Romance Fraud has been with us for hundreds of years at least.
Fraudsters pretending to be in love to gain money is commonplace! But they have been online since the early 1990s.
Our team began educating about them starting in 1991.
Did You Know?
It is estimated that 50% of all online profiles and accounts are fake!
In This Webinar
In this Webinar we are going to talk about two of the many types:
- Pig Butchering Romance Investment Fraud
- Military Impersonation Romance Fraud
Pig Butchering Scams/Fraud
- This is a new evolution in relationship scams 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? that started in 2019/2020 – beginning in China.
- It is much easier for the criminals to perpetrate.
- They do not have to create a fake emergency or other need for money.
- They develop a relationship (romantic or friendship) with the victim and then introduce the investment opportunity.
- The criminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. shares how well they have done with their investments then invites the victim to try it too!
- The criminal shares what website or app they use and suggests that the victim invest a small amount.
- Once the victim makes the first small investment, they see immediate return/growth & profit – this is the HOOK!
- Once the victim is convinced of the opportunity (hooked) – the criminal suggests a larger amount – all the money the victim has – because it is too good an opportunity to miss!
- The victim then sends the second batch of money.
- Once they do, everything typically disappears.
- The money is gone! The criminal is also gone!
What Do You Do Now?
- Immediately report this to the police and your bank!
- If you sent money through your bank demand that they recall the transfer.
- Most likely the money is gone!
- For most victims, all you can do now is try to recover from this experience!
How Can You Avoid & Recognize A Pig Butchering Scam 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.
- Don’t talk to strangers – once the conversation begins they have you!
- Any mention of an investment – run away!
- Verify any business you are thinking of giving your money to!
Military Impersonation Scams/Fraud
Criminals use stolen photos and fake identities to develop a romantic relationship with the victim. The goal is to steal the victim’s money!
But this is not really a romance at all! It is a deliberate act of violence against vulnerable victims!
Your emotions were just tools in the hands of these criminals! You were expertly manipulated.
How Does It Begin?
- You are contacted by a stranger online.
- It could be on a dating site, social media, a messenger platform, or even in an online game.
- A conversation begins and then within a matter of days the criminals are beginning the grooming 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.
– setting you up for manipulation and control.
- The first act is to deploy Amygdala Hijacks or ‘Love Bombs’ – these are specifically intended to hijack your emotions and cause feelings without your consent.
- A soldier on a peace keeping mission somewhere in a war zone.
- They are lonely and fall in love with you fast.
- They want leave to come visit you – they need permission & money for this!
- They are widowed and have a child – they need money for something.
- They have a box of treasure & want to send it to you – but need money.
- They need food or supplies – need money for this!
- They always need money! They want yours!
Next Comes The Manipulation:
- The grooming lasts for anything from days to weeks, and then gradually stronger manipulation begins.
- ‘Gaslighting Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group creates the seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment. It may evoke changes in them such as cognitive dissonance or low self-esteem, rendering the victim additionally dependent on the gaslighter for emotional support and validation. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction, and disinformation, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's beliefs. Once in this state the criminal can then more easily control the victim for their own purposes.
Instances can range from the denial by a scammer that a scam has occurred, to belittling the victim's emotions and feelings, to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The goal of gaslighting is to gradually undermine the victim's confidence in their own ability to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, or reality from delusion, thereby rendering the individual or group pathologically dependent on the gaslighter for their thinking and feelings.’ is a typical technique used to help isolate the victim from their support circle and make them more vulnerable & controllable.
- Their goal is to isolate you from family and friends so that you will not listen to them, or ask them about the things they are seeing.
- In most cases, victims will be handed off to different criminals for the different phases of the crime.
You Send Your Money:
- The criminals often ask for a small amount of money at first.
- With each successful harvest, you are more willing to send more.
- They will ask for everything you have until you say no.
- Then the tone changes. Can become more hostile and threatening.
- The more you resist the more pressure they put on you.
- They may use blackmail if you sent intimate photos!
Report The Crime
You are the victim of organized transnational criminals!
Take this seriously. The reason scams are so out of control is that only about 1% of victims report these crimes!
- Every report matters!
- Police may not chase after the scammers but the reports help the government to extradite them!
- Reporting also restores your power and control!
- It helps you accept that you are the victim and not to blame Blame or Blaming is the act of censuring, holding responsible, making negative statements about an individual or group that their action or actions are socially or morally irresponsible, the opposite of praise. When someone is morally responsible for doing something wrong, their action is blameworthy. By contrast, when someone is morally responsible for doing something right, we may say that his or her action is praiseworthy. Blame imparts responsibility for an action or act, as in that they made a choice to perform that act or action.!
Where To Report?
- Get prepared first: https://romancescamsnow.com/dating-scams/a-scam-victims-checklist-interacting-with-the-police/
- Report to your local police and get a report number!
- Report to your financial institutions and give them the report number!
- Report to your national police or the FBI 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. at www.IC3.gov
- Report to the U.S. FTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution.
To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS
- Report to the SCARS global network at www.Anyscams.com
- Keep the evidence – you may need it later!
To learn more about the topics covered in this webinar visit:
To learn more about who SCARS is visit www.AgainstScams.org To find a local counselor or therapist visit either: www.opencounseling.com and www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/trauma-and-ptsd If you are looking for a support group In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers. please contact us at: www.facebook.com/groups/SCARS.Avoidance.Information.Public.Group