Romance scams are becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in today’s world. With the rise of online dating and social networking, it is now easier than ever for scammers to take advantage of people looking for love. Romance scams involve a scammer pretending to be someone they’re not in order to lure their victims into sending them money. The scammer will create a fake identity that seems like a real person, then gain the victim’s trust and ask them for money. These scams may play out over just a few days to even years. In this article, we will discuss the world of romance scams, how they work, and what you can do to protect yourself from falling victim to one.
The Romance Scam
The world of romance scams is a dark and murky one, filled with scammers preying on the vulnerable and unsuspecting nature of the lonely. There are many different types of romance scams, but they all have one thing in common: the goal is to steal your money.
Some scammers will create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, pretending to be interested in you. They may even send you sweet messages or gifts to try to win your trust. But eventually, they will ask you for money – often for a bogus reason like paying for travel or medical expenses. If you send them money, you’ll likely never see it again unless you can figure out the individual’s correct identity.
Other scammers will pose as military personnel stationed overseas or working on oil rigs. They may reach out to you on social media or online dating sites, saying they’re interested in a long-distance relationship. Once again, they will eventually ask for money – usually for “emergency” expenses. Don’t fall for it! These types of scammers are often very convincing, so it’s important to be aware of the signs of a Romance Scam.
Within the world of romance scams, catfishing is a common method used. A catfish is when an individual creates a false identity, typically stealing images and details from a real individual online to exploit the vulnerability of people looking for love. They usually pose as someone who is the same gender and age as those whose identities they have stolen, and they use stolen photos to create their fake profiles. They build trust with their victims by showering them with attention and affection, before eventually asking for money. A common trait among catfish is canceling plans to meet at the last minute, and never being able to conduct video calls. If you’re looking for love online, be sure to do your homework to avoid becoming the victim of a catfish.
The Pig Butcher Scam
In recent years, a subsect of Romance Scam has been gaining popularity among organized criminal entities preying on the vulnerability of people looking for love: the pig butcher scam. This scam involves building trust with the victim through a romantic relationship, before involving them in an investment scheme typically centered around cryptocurrency.
While the initial stages of the scam may involve some genuine feelings and intentions, eventually the criminal with steer the conversation towards investing. The criminal will use the romantic relationship that has been established to then prey on the greed of their victim looking to make quick and easy money. The “butcher” in this case may gain the victim’s trust over a period of months before ever bringing up crypto, day trading, and any other form of investing. They will then try to lure the victim to a fake exchange belonging to the criminal entity. The exchange names and domains often mimic real exchanges and domains with only slight differences. The victim will move money from their bank onto the fake exchange where they are then fed fake gains and losses to hook them further into the scam. The final part of the scam often involves telling the victim they must pay some sort of taxes or penalties before removing their profits, and that this money must come from outside of the exchange.
Protecting Yourself or a Family Member
Private Investigation firms such as F3 Intelligence Corp are frequently hired by victims and family members of victims to identify scammers and their identities. Sadly, many times this is after the fact and the individual has already become a victim. F3 Intelligence recommends contacting them prior to meet anyone in person and/or sending them any money. A quick background check is often all it takes to avoid heartbreak and financial losses in the thousands or even millions of dollars. Contact F3 today if you have any concerns regarding online dating or that of a family member you suspect is being taken advantage of.
F3 Intelligence Corp