Since they work in shifts they appear to be online at all hours, but may not remember previous conversations with the victim, or they may even call the victim by another name.
Scammers shape their identities based on the information provided in potential victim profiles.
Thousands of people have been victimized by online romance scams and wind up not only embarrassed but with financial losses averaging more than ,000 per person. Not only do victims suffer emotionally and financially, but some may have long term effects resulting from an online romance scam.
These scams are a double whammy for the victim because they are affected both fiscally and emotionally.
It's important to remember to always make financial decisions with your head and not your heart." The most important thing to do if you're a victim of a sweetheart scam is to cut off communication with your scammer immediately.
Recently a number of New Zealanders have been manipulated and defrauded by persons abroad professing romantic interest and marriage intentions over the internet. If you have not met someone personally, you should not respond to their requests for money (regardless of how desperate their circumstances appear).
Internet dating scams typically result from connections made through internet dating websites or chat rooms.
Once a bond has been established the offender will typically ask you for money or ask you to undertake a task.
Often the task is illegal, although this may not be immediately obvious. Pretexts used to elicit money have included kidnapping and urgent requests for money to cover medical expenses.
Instead, they have given their money to a scammer, sometimes losing thousands of dollars, with very low possibility of recovery. Unfortunately, the people committing these scams are often overseas -- using untraceable email addresses, routing accounts through numerous locations around the world and utilizing pay-per-hour Internet cyber cafes. Research what they are telling you with someone who would know, such as a current or former service member. Be very suspicious if you never get to actually speak with the person on the phone or are told you cannot write or receive letters in the mail.
Servicemen and women serving overseas will often have an APO or FPO mailing address. Be very suspicious if you are asked to send money or ship property to a third party or company. troops are stationed there, they are few and far between. Be aware of common spelling, grammatical or language errors in the emails. Be very suspicious of someone you have never met and who pledges their love at warp speed.
For instance, a fifty year old woman with a love of horses may receive messages from an individual claiming to be a sixty year old business executive who owns a ranch.