Common Tactics & Types Of Relationship Scams

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Common Tactics & Types Of Relationship Scams

(Last Updated On: December 27, 2022)

Common Tactics & Types Of Relationship ScamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam?

Violating Trust & Stealing Victims’ Money!

How ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Work – A SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Insight

Scammers Use Many Tricks During Relationship Scams

But the outcomes are almost always similar! The victim loses their money, or worse.

HERE ARE SOME OF THOSE COMMON TACTICS:

1. Investment Opportunities

There are many different types of online investment scamsInvestment Scams When a caller claims to have a promising investment opportunity that will help you get rich quick, it's likely a scam. that can target individuals looking to invest their money online. Some common types of investment scams include:

Ponzi schemesPonzi Schemes A Ponzi scheme is a type of investment fraud. Use this information to identify, report, and protect yourself against this type of scam.: These scams promise high returns for a low risk investment, but in reality, the returns are paid out to earlier investors using the money from newer investors. Eventually, the scheme collapses and investors lose their money.

Pyramid schemesPyramid Schemes Pyramid schemes are scams that need a constant flow of new participants to keep them going. They are marketed as multi-level marketing programs or other types of legitimate businesses. They use new recruits’ "investments" to pay “profits” to those participating longer. Pyramid schemes collapse when they can't recruit enough new participants to pay earlier investors. These scams always fail—it’s mathematically guaranteed.: These scams operate by recruiting new members to the scheme, who then recruit even more members. The scheme relies on an ever-increasing number of new members to continue, and eventually collapses when there are not enough new members to sustain it.

Phishing scams: These scams use fake emails or websites to trick people into giving away sensitive personal or financial information, such as login credentials or bank account numbers.

Investment fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.: This type of scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. involves the use of false or misleading information to persuade people to invest in a particular company or product.

Binary options: These are high-risk investments that involve predicting the movement of a particular asset, such as a currency or commodity. Many binary options scams use false advertising and fake endorsements to lure in investors.

It is important to be vigilant and thoroughly research any online investment opportunity before handing over any money or personal information.

In these cases, the scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. typically tries to lure victims into investing. The norm is that they ask victims to wire them money; alternatively, they email the victim links to fake investment applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. & websites. These links can be malicious phishing links, designed to trick the victim into revealing personal information to the scammers or they may be real (though fake) websites or appsApps Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. where the victim will provide banking or credit card information.

Pig ButcheringPig Butchering Sha Zhu Pan 殺主盤 “Pig Butchering” This is a scam type that originated in China involving the scammer developing a relationship with the victim - sometimes romantic sometimes not - and leading the victim to invest in a fake company or asset. These typically target smart younger women. Scams

Also known as “Sha Zhu PanSha Zhu Pan Sha Zhu Pan 殺主盤 “Pig Butchering” This is a scam type that originated in China involving the scammer developing a relationship with the victim - sometimes romantic sometimes not - and leading the victim to invest in a fake company or asset. These typically target smart younger women.”, pig butchering is the latest online dating scamDating scam Dating scammers or love scammers create fake identities on dating apps and social media to coax you into fake online relationships. They often quickly move to personal channels such as phone or email, using your trust to acquire money or personal info, or help you hide their criminal activities. You'll probably never meet them in person. This is a relationship scam., and it can be harder than other scams for victims to spot the red flags. You are treated like a pig on the butcher’s blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots •••.

Cryptocurrency scams, also known as “Pig Butchering” scams, are fraudulent schemes that use digital currencies to trick individuals into investing in fake projects or ventures. These scams often involve the use of social media or online platforms to promote false or misleading information about a cryptocurrency investment opportunity, with the aim of persuading people to invest their money or cryptocurrency. Some common tactics used in Pig Butchering scams include creating fake websites or social media profiles, using fake endorsements or testimonials, and making false or exaggerated claims about the potential returns on investment. It is important to be vigilant and thoroughly research any cryptocurrency investment before handing over any money or assets.

First, scammers spend a long time winning your trust (normally 1 to 3 months – this is called groomingGrooming Grooming is a form of setting up a victim for a scam or other crime by befriending and establishing an emotional connection with the victim, and sometimes the family, to lower the victim's inhibitions with the objective of the scam or criminal activity.  Grooming includes the development of a trust relationship between the criminal and the victim, getting the victims to the point where they can be more completely manipulated.  ). After that, they bring up an investment opportunity in cryptocurrencies and invite you to join them. Instead of asking for your money, they lead you to what appears to be a third-party investment application or website.

Everything seems legitimate at first, the victim invests some money and they can even withdraw their profit. Yet when they decide to invest a large amount of cryptocurrencies (or money,) the website denies the victim’s request to withdraw the money for various excuses — taxes, processing fees, or other technical issues. The “customer service” may even prompt you to provide more money. This is when the scammers disappear; the site or app stops working or completely disappears with all the cryptocurrencies the victim invested!

2. Requests Of Money For Emergencies

Emergency scams are fraudulent schemes that involve the scammer claiming to be in a state of emergency and needing the victim to send them money. These scams often involve a sense of urgency and the scammer may claim to be stranded, injured, or facing some other crisis that requires immediate financial assistance. The scammer may use a variety of tactics to convince the victim to send money, such as pretending to be a friend or family member, or creating a fake online profile and posing as someone in need. It is important to be cautious when receiving requests for money, particularly from unfamiliar individuals or if the request seems suspicious. It is always a good idea to verify the authenticity of the emergency and the identity of the person making the request before sending any money.

The scammers profess their love and affection, but they can’t meet in person because they live too far away or have other challenges. Then they claim that an emergency has occurred, and they need money. It can be a medical emergency and they need money for treatment. Or a business emergency and they need money for equipment, parts, or services. Or they are in the military and they need money for leave, discharge, travel, or food.

After their target sends the money, the scammer often vanishes.

3. Offers Or Gifts – Advance Fee Scams

Advance fee fraudAdvance Fee Fraud An advance fee scam or fraud is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears., also known as “419419 An advance fee scam or fraud (419 scam) is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. The 419 comes from the Nigerian law against this type of scam. scams,” is a type of scam that involves the victim being asked to pay an upfront fee in order to receive a larger sum of money or a valuable prize. The scammer may claim to be a government official, a lottery winner, or someone else with access to a large sum of money that they are willing to share with the victim. In some cases, the scammer may even send fake documents or paperwork to lend credibility to their claims. However, once the victim has paid the upfront fee, they will never receive the promised money or prize.

Advance fee fraud can take many forms and can target individuals or businesses. Some common tactics used by scammers include offering fake job opportunities, posing as a lawyer or government official, and claiming to have access to large sums of money that are held in a foreign bank account. It is important to be cautious when receiving unsolicited offers of large sums of money or valuable prizes, and to thoroughly research any opportunity before paying any fees or providing personal or financial information.

The scammers usually claim that they want to send a gift or package from overseas (somewhere in the world,) but a tariff, duties, or shipping fee is needed to send the goods/box/trunk/parcel.

They ask the victim to wire money or send money directly or through some third-party (usually a muleMule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes.) or by prepaid cards or gift cards and once the fraudsterFraudster A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. gets the money, they disappear.

4. Intimate Messages – Sextortion/Blackmail Scams

Sextortion scams, also known as blackmail scams, are fraudulent schemes that involve the scammer threatening to reveal embarrassing or sensitive information about the victim unless they pay a sum of money or provide personal or financial information. These scams often involve the scammer claiming to have compromising photos or videos of the victim, or threatening to expose embarrassing personal details or secrets.

Sextortion scams can be particularly effective because they prey on individuals’ fear of embarrassment or shameShame Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self; withdrawal motivations; and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness.. The scammer may claim to have hacked into the victim’s computer or phone and gained access to personal photos or videos, or may create fake websites or social media profiles to make their threats seem more credible.

It is important to be aware of these types of scams and to protect yourself by using strong passwords and avoiding sharing sensitive personal or financial information online. If you receive a sextortion threat, it is important to not panic and to carefully consider your options before responding. Do not pay any money or provide any personal information, and consider seeking the help of a trusted friend, family member, or law enforcement agency.

Many victims have reported sextortion after exchanging private photos or having intimate video chats. The scammers threaten to share the explicit images/screenshots with the victim’s contacts (family & friends) unless they receive money.

5. Romance Scams

Romance scams, also known as “catfishingCatfishing Catfishing, as it is commonly used, is a descriptive term for an activity where a person creates a fictional persona or fake identity on a social networking or dating service, usually targeting a specific kind of victim. The practice may be used for financial gain, to compromise a victim in some way, as a way to intentionally upset a victim, or for wish-fulfillment (as it was originally coined).  The term is now considered a derogatory term as it was originally coined to describe scams by women against men,” (a derogatory term) or “sweetheart scams,” are fraudulent schemes that involve the scammer pretending to be a romantic interest in order to gain the victim’s trust and steal their money or personal information. These scams often begin through online dating websites or social media platforms, where the scammer creates a fake profile and begins a relationship with the victim.

Over time, the scammer will work to build trust with the victim and may even send gifts or make plans to meet in person. However, eventually, the scammer will ask the victim for money, either to help with a financial crisis or to pay for travel expenses to visit the victim. In some cases, the scammer may also ask for personal information, such as bank account numbers or login credentials.

It is important to be cautious when meeting people online and to be aware of the signs of a romance scam. These may include the scammer asking for money or personal information, making grand promises or declarations of love, and avoiding answering specific questions or providing proof of their identity. If you are concerned that you may be a victim of a romance scam, it is important to stop communicating with the scammer and to seek the help of a trusted friend or law enforcement agency.

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By the Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
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