Nanaimo senior loses nearly $100K in online dating scam

Chatting online is fun, but do you know who you’re actually talking to? Personal safety when meeting someone in person who you met online. Fraud, when people appeal appeal to your better nature to help them out of an ‘unfortunate situation’ by sending money. People masquerading as somebody who they are not. Spam , selling or fraud, especially romance fraud. Webcam blackmail, where fraudsters record things you may do in front of your webcam then use the recording to extort money. Phishing emails claiming to be from an online dating site and encouraging you to divulge personal information.

I was a victim of an online dating scam

Christensen May 6, I am 53 years old and after the death of my fiance, I decided it was time to move on so I decided to try a well known Christian dating website. I was new to internet dating sites and I hoped most people on this site were of God and that there was a chance I would meet my soul mate. Sadly this was not to be the case.

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That doesn’t make us lonely or desperate. We were men and women who happen to have the qualities of being open, compassionate, loving, and trusted those who we loved and we believed loved us. I want to tell you about a type of scum-of-the-earth I have encountered. This information needs to be distributed widely. Of course, we all know about the infamous “Nigerian Spam”, or ” Scam” which claims to come from someone who is having trouble getting a huge sum of money out of Nigeria, and asks for your help in return for some supposed huge amount of money, only to clean out your bank accounts in the process.

They’ve stooped even lower. They pull on some lonely or desperate person’s heart strings, clean them out, defraud them, make that person liable for repayment as well as various felonies associated with it. If it’s in a dating site that you find one of these, you’ll find the person’s picture is quite well done. That’s because it was stolen from a modeling site. If you find an attractive person anywhere, it’s a good idea to browse those modeling sites for the photo.

It’s unlikely that one of these models will ever contact you. If you find your new Internet “friend’s” picture there, you’ve encountered a scammer. I’ve encountered one of these. Thankfully, from the “school of hard knocks”, I’ve been able to spot a con a mile away.

Safe Online Dating

And if you’re looking for love in an online dating site you must be extra-careful, because looking for love already leaves you emotionally vulnerable, but you can’t let that vulnerability bleed over into other realms as well. They spent several weeks sharing phone calls, text messages and email chats, but never actually met face-to-face.

Just really making me feel special. John told Tonya he needed money while traveling overseas on a planned work trip to Egypt.

York Regional Police say they have laid over 40 charges against nine people in connection with an online dating scam. (iStock).

Basically, it is a scam where a lonely foreign man gets acquainted over the Internet with an attractive supposedly single female from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc. Quickly, the ” female” the bait falls in love with her Internet acquaintance, and shortly after ” she” begins to plan her travel to see her Mr. Money issues arise, and, reluctantly, the bait asks the gentleman to help “her” with money for her visa and tickets.

Very often, the bait tells the guy that she has a work offer in his country, and she would be able to pay off the loaned money to him quickly. If the guy agrees, the “lady” pretends to put all effort into making “her” travel arrangements. But the meeting continues to be delayed. Those supposed requirements usually include proof of financial independence and requirement to pay off all loans that “she” has in her name. And so ” she” will reluctantly ask for financial help again.

If the guy is determined to make her supposed trip happen regardless of the expenses, he sends the money again and again.

Actual Scam Letters

Below is the sad story of the victim of a super-scammer: Super Scammed I am a 33 year old divorced father of one. I wish to share with everybody a financially and emotionally painful experience I had with an attractive 25 year old hairdresser from Yoshkar-Ola, Russia. On 7 April I received an email from a lady named Sofiya through an internet dating site. It was very short and straight to the point.

FBI Warns of Online Dating Scams But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money.

After a rough divorce the year before, she was thrilled to meet a man who shared her religion, interests, and love of children and animals. Then one day Eric called in a panic, saying his passport had been stolen. Candace wired him the small sum without hesitation — but when he contacted her a few weeks later saying he needed a much bigger sum to pay legal bills, she realized she was being scammed. Her whole relationship with Eric was a scheme to get money out of her.

This story is fictional, but the scenario is all too real. More than 14, Americans fell victim to this kind of scam in , up from fewer than 6, in And that number may only represent a fraction of the real total. Some catfishers use these fake identities to annoy or harass others online, or just to flirt without commitment. They lure their victims into an online relationship and use it to get money out of them — sometimes thousands of dollars.

How Romance Scammers Operate Romance scammers work by setting up fake profiles on dating sites and social media. They usually claim to have jobs that keep them outside the country for long periods of time, such as working on an oil rig, serving in the military, or working for a nonprofit. Next, they seek out victims — usually people who are lonely and vulnerable — and work to build up relationships with them.

They can spend months winning over their victims with regular conversations, long e-mails, poetry, gifts, and declarations of love — everything except face-to-face meetings. Often, they rely on pre-written scripts that tell them exactly what to say at what point in the relationship.

The internet scammer who loved me (not)

The Nigerian dating scams target the lonely and vulnerable. The most common comment of victims who think they have found the love of their life is “I can’t believe I was so stupid! The Nigerian dating scams are hugely profitable.

Dating Tips, Dating Advice and Dating Help for Online Dating TRUE SCAM STORIES AND LETTERS. Scammers targeting online daters are breaking hearts and.

They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad. Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging. They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas.

They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street.

The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere.

You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning – the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else.

‘Are You Real?’ — Inside an Online Dating Scam

For those of us genuinely searching for that “one special woman” Elena restores a lot of lost faith that we may actually be able to do this without losing a fortune and getting a broken heart in the process! USA Thanks for all of your information, particularly the scam warnings. I am interested in Russian women not only for their impressive beauty, but even more for their obvious intelligence, grace, and desire to live with men, rather than compete. This is a minefield, but the treasure is certainly worth it.

Swindlers may be following your every tweet and post, looking for a chance to fleece you. Here’s how to confound 10 major online scams.

And if you’re looking for love in an online dating site you must be extra-careful, because looking for love already leaves you emotionally vulnerable, but you can’t let that vulnerability bleed over into other realms as well. They spent several weeks sharing phone calls, text messages and email chats, but never actually met face-to-face. Just really making me feel special. John told Tonya he needed money while traveling overseas on a planned work trip to Egypt.

It was one catastrophe after the next and his excuses were excessive. He lost his tools and needed money to rent them, he needed funds to pay his staff and enough to pay hospital bills after he supposedly had a stroke. You just play it through,” said Tonya.

Dating & romance

WIVB – Jennifer was feeling good about herself. After being single for 15 years, she was ready to date and hopefully find someone with whom she could spend the rest of her life. Jennifer asked not to be identified for fear that it would jeopardize her career.

How this scam works. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.

Here’s how it happened. Before she knew it, her savings were gone. And the man of her dreams? He might not even exist. A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December , under the subject line: Later, when she puzzled over their relationship, she’d remember this. She had contacted him, not the other way around.

That had been a fateful move; it made everything easier for him. But she didn’t know that yet. So much of this was new. It had been over two years since the death of her husband of 20 years; four, since she had lost her mother. Two sharp blows that had left her alone in her late 50s.

“Catfished”: One Woman’s Story of Love & Betrayal in Online Dating Scam


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