Sunday, August 28, 2011
Are You A Romance Scam Target?
Who doesn’t hope that cupid aims his arrow your way, especially if he has already targeted a likely sweetheart. What if it isn’t cupid that is targeting you for romance? Nefarious types have been using love as a lure to land lovelorn men and women for centuries. This isn’t a new game either, but it is played a little differently according to the gender.
How do you avoid being a target? First, watch where you meet people. Surprisingly, more women have confidence in eHarmony for the simple fact that they charge more. Only a man with serious interest in dating would lay out the monthly fee, plus they offer the option to confirm your identity. Free dating sites tend to attract the amateur scam artists who can practice their romantic cons at no cost. Beware of men whose writing skills are limited and their English is odd. There are men from Asia, Africa, and Russia running cons to trick American women out of their money.
Is your man writing beautiful lyrical poetry to you? Maybe you are suspicious of him or the poem. You can look it up on google.loco which allows you to post sections of letters and emails to see if they are showing up elsewhere. Is the guy too handsome to be true, then you can send his photo through www.tineye.com to see if he really is who he claims to be or the picture was just photo shopped from online.
Women are usually hit with the con early on, the smitten boyfriend delivers several letters worthy of Nicholas Sparks—there’s a good chance Sparks did write them. Unfortunately, countries separate them, but he is doing his best to get by her side if she could only wire him some money until his clears customs or some other issue.
Another twist on this is the soldier lover. He may really be a soldier, but I doubt it. He needs money to get home. Ladies, the government flies them home free of charge. My son is in the military. He has never paid any type of fee to come home or even fly home. This is a scam using the good name of the United States Military. Don’t send that money, you’ll never see your uniformed Romeo because he doesn’t exist.
Men are usually played a lot longer. Many women actually view the more socially challenged men as meal tickets. I would warn men never to put what they make on their profiles. You have gold digging honeys shopping for the lonely high wage earner. She’ll be sweet before the marriage and become your worst nightmare after the marriage. I would think a smart man would dump this gold digger, but she knows how to work the man. Often she’ll quit her job, making herself dependent on the man. How can he throw her out when she has no place to go? She’ll use her children, his insecurities, even threats of committing suicide if he leaves her. Run, men, run. How do you know she’s a gold digger? Is she very interested in your income? Your total assets? She can even quote the current blue book value of your car? Does she want to constantly go out to expensive venues and expects elaborate gifts? You got a gold digger on your hands. She doesn’t want you honey, she wants your paycheck. No, she will not kill herself because that would make it much harder to spend your money or some other sap’s.
Another way we make ourselves targets is by casually giving away information. I had a good friend who is very frugal. One day at work, she announced she had saved thirty thousand dollars for a house down payment. I was impressed because she worked two modest jobs. Apparently, she mentioned it to too many people because a Latin Lothario suddenly appeared in her life. This man who no one knew, romanced her and asked to borrow her money for a business venture. The money and the fast-talking boyfriend disappeared immediately. The difference between the male con is that they usually come in quick and take a large sum of money and are gone, while the female leech will continue to suck you dry for long periods of time.
Don’t share your troubles, really. Conniving con artists are looking for someone with a recent loss, such as a relationship breakup, a death, even a death of a pet. Anything that has you off kilter and not thinking straight offers them a chance to swoop in to comfort you. Under normal circumstances, you might not look at the man or woman twice, but suddenly they’re your rock. Even though friends might warn you off this trickster, you explain how wrong they are since the trickster helped you over a bad patch. What trickster really did was worm his way into your affections while scrutinizing your checking account, and even your medical plan. A co-worker going through a divorce, inadvertently gave away her ATM number to a trickster friend who conveniently cleaned out her account right before Christmas. Keep in mind, the comforting behavior is grooming, which is exactly what pedophiles do to children to gain their trust. The very thought is sickening.
How do you avoid being target? Date local. Be suspicious. If a date doesn’t feel or sound right, drop him. I’ve gone out on a lot of dates and at least 50% were bad for one reason or another. Is someone asking questions about things they shouldn’t including your job, your income, your medical plan, your ability to have children in the future, etc., leave fast. Do not reveal where you live or your last name until you feel safe. You’d be amazed all the information you can get online only knowing a full name and the city a person lives in. Be careful what you give out in your social network site. After the death of a close friend, a trickster who knew I was vulnerable approached me. He obtained this information from my site, which was marked friends only. Even sites you think are private are not as private as you think.
Ladies, in closing, listen to your gut. As females, we try to be nice to everyone. Don’t. If you feel uneasy about a person or situation move on. Even the simple act of asking for the time is a classic pick pocket con. Sometimes you got to go with what feels right and not with what’s polite.