On Facebook and Instagram, there are lottery scams , celebrity impostors and even fake Mark Zuckerbergs. There is also a scheme where scammers pose as American service members to cheat vulnerable women out of their savings. To find victims, they search Facebook groups for targets — often single women and widows — and then message hundreds, hoping to hook a few. Once they have a potential mark, the scammers shift the conversations with their victims to Google Hangouts or WhatsApp, messaging services owned by Google and Facebook, in case Facebook deletes their accounts. For months or weeks, they try to seduce the women with sweet talk and promises of a future together. Eventually, they ask for money.
Meet the scammers: Could this be your online lover?
Do you have questions about your vision health? A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable.
This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment. But he or she seems smitten and eager to get to know you better, and suggests you move your relationship to a private channel like email or a chat app.
Men in California oversaw a romance scam that targeted women worldwide, feds say. By Faith Karimi, CNN. Updated AM ET, Sat August.
Men and women looking for prospective romantic partners online should take note of these two: Laura Cahill, who described herself as an aspiring young model living in Paris, and Britney Parkwell, who pointed to her relative youth as a year-old from sunny San Jose, California. There’s one big problem: Despite profiles that said they were seeking love online, they never existed.
They were fake personas created as part of an elaborate scheme run out of Africa to con hundreds of thousands of dollars from vulnerable Americans, according to the California-based cyber-security firm Agari. A firm report details how men and women were targeted by fraudsters. Crane Hassold, the senior. In the report, researchers warn that individuals and businesses are “far more likely to be targeted by West African crime groups” than by hackers working for the Russian or North Korean governments.
Tech firm warns of online dating scams, Nigerian connection
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A report from cybersecurity company Agari claims to expose one corner of the multimillion-dollar romance scam industry: a Nigerian fraud ring it.
Recently, I heard yet another story of a woman connecting with a scammer on a legitimate dating site. These men are con artists who will find a way to touch your heart and your pocketbook without a second thought. But, there are certain clues you need to be aware of that will tip you off to potential scammers. Scammers feed off specific clues you put in your profile. Be aware of sounding needy and lonely in your profile. It makes you perfect prey for scammers looking to hook you into their scams.
He might tell you that he lives in a metropolitan city in the U. Most of these men live in poorer countries around the world where jobs that pay well are scarce. He knows this and uses it to his advantage to hook you.
dating scams – Ghana Forum
Official websites use. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Ten men have been charged with conspiring to launder illegal proceeds that were fraudulently obtained as a result of Nigerian romance scam operation targeting multiple victims.
one for the good guys, recently I was duped by a dating scam upon arrival in its Nigerian men they have open borders and they cant keep them out of Ghana.
Do you have questions about your vision health? Romance scams , and the millions of dollars lost to them, have jumped dramatically in recent years, even as experts say many cases still go unreported because victims are embarrassed or ashamed. That’s roughly equal to the population of Santa Fe, New Mexico. That’s more than a dollar for every man, woman and child in the U.
Online daters of all ages have fallen victim to the cruel crooks who break hearts and empty bank accounts. To shed light on why people succumb, a social psychologist, a cybercrimes expert and a Secret Service agent share insights into romance scammers and offer advice on how to protect yourself from these heartless offenders. Those looking for love through dating apps or social media tend to have a deep need for connections with others, Lehmiller says.
His advice? That online love interest who seems charming could in reality be a ruthless criminal who lives overseas and is adept at pulling a victim’s strings while eventually taking advantage of a human tendency to help a person in need. Here’s how an online romance scam typically unfolds, according to Rege:. Fraudsters hide behind fake online accounts , fictitious or pilfered profiles and stolen photos.
Romance Scams: The Email Threat That Breaks Hearts and Banks
Romance scams are the type of cybercrimes most people are sure they would never fall for. You make a long-distance love connection, but soon you’re being asked for money. To understand why it still works, it helps to talk to a victim. Few people in her life know this story, and she wants to keep it that way. It started about three years ago, after her divorce, when she tried online dating.
Romance scams are the type of cybercrimes most people are sure she went from bank to bank, borrowing money to send to South Africa.
Updated May 31, These are the foot soldiers in a global scamming enterprise that’s breaking hearts and stealing billions of dollars. In a tiny flat in Ghana, in west Africa, an aspiring entrepreneur trawls Facebook for divorced and widowed women on the other side of the world. The year-old, who calls himself Kweiku, is searching for ‘clients’ — scammer parlance for victims who can be conned online into sending money. Kweiku sells perfume on the streets of Ghana’s capital, Accra, to maintain a meagre income between Western Union transfers from a woman he seduces online.
He poses as a US soldier called ‘Johnny’, an online persona built on stolen photos, fake ID and stock scripts with storylines about urgent emergencies that can be solved with cash. While the Four Corners team is filming, Kweiku returns a missed video call from the woman and blocks his webcam with his finger so she can’t see him. The conversation switches gears between declarations of love, sex talk and insistent requests for gifts and money. It’s really hard times here baby,” he tells her.
Sometimes I feel like, wow, this lady, she’s really in some misery or pain because she really wants to see me and she can’t see me. Kweiku’s friend ‘Skidoo’ introduced him to the scamming business.
Anatomy of Online Dating Scams – How Not to Become a Victim of Cyber-romance
Online dating works. There are millions of singles online in the UK, seeking what we all look for: love, companionship and a long-term future. I met my gorgeous husband through online dating, and during the ten years I worked for Match. Figures published by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau show a scary upward swing:. It was thought that women were the main targets for online-dating scammers.
But men are increasingly duped.
Tech firm warns of online dating scams, Nigerian connection. A new report says thousands of American men and women fall victim. By. Luke Barr.
Check out this video about how to spot and protect yourself from romance scams. Then share it with your friends. But there are steps you can take — and then tell someone about. So watch the video, learn more , and pass it on. Along with many other scams that have been circulating over the past few years – I have several that would curl your hair. The one mentioned here – romance schemes – was perpetrated on my 89 year old dad. To date he was scammed out of 2 million dollars – and now – God rest his soul – he passed on August 6 – his whole estate gone.
Unfortunately recovering money sent in these schemes is usually impossible to recover. Much may depend on the method it was transferred by. Son in college in italy. Divorced lives in LA. Over in Cyprus. Please help me i don’t want to waste my time..! Anyone chatting with James Watson from Louisanna now in Spain?