Scam Basics: Love for Sale

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

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. Basics: Love for Sale

According To Law Enforcement Who Investigate Online Romance 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. Worldwide, These Dating Or Sweetheart Scams Follow A Surprisingly Consistent Arc

Here’s how these online frauds or swindles typically unfold.

1. The Bait

The scammers set up a fake profile on a social-media or dating site.

The man they invent is a ruggedly handsome, middle-aged widower who yearns to love again. He usually works in a serious job in a far-flung location—some-thing that provides good excuses to avoid face-to-face meetings. These include construction, engineering, the military, or something similar.

The women they pretend to be are usually based upon stolen model, actress, or adult video stars (porn stars), are in need, looking for love, and many times “have had others steal their photos or identity”. She usually, lives in your country, but is visiting family in Africa or Asia, and just needs your financial help to solve a problem and return to you. She may work for an NGO or charitable organization, or a university, or Facebook or Google, or some other unlikely organization.

The profiles will always have little information, and significant gaps in activity or friends or family, or all of the above. There are always excuses for this though, even though a normal person would be able to show a rich set of life experiences, she will not.

2. The 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.   Phase

Once a woman or a man gets drawn in, 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. showers them with gestures of affection through email or instant messaging: declarations of love, plagiarized poems, compliments on beauty or handsomeness. The scammer also asks personal questions about the victim’s life—the key to establishing an intimate connection.

Part of the reason for these questions is to help the scammer gain access to more potential victims. By giving them access to your friends on social media, they increase their pool of prospects.

3. The Gift

Satisfied that the mark is infatuated, the scammer concocts a situation that can be solved with a bit of money: He claims to need a few hundred dollars for a visa or money to travel or an emergency. If the victim agrees to provide the cash, the scammer knows she’s on the hook. They may ask for a series of small amounts because they believe this is what a real person in need would ask for, except the victim has never met them or really accepted financial responsibility. The scammer is counting on the victim’s humanity and generosity, this is especially true with older victims.

4. The Crisis

Suddenly something goes horribly wrong. The scammer pleads for several thousand dollars to pay for major surgery or to escape a legal predicament. Afraid she or he never gets to meet their beloved unless they comply, the victim wires the requested funds. This is where the victim should wake up, but usually, the crisis causes a short-circuit in their skepticism and the role over.

5. The Bleed

More aggressive demands for money ensue, until the victim either loses everything or gets wise to the con or scam.

At that point, the scammer will engage in several tactics, that can include either vanishing, denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality., or tries to convince the victim to launder money on their behalf to get their money back (the Fake Check 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.).

6. Tactics

a. The Denial

The first tactic the scammer uses is usually denial. The typical scammer will be discovered by their victim at some point. This is usually after the money was sent and some critical promise was not kept. The victim will start asking questions about the reason for the money, and the integrity of the scammer. The scammer will usually stone-wall, claim they are not doing anything wrong, and try to get a bit more money from the victim.

b. The Vanish

At some point, the scammer will always disappear. However, the how and when this happens varies with the individual scammer.

The Narcissist Scammers will disappear quickly, they play a game of numbers and care nothing for the victim. The Compassionate Scammer is more human and may try to let the victim down more easily, and may even admit to the scam – though this can be a tactic too!

c. The Threat

Quite common in these frauds is the Threat. The scammer, after having been discovered, reverts to threats. Rarely is this because they fear the victim, but is usually out of angerAnger Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam. A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability. that their carefully crafted con has been discovered before they get all of the victim’s money. In other words, that scammer made a mistake (they think) and are angry. Overseas scammers almost never have any ability to harm a victim, however, depending upon what the victim shared with the scammer, they can revert to Blackmail.

7. The Rebound

Even if you have discovered you are being scammed, it is common for the scammer to come back after a period of time, either as themselves or in a new identity and try to scam you again. In their minds, you have an endless supply of money, and they will try to use what they learned about you to not make the same mistakes again.

8. The Recovery

Frequently, time will pass from the last time you heard from your 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.. Then you will get a message or an email pretending to be an investigator or a detective. They may tell you that a government agency is investigating your scam. This usually follows one of two paths: 1) they just need a little money to be able to help you recover your money, or 2) they need additional information to confirm your identity or some other aspect of the crime (this can be a credit card number, social security ID, passport number, bank accounts, or some other information) that either allows them to sell your information, use it to obtain a credit card in your name, or steal more money from you.

Summary

Throughout all of this, there is one central fact: the scammer depends upon your willingness to give them your money. No matter what you read, or see, or hear, there is only one way to avoid being scammed!

Don’t Give Money To Strangers!

After all, didn’t your parents tell you to not talk to strangers? The same is true here.

It is true, there are amazing people in the world, and making new friends can expand your whole world. But use the same caution you would use if it was a stranger that walked up to you on the street – in fact even more because you can’t get any real sense of a person online without major effort. What you could learn in a few minutes in person will take months online.

There is another reason. Our brains are wired to defend us in certain circumstances. But these defenses are mostly turned off online, and you have to learn completely new skills or defenses to live in an online world. If you don’t you will be a victim over and over.

 

 

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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.™ Team
A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.

 

 

TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, SCARS™ Scam Basics, Love for Sale, Basic Romance Scams Process, Dating Scams, Sweetheart Scams, Romance Scams Worldwide

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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. U.S. State Police (if you live in the U.S.) – they will take the matter more seriously and provide you with more help than local police
  3. Your National Police or FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. « www.IC3.gov »
  4. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network « HERE » or on « www.Anyscam.com »

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.


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