You might think you’d be too smart to fall for something like this, but don’t underestimate how good romance scammers are at getting money out of people. Remember that prevention is better than cure. These kind of people who are involved in such scams are very smart and professional that you will trust them easily without having the slightest idea about their intentions.
Romance or matrimony scams are usually a form of organized crime. These people don’t usually operate individually but have their own gang or group. And the conversion rates prove that they are very good at what they do.
So set aside your pride for a moment and read this blog—it may save your money and a whole load of heartache.
Below, We are going to tell you how romance scams usually work, outline 3 common romance scams and 7 ways you can protect yourself.
The Initial Stage
You become a potential victim after the scammer has gone through your profile on various social media platforms. The scammer will go through all your likes and dislikes and will check your private pieces of information starting from the beginning, your birthday, choice of the movie etc. and when they feel that they know enough about you, they will start their conversion with you.
Then, when they connect with you, they pretend to have all these things in common with you. That fosters a fast, deep sense of connection.
The scammer will often pretend to be a professional working overseas. Scammers targeting men might pretend to be an educated woman living in the Philippines, or Thailand. These sorts of stories provide semi-plausible reasons for them for video calls to be hard to make.
After they make the initial contact, the scammer will then spend months grooming you—contacting you every day, telling you lovely things—thing you want to hear, sending gifts, and gaining your love and trust. Mostly making you feel that he/she is the perfect partner for you.
Once you’re emotionally enmeshed in the relationship, and the scammer starts to feel that he has gained your trust- they ask for money. Out of trust and sympathy, you will start sending them money. Sending of money may be of multiple episodes where they will ask you for money from time to time with various excuses. And mind it, this money is never coming back to you.
Sharing with you a few ways the scammer will ask for money-
*For sending gifts– Scammer will lure you by saying that he is going to send you some expensive gifts and to clear the customs duties you need to send some money.
*The medical emergency scam- You now feel emotionally connected to them, so when they say they are not well and that they are going through some medical emergency which may be one of his family member or he himself met with an accident etc. You without having a second thought send them money.
*Meet up Scam– When they start the conversation by telling you how much they miss you and are dying to meet you,or marry you and the only thing stopping them is money constraints. In such a situation when you too are missing them, you agree to pay for their tickets etc.
Now the point is how to sense that you are being scammed-
You are scammed when you cannot contact them any longer and do not hear any thing from them. Even if they contact you the conversations are not sweet anymore. And Most importantly they will never let you make a video call.
Few ways to protect yourself from such scams
*Approach every new online relationship with caution.
Always consider the possibility, you’re being scammed from the start of every new online relationship. It’s really hard to accept that you’re being scammed once your emotions are significantly involved. Once we’ve fallen for someone we will actively look for ways to believe that they’re telling us the truth.
*Make use of Google Image Search
Go through each of their pictures very carefully. Make use of the google image search, chances are there that the scammer might use someone else’s picture.
*Invite them to video chat
Most of the scammers won’t agree to come online and do a video chat If your new found love is always avoiding video chat then sense that there is something wrong and you might be a victim.
*Do not share personal pictures or videos with anyone you have not met in person.
Avoid sharing your personal/private pictures on the internet with anybody. This may later create trouble for you as this may turn into a tool for the scammer to blackmail you.
*Never send money to someone you haven’t met in person.
Remember it is your hard earned money and you are not that foolish to send it to somebody you have just known through the internet. 90% chances are there that you will not get them back. Money should be given or lend to somebody whom you know personally and who is a member of your family.
*Check where their emails are coming from.
Every email has a header that reveals the IP address of the device that sent it. You can learn how to find the header of an email by visiting some trusted sites.
*Stay on the dating site while you’re exchanging those initial emails.
Most scammers will try to move you away from the dating site very quickly because dating sites are getting better at identifying scammers and blocking their profiles.
So, stay very alert and never let money get involved in online dating. Do not let somebody fool you easily. Control your heart and mind both.