UK Dating Scams Move Up To Extreme Levels
According to UK crime statistics shared with Romance Scams Now, the world of Dating Scams in the United Kingdom have entered a dangerous new phase. And it is coming from both Russians and Nigerians living in England and the U.K.
What we are talking about is similar to the trend in the U.S. up to about 2001. In those days the Russian mob was using online dating as a way to identify targets. After the online dater had been down the path for a while, Russian Mobsters show up at the male daters home unannounced, and make their demands. These were anything from money to valuables. Their leverage was that they knew huge amounts of information shared by the male dater, about their jobs, their businesses, and even their children. The only good news was that the mobsters were not greedy, they collected a few thousand dollars and moved on. However, because the the threat of retribution and embarrassment, few ever filed criminal complaints. One estimate had as many as 7,000 victims of this in 2001 alone - of course the good news was that this shut down with September 11, 2001. It still happens, but a wise man has little to fear in the U.S.
Zoom forward now to 2014 and Great Britain.
We are now seeing exactly the same thing emerge again. For those not familiar, this is similar to the plot of the 2001 film "Birthday Girl" staring Nicole Kidman, as a Russian Online Bride who comes to England, only to have her "Russian Friends" show up and demand that the man rob a bank. This is a must see for any online dater.
We have learned that lately, the Nigerians are also in the mix, hooking men and women online, then having UK locals show up for the cash. Because the victim really only knows the person in Nigeria or Western Africa, the local police are almost powerless to do anything other than arrest every Nigerian - hmmm, maybe that's not such a bad idea? Seriously though, we have heard that there are an increasing number of these crimes in the Midlands and elsewhere.
Our advice is this:
FIRST VERIFY where your other person is. If anywhere in Africa - back away fast!
SECOND if Russian or Eastern European, arrange to meet before sharing too much information. You will spend a little more up front, but have a better idea of who you are talking to. By the way, do not meat in their country, meet somewhere else in Western Europe on neutral ground.
THIRD avoid Africa, Eastern Europe, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia - all are now hotbeds of online scammers, and places where kidnapping is rampant.
FOURTH if you are looking overseas stick to Latin America and mainland Asia.