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 scams that can target individuals looking to invest their money online. Some common types of investment scams include:
Ponzi schemes: 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 schemes: 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 fraud: This type of scam 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 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 applications & 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 apps where the victim will provide banking or credit card information.
Pig Butchering Scams
Also known as “Sha Zhu Pan”, pig butchering is the latest online dating 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 block.
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 grooming). 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 fraud, also known as “419 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 mule) or by prepaid cards or gift cards and once the fraudster 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 shame. 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 “catfishing” (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.