Our time dating sites and scammers
Initial contact between victim and scam artist is to take the step in starting a relationship.
The artist then explains that they are in another country (usually Africa: Nigeria or Mali, but England is also being used), and that they will not be returning to the States for another two weeks.
The artists may even send more pictures to the victim’s e-mail address to “legitimize” cooperation of starting a relationship.
Upon finding out more information about the “nice looking woman” — her parents died in a tragic accident and she has no family or friends who can help her stateside, or she was abandoned by her previous boyfriend in said country with no money to get home — this is where I become skeptical and ask if they have gone to the embassy or local church to find assistance to return home.
According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud.
In 2015, the last year for which data is available, consumers lost more than 0 million this way.
If you are asked to send money and feel so inclined, run the whole scenario by someone you trust.
Experts say online daters are always wise to be skeptical regarding what someone they've met online, and not in the flesh, tells them.
Most dating websites—even ones that cost money—don't vet the people who sign up.
“That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.” Eventually a pitch for money comes.
Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.