender. If you answer an online personal from an inmate you should consider looking deep into their records rather than just believing what you’re told.