No one wants to think they could be taken advantage of by Internet romance
scams, and yet hundreds of thousands of people are taken in every year.
The scammers are professionals and often this is their only source of
The approach may be to secure some quick cash, or it may be a more elaborate
scam over a longer period of time [up to a year]. In the cases of a longer
relationship, the scammer will say, do or promise anything because they want
you to trust them and believe in them, so it is easier to extract your
They will promise the world - love, marriage, children, business
partnerships, travel, dream lifestyles, however the only catch is that you
will have to fund all the dreams.
It will be a complete whirlwind romance!
the Internet Romance Scams Work?
A person registers on an online dating site and
creates a profile and often includes a photo
A scammer contacts the person and expresses an
interest in exploring a relationship
The victim and scammer correspond and usually the
scammer encourages the victim to move off the dating site contact system
and continue communicating via email so that the dating site can't
monitor the scammer
The scammer builds up trust with the victim and photos
are exchanged. The scammer has stolen photos from other internet sites
so the photos the victims sees are not that of the scammer
Once the relationship has been progressing a few weeks
[usually 2-6 weeks] the scammer will 'fall in love' with the victim and
the communication will become very passionate and seductive
Then the scammer will ask for money for a variety of
Passport, visa, air tickets and travel insurance
Emergency medical expenses for her or her family
due to illness or accidents
Internet cafe expenses, cell phone
If the victim sends money, the scammer knows they have
a 'live one' and will continue to invent reasons for more money until
the victim has no more money, or realizes what is going on and stops
The scammer drops the email address used with the
victim and continues with their other victims they are stringing along
at the same time
A variation to the internet dating scams is when the
scammer sets up a profile and waits for the victims to contact them.
They usually use a photo of a very attractive young woman as its
guaranteed to get hundreds of replies from men!
The scammers also stalk chat rooms and begin a
cases, the victim will not only have lost out financially, but will also be
left broken-hearted and thoroughly disillusioned. The scammers in Internet
romance scams tend to prey
on people who may be lonely, shy or isolated and therefore are more
Scammers may also simply send out millions of spam emails expressing a
desire to begin a relationship in the hope that some gullible recipients
In most cases the scammers ask for money however if that doesn't look
promising, they may ask their victims to cash money orders and wire them the
proceeds. The money orders or cheques will turn out to be fake or stolen and
the victim will be left out of pocket.
What to do for Internet
Once the scammer has asked for money, stop all further
communications with them
Report them to the dating site
No matter how trustworthy they may seem, DO NOT SEND
If you have sent them money, your chances of getting
it back are really zero, but you should report it to the Police, Western
Union [if it was used] or Moneygram [if it was used]
If you are from the
US, you can also visit the Internet Fraud Complaint Center hosted by the
http://www.ic3.gov in order to file a complaint.
For more detailed information on Internet Romance Scams: