This is a highly revised “best of” article that was re-inspired by a recent widower who, thank goodness, asked my opinion before he sent money to “help” this poor girl get to the US. He was almost certainly about to get scammed out of a chunk of retirement money.
William Shakespeare once wrote, “Love and reason keep little company together” and that is what this article is about.
Both my readers are far too smart to fall for this kind of scam but please keep an eye on lonely older folks. They are highly susceptible.
The US Embassy in Russia received quite a few complaints concerning online dating scams. This is a quote directly from their website, “The U.S. Embassy receives reports almost every day of fraud committed against U.S. citizens by Internet correspondents professing love and romantic interest.”
Typically, the Russian correspondent asks the U.S. citizen to send money or credit card information for living expenses, travel expenses, or “visa costs.” The anonymity of the Internet means that the U.S. citizen cannot be sure of the real name, age, marital status, nationality, or even gender of the correspondent.”
The way the scam works is a lonely person will get hit upon by some gorgeous hottie on an online dating service.
The hottie is likely carrying on a relationship with many other people, probably isn’t gorgeous at all and probably doesn’t even have the preferred anatomy. The scammers often merely copy and paste responses from a outline or script designed for maximum effect.
They are experts at getting you to fall in love with them because they know that love and reason simply don’t mix. Once they set the hook into your heart they start to reel you in.
That’s where it gets really interesting. Signs of a dating scam include poor English skills and breathtakingly beautiful profile photos. They will often ask the victim to cash someone’s check or money order for them. The scammer will even tell the victim to keep a portion of the proceeds as a sign of their affection. The check will inevitably be found to be fraudulent and your bank would politely demand reimbursement.
The story varies somewhat with each Internet dating scam, but the intention remains the same: robbing the victim of their hard earned cash. If somebody asks you to wire them cash online – no matter what the reason, no matter how plausible or sad it sounds – don’t.