Today I’m going to talk about the damn “Romance Scam” because we’ve been finding so many scammers round these parts these days. From here on out for consistency, I’ll be referencing the *male* scammers – but we’ve found plenty of women scammers. I’m just trying to make this easier on all of us.
We’ve had access to long emails from suitors that consist of deep promises of love forever, instant chemistry, and… well, a whole lot of typos. In reading the emails you find that the man is usually an international jetsetter, he owns at least one successful business, he’s widowed and would do anything for his children, and his profile picture is of a very attractive gentleman. But back to the typos… sure he went to an Ivy League school and writes features for large publications, but let’s just brush the typo part off with an excuse. Everything he says is a fantasy of everything you’d ever want so what’s the big deal if he inserts random numbers into the middle of sentences and doesn’t spell common words correctly . Read a snippet for yourself:
“My profile on match.com might be off soon, Its been a total turn off with the messages I received the few times I was on it as work did keep me busy much, But I am happy to know that at least we started off on a good note and can share more about one another. I also would like to let you know that even if we do not live 5 minutes away from each other , I am a very loving and passionate person , When I love , I love really hard . LOVE IS A BEAUTIFUL THING, WHEN WE FIND ONE, WE HAVE TO KEEP IT , AND LET NOTHING STOP US.”
He wants this love – this particular love – to work from the start. And with love being so hard to find these days, people tend to overlook some red flags. Red flags like massive typos from someone who started five businesses but can’t use grammar properly (?), inconsistencies throughout emails, undying love from the get-go, deep intimate poetry, suggestive pictures. All because he remains on course with consistent daily emails of love, phone calls (never video chats), and promises of spending the rest of your lives together. This is how we ended up losing $230 MILLION DOLLARS in online dating scams last year.
Here’s a trace we ran for a client. The love of her life? Well, he lived around this region:
Yeah, that doesn’t look like Los Angeles. #BYEASSHOLESCAMMER
In my most recent interview with xConomy, writer Jeff Engel states: “Scammers usually target older women who are widowed or divorced, according to the FBI article. These women are usually educated and at least somewhat tech savvy. But emotion can cloud reason when it comes to matters of the heart.” And he’s completely spot on.
The romance scam is terribly calculated in a way that the victim might feel crazy doubting that this person has ill-intention and is then able to look past all the red flags. They know they shouldn’t send money to a person they’ve never met but this person that they love is in trouble. And the scammer wastes little time to remind their victim of their undying love, their future to be together soon, the things they’ve shared, the promises made… and then asks for a little more money to help whatever next cause they have. Oh and not to worry because they have plenty of money to pay them back once they regain access to their foreign bank account.
I want to punch all of these people in the face.
To wrap up my explanation of the “romance scam”: If your gut is telling you something’s up, it usually is. And if you need a confirmation of your gut feeling? That’s where we come in. There’s lots of ways to get started. We can check out your new date in various ways making sure they’re not scamming you. We’re the professionals here and over $230M was lost in romance scams last year. Hire a human:
Be safe out there. With your heart, your money, your time, and your love. Because you deserve everything that’s real and everything that’s good.
Love and light,