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 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 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
- 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 – 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’ 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!
Where To Report?