How To Stop A Romance Scam In Its Tracks
Millions of people go online in search of romance, and while it does work out for a lot of folks, there are also plenty of fishy people lying in wait!
Scammers are always there impersonating real people and pretending to be interested in a relationship for the sole purpose of stealing your money or having you become the only traceable link (a money mule 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.) in a money-laundering scheme.
Here are three warning signs you do not want to ignore.
For most people, the entire point of being in a relationship is to eventually to be together with one another as a couple; in other words, to have a real relationship with each other in person.
You want to share those moments together – listening to music, walking along the beach, going to the movies or out to eat, not to mention those intimate moments. That is what it is all about, rather than just online.
If your attempts to arrange to meet someone in real life (in a public place, after letting other people know where you’re going and whom you’re meeting) are repeatedly met with last-moment excuses why they can’t show up, it is time to suspect that the person you’ve been talking to is not who they claim to be. This is one of the most obvious of the red flags of a romance scam.
Similarly, another common feature of romance scams is a list of excuses for why the other person cannot talk via video chat. But don’t be fooled if they do! They’re always in an area with a poor internet connection, or they’re just too busy with their extremely successful career to show their face in real-time video.
NOTE ABOUT VIDEO CHATS: You are not an expert in digital content (we assume). Today, a huge number of advances allow scammers to steal (copy and download) videos and then digitally manipulate them to fool you. The one fact that you must rely on is that you will not be able to tell for sure!
They’ll send photo after photo, but when it comes to seeing each other over FaceTime or Zoom or Skype, there is always a reason they can’t! Or at least just yet. Of course, what is really happening is that they are not even remotely who they claim to be, and video chatting would spoil the illusion (most of the time.)
Finally, as soon as the person you’re communicating with brings up money or checks or investments or gift cards or cryptocurrency, whether they’re asking you to send money to them, receive money and distribute it to others, cash a check for them, and return the funds via wire transfer, something involving a CashApp or Zelle or PayPal or Western Union or a Bank Wire Transfer – anything, at any time, for any supposed reason, this confirms that you are talking to a scammer 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..
NO REAL PERSON – A STRANGER – THAT YOU MEET ONLINE IS GOING TO ASK FOR MONEY
UNLESS THEY ARE A SCAMMER!
As painful as it can be to realize you’ve been tricked, stop all contact immediately, and do not accept any further communication from them.
There is no salvaging the “relationship” because there never was one. It was all lies, it was all fake!
You are the victim of a relationship scam!
It’s time for action, especially if you sent money to the scammer!
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