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"Romantic" scams. What they are and how to defend themselves

Today we often hear about the so-called "romance scams" which, however, have nothing romantic about them!

The perpetrator/swindler creates a false profile on a website – very popular, it seems to be facebook… – carefully selecting the victim.

Usually single women are singled out, often widowed or divorced. The age of the victims is around 40/70 years, including both women and men, and, once identified, the scammer, after having studied the posts and understood the psyche, carries out the "love" scam.

It seems that the scammers, 80% of whom are Nigerian, are no longer satisfied with Facebook and dating sites and that they are now starting to operate on Linkedin as well.

These executioners, via social networks, download the personal photos of very beautiful men and women. Many times they are famous people abroad (mainly actors) and they use them to create a false profile by stealing the identity of others, often claiming to be American.

In any case, it must be said that on Google images there is a program that allows you to understand who the inserted photo belongs to. I recommend, to anyone who has doubts about some virtual friends, to carry out a check. There's nothing wrong with wanting to figure out who you're dealing with.

But what is the purpose of scammers?

It is to extort money from the victim by emotionally involving them in a love affair.

They resort to psychological tricks using the right words, the ones we all want to hear. They show themselves present, albeit virtually and, at times, even jealous: the "right" jealousy, the one that makes us believe we are loved.

They send gifts with the aim of charming, flattering to make the vulnerable person fall into the trap.

“He seems like such a nice person…”, interesting and interested: a rare commodity nowadays! A person capable of finally dedicating time to you: everyone is so super busy that it's hard to believe that someone has time for you! A serious man who wants to build a future with a sweet and sensitive woman…!

And what has been said is also true in reverse: an Italian man contacted by a beautiful foreign woman who has had many disappointments and who has now finally found the right person to experience the love story that we all deserve…

However, they always invent excuses not to show themselves on the web cam and the time to meet live will never come.

With flattery they fill the poor victim with attention, they declare eternal and unconditional love, promising a family life full of joys, passion and happiness and all this from the very first meetings.

They ask that this love story is not told to anyone: the envy of friends and relatives could ruin it…

Scammers are great at graciously asking many personal questions, especially regarding what victims would like in their life; then, with skilful words, they transform their dreams into reality, a reality clearly made only of words.

Numerous investigations have revealed that the scammers work in teams and in shifts. They follow a script that is always the same. In fact, the stories of the victims are similar starting from the words used to manipulate them.

Team leaders teach scammers what to say and when to say it, and usually work in teams of six. This is why they are always connected in the internet and sometimes the victims feel like they are talking to other people.

In some moments there is a certainty that the interlocutor has forgotten what he wrote earlier or is unable to respond to a topic mentioned the day before. It may happen that scammers take time to respond because they are talking to other people at the same time and, on these occasions, it very often happens that they forward confidential responses to others by mistake.

Sometimes they describe the sexual act they would like to have with their virtual partner and the sensations they experience, with the obvious aim of involving the victim in a highly intimate way.
At this juncture, the scammer asks the victim to send him photos while he is masturbating or photos where the victim is almost naked.

If the scammer is not happy with how much money he has managed to extort and is in possession of this material, he will start a real blackmail against the scammed person. The scammer threatens to post these photos online and make them visible to family, friends and co-workers.

Basically, the scam begins when a relationship of trust has been established and only then does the explicit request for money begin.

The reasons can be many: from the accident to illness, to the impossibility of reaching the person you love.

They often pretend to be soldiers on a mission who need money to return home… Obviously they promise to give back any money! In reality, after having taken everything possible, the scammer disappears and it is only at this juncture that the victim realizes that he has been scammed.

Other times, when the scammer has been discovered by the victim and admits to the crime, he swears that he is, however, truly in love with the scammed person. And the sad reality is that many believe it. The scammer therefore steps up to work to consolidate the victim's love and trust. The person is invited to Nigeria and more often than not the victim is forced to stay against their will.

There are reports of stories of women who have traveled abroad to meet the man of their lives, with events ending in a kidnapping and rape. However, there are very few victims who talk about what really happened to them so, for the moment, it is not possible to verify the accuracy of this information.

Upon discovering the scam, the victim falls into depression. At that moment, the most delicate of all, she doesn't have the strength to get help because she is attacked by shame and fears being judged weak and clueless.

Unfortunately, silence, even if humanly understandable, will allow the scam to continue, thus allowing other innocent people to fall. It is necessary to inform and educate people to use social media more consciously.

No victim need feel ashamed for falling into this trap as they have been studied to appeal to their feelings.

Reporting is the only way to ensure that the phenomenon is talked about and the perpetrators are stopped. It is necessary to report everything to the Postal Police, attaching anything that may be useful: chats and copies of receipts for money orders and anything else that may be useful for investigations.

Attention, my friends…

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I was scammed a year ago by a guy named Alain Dupret, we met on the Badoo site, exchanged facebook addresses, then a week later he told me he had to go to ivory coast for a deal that has put up for sale and that he has to bring back a large sum. After two weeks of talking, he confessed his feelings for me and I liked him too because he was very good looking. After his trip everything started to get complicated for him at least that's what he led me to believe and so I had to help him by paying for his hotel which I did without thinking blinded by the love I had for him then again he had to pay for his remote home before being able to sell for €135,000. And the fees and taxes were more than 26,000 euros, I told him I couldn't pay the full amount. He led me to believe he could have got a deal if I paid half, which I then did by sending 2,000 euros more times also by western union using my savings. After all these conversations it was all about money, and that's when I realized they were deceiving me. So I filed a police report and they advised me to cut off contact with him so I wouldn't have to send any more money. That's how I searched the forums for help and saw the address of an Interpol agent, Mr. Bernard Violes. This gentleman has helped me a lot. Since I was still in contact with them, he had to take steps to have him arrested, who had usurped the identity of Alain Dupret. I have been reimbursed by the Ivorian authorities thanks to Your Excellency. I had reached an unfortunate stage in my life where everything had become difficult for me, even eating. We don't really know what to expect on the internet, so I'm very wary as of right now, I believe virtual love doesn't exist. here is Mr. Bernard's address :

Hi Monica, for some reason, I'm only seeing your comment now. If you want to explain better you can write me on maybe leave me your number.

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