Love for sale (The cruelest con)
How it works: You meet someone on a dating site, on Facebook, in a chat room, or while playing a virtual game. You exchange pictures, talk on the phone. It soon becomes obvious that you were meant for each other. But the love of your life lives in a foreign country and needs money to get away from a cruel father or to get medical care or to buy a plane ticket so you can finally be together.
What’s really going on: Your new love is a scam artist. There will be no tearful hug at the airport, no happily-ever-after. You will lose your money and possibly your faith in mankind.
The big picture: Online social networking has opened up bold new avenues for heartless scammers who specialize in luring lonely people into bogus friendships and love affairs, only to steal their money.
Cindy Dawson, a 39-year-old customer service representative for a manufacturing firm, fell for a Nigerian named Simon Peters whom she met on a dating site. “We started talking on the phone,” the divorced mother of three recalls. “He said his father lived in Bolingbrook, Illinois, not far from me.”
They exchanged photos; Peters was a handsome man. Dawson sent him pictures of her kids, who also talked to him on the phone. “He kept saying how much he cared about me,” says Dawson, fighting back tears at the memory. “I was in love with him.”
Soon enough, Peters started asking for money—small amounts at first, to buy food. He always wanted the money wired by Western Union to someone named Adelwale Mazu. Peters said he couldn’t use his own name because he didn’t have the right documentation. “It started progressing to higher amounts of money,” says Dawson. “I sent him money for airfare from Nigeria. I drove to the airport, but he never showed.”
Peters continued working the scam, explaining that authorities in Lagos wouldn’t let him board the plane. Then he needed money for school. Then he was stuck in London. “Everybody told me he was scamming me,” says Dawson, “but I didn’t want to believe it. Finally, my 12-year-old daughter said, ‘Stop sending him money; he’s never coming.’” After reading about this type of con on Romancescams.org, Dawson searched for the fake name and figured out that Peters’s photo was a stock image of a male model repurposed from the Web. “He got about $15,000 out of me,” she says. “I was angry, and I felt stupid.”
Damages reported: $200-$2000
The promise of cuddly and cute puppies, kittens and other pets is another scam and has harmed a lot of people in 2014.
Pets-for-sale scammers create fake websites that claim to be associated with pet adoption or animal nurseries. On these sites, they offer a wide selection of pets for adoption or sale at prices significantly below the norm. Some sites even offer puppies for free to attract victims. With this scam, victims are told that they must pay for at least the insurance, shipping and other services associated with processing and delivering the pets. Victims are then required to make their purchases and/or pay their fees with non-returnable, cash-like forms of payment, including but not limited to: Moneygram, Western Union, Vanilla prepaid cards or wire transfer to a foreign bank account.
Dating Site Scams: 500.00 and up
You join a Legitimate site searching for the woman of your dreams, you are contacted and or you contact someone thinking it’s a legitimate person.
The process is to get you interested and you exchange photos, a common practice since we live in the “Era” of immediate mental satisfaction. The “Female” send you photos that are “Revealing” and you are even more interested. You exchange phone numbers since you are really interested now.
Then all of a sudden you get an email, text and or a phone call, the caller will insinuate that the female you have been emailing, chatting, texting with is actually a minor and you need to help pay for her Medical costs since she now mentally upset.
They take it even further by calling and or texting saying that they are a “Private Detective” working on behalf of the family wanting money or a Warrant will be taken out for your arrest.
Do not respond other than to turn over to Law Enforcement, they hope you won’t since its embarrassing that this has happened and or what if its true?
Private Detective Agencies DO NOT get involved in matters such as this.