Romance scammers have one goal: to get whatever you have. Whether that is your credit card numbers and bank information, money, or marriage in order to get a visa, these con artists know exactly what to say and do to use your human need for love and acceptance against you. You think you’ve met the man or woman of your dreams online. Witty, attentive, with a sexy voice, he or she says all the right things, except…
1. Look at the grammar, spelling and word choices your person uses. Sure, no one uses perfect grammar and spelling all the time, but if someone claims to be living in West Texas with his “mum,” that should send up a red flag. If your person routinely omits words,or uses them out of order, chances are they are not who they claim to be.
2. He or she immediately claims to have been directed to you by God. He declares right away that he has fallen in love and intends to marry you. He sends flowers, love letters and other gifts and tokens of affection. This is to give you a feeling of obligation and play on your trust.He or she breaks off communication any time you ask too many questions, always blaming a bad connection. The conversation never gets back to the original topic.
3. Your person claims to be American, Canadian or British, but then within days is on his way to Ghana, Nigeria or some other country in South Africa for business. He or she is in computers, oil exploration, agricultural equipment sales and service or is involved in some kind of mission work.Within a few days to a few weeks, he or she is mugged or robbed, or has to pay some kind of exorbitant surcharge to get equipment released. Alternatively, he or she has an accident, heart attack or some other medical emergency; sometimes his own health, sometimes claiming a family member is seriously ill. He or his “doctor,” call asking you to send money for hospital fees.If you persist in telling him that you have no money, he will ask you to borrow from friends or relatives, or sell your belongings and send him the funds. If you still have no funds, he will ask to send packages to your home for you to re-mail. These packages most likely contain items purchased with other people’s credit cards,probably those of their previous scam victim. If you re-mail the items, you are an accessory to credit card fraud and can find yourself subject to prosecution.
4. Your person pressures you to get on your web cam but does not have one himself. or herself. Your scammer is using your web cam to see what you have. He or she may encourage you to make sexy pouts into the camera, or encourage you to strike seductive poses or to take off your clothes. This sets you up for blackmail later.
5. Each of the things listed here could be completely on the level, but chances are good that the more of these red flags you see, the more likely it is that you are talking to a scammer.Once you recognize a scammer, give him or her the BIRD: block them, ignore them, report them to the dating site and to the FBI, and delete them.