A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers, or forcing the victim to commit financial fraud in their behalf.
In many instances, a mail-order bride scam will also bait the victim into committing felonies to establish citizenship for the perpetrator.
According to Australian government the crime has been on the rise in Australia. Monetary loss in Australia rises from $20, 530,578 to $28,606,215 from 2017 to 2019.
According to FBI IC3 statistics, the crime has been at an alarming rise. Monetary loss in the United States rises from $211,382,989 to $475,014,032 from 2017 to 2019, number of cases from 15372 to 19473 in only 2 years.
According to the Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre,£50 million was lost in the United Kingdom from 2018 to 2019, Action Fraud reports state that total losses from romance fraud increased 27% compared with the previous year.
Nowadays romance frauds are not something unusual. With social networks development such cases started to be more frequent.
Romance scammers create personal profiles using stolen photographs of attractive people for the purpose of asking others to contact them. This is often known as catfishing. Communications are exchanged between the scammer and victim over a period of time until the scammer feels they have connected with the victim enough to ask for money.
These requests may be for gas money, bus or airplane tickets to visit the victim, medical or education expenses. There is usually the promise the scammer will one day join the victim in the victim’s home. The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money.
One way to find out if you talk with a real person is to download the profile picture and run a Google image search, where you can upload the picture and Google will return all possible results related to it. If there are too many results the chances are you are talking to a scammer.
Criminal networks defraud lonely people around the world with false promises of love and romance. Scammers post profiles on dating websites, social media accounts, classified sites and even online forums to search for new victims. The scammer usually attempts to obtain a more private method of communication such as an email or phone number to build trust with the victim. Scammers prey on the victim’s false sense of a relationship to lure them into sending money.
In 2016, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation received reports of more than US $220 million being lost by victims of relationship scams. This was approximately seven times what was stolen through phishing scams and almost 100 times the reported losses from ransomware attacks.
To avoid such situations you have to follow some useful tips: do not write in your profile about your property and wealth; do not trust your virtual lovers and never send money to somebody. It is better to make her a pleasant present for your first meeting.
If possible, you should try to get some additional photos of your soulmate; otherwise, there is no guarantee that she will send her own photos. Try to chat by Skype. Information about a person should be “mined” as much as possible: name, phone (mobile), address, etc.
However, the most important rule – you have to use only reliable dating services. In verified dating apps or meeting websites there are many good advantages for western men.
Moreover, these apps usually provide individual assistance of the special dating coach and hand-select matches. Each woman is verified by the service, so cases of frauds are impossible.
Some scammers indulge in blackmail, threatening to tell your wife about your relationships, thereby asking for money for her silence.