Given that Abby Slutsky used to proseute theft and her son is a fraud analyst, she is fascinated by many scams that defraud victims.
Today I got together with some friends because one of them, who is single, was celebrating her birthday. Of course, the conversation turned to the joys and perils of online dating. My friend began sharing stories about some of the people who have attempted to connect with her.
After all, how tempting is it when a 30 year-old spouts compliments and encouraging words to a 60 year-old? Is someone who is old enough to be your child or grandchild really captivated by your sexy physique and hotness? More than likely, they are romantically in love with the bank account they hope you have. (I am not saying that all romance scammers are far younger than their victims, but some are.)
Not surprisingly, the attention does not only come with flowery words, it is often accompanied by a photo of a better-than-average looking admirer. The attention is delightfully flattering. How could you refuse temptation? Could the aura of love be in your future?
Is Your Admirer Finding Your Money Attractive?
Mr. Romance Wants to Communicate Outside the Dating Service Quickly
Is your new friend already hit by Cupid’s bow after just a short few conversations? Does he or she want your private email, phone number, or text? Before you put your heart on the line, it may make sense to research your admirer. Love can be more costly than you think, and some romantic scammers may even lure you into criminal activities that you probably will not realize you are committing.
Types of Scams He or She May Try
Your admirer has an identifiable profile and is likely to say he or she is in the military or has another career that requires travel. Although Romeo may be attentive in conversation, he will have excuses not to meet you. However, he may even offer marriage.
Unfortunately, he or she is also likely to get sick, need a loan or have some type of emergency that requires your help and money to make him feel better. (Yes, he will be feeling a lot better when you wire him money that you cannot get back.) The scammer may also ask you to help out with a cash gift card. Once you give the gift card, you will be unable to get the money back. Whenever you are asked for money in a manner that makes it virtually impossible to get back, you should be alert that someone may be trying to scam you.
According to an FBI video featuring Special Agent Christine Beining, scammers primarily target women over 50 who are likely to be single, divorced, or widowed. These women are highly susceptible to romance fraud because they are lonely, and some may have substantial financial assets.
Other romance scams can make victims unknowingly commit crimes. A smooth Romeo may ask you to put money in your bank account and transfer it elsewhere. A romantic scammer may ask a victim to receive expensive items and then ship them somewhere else at the admirer's request. Basically, the admirer is using the unsuspecting victim to help launder money.
In some circumstances, the romance scammer may ask for financial information or inappropriate photos. They may be useful for blackmail or obtaining additional cash from their victims.
Love Can be Expensive
Check Out the Legitimacy of Your Admirer
One way to minimize the likelihood that your admirer wants to scam you is to do a reverse image search on TinEye. This website offers a free service that will scan the web to find images that match the one you upload. It can locate the images and determine where else they have been used. Google Reverse Image Search can also help you find information about a scammer. Click here to learn how to use these tools.
In addition to performing a reverse image scan, pay attention to the scammer’s profile. Often your scammer is using a fake profile. Mr. Romantic may claim to be well-educated, but his messages may be filled with grammar errors and poor English. If he calls you, the phone number may be from a foreign country. Inconsistencies may mean that he is more interested in your bank account than your love.
If you are seeking love online, pay attention to these warning signs. You may find that an empty bank account is even more heart-breaking than a broken heart.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Abby Slutsky
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on September 04, 2020:
Thanks for reading. Yes, women are at a higher risk for these scams. One of my friends has been targeted a number of times. Fortunately, she is smart enough to use EyeTin and not be taken by them.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on September 04, 2020:
Very interesting topic.
In the U.S. the Showtime cable channel is airing "Love Fraud" right now. However it's an (older man) scamming women in his age range. This guy actually married many of these women (approximately 10) took their money and other valuables and disappeared. Those women he did not marry he proposed to or moved in with them.
Each woman claims he started professing his love for them within two weeks after having their first date. One of his scams involved a "pending lawsuit" where he is expecting a $7-12 Million dollar settlement. He would show the women documents. They would agree to have joint accounts with him because they had married him and were going to be "millionaires" within a few months.
Naturally he drained their accounts, bought cars, trucks, and took trips all under the guise he'd put the money back once he received his settlement. However at some point he would vanish.
Some of these women have band together and hired a bounty hunter to track him down as the police aren't making it a priority.
From my observation "male gold diggers" and scammers tend to pursue women in their own age group. Hugh Hefner (Playboy Magazine) founder was 86 when he married a 26 year old Chrystal Harris. You're not going to see many 26 year old guys pursing an 86 year old woman no matter how much money she has. Most young men place a higher value on physical attributes.
On a certain level (men) expect women to want to be with a guy who earns good money or is very successful. An elementary school janitor isn't likely to be in demand for many (beautiful women) regardless of all the wonderful traits he may have.
In fact being able to attract beautiful women is an incentive for some men to pursue high paying careers. It's been proven that if a man is rich enough his looks and age don't matter with a lot of women.
It's as if some men are willing to accept the "trade off" of spending money in order to be with a young attractive woman.
They don't consider themselves being scammed. It's just life.
The billionaire J. Howard Marshall II married Anna Nicole Smith at age 89 and she was 26. The whole world knows why she did it.
There are a lot of online dating scammers who pursue women that live outside of their own country. They never meet in person and yet are able to convince these women to send them money.
It's been said (women) fall in love with their ears and (men) fall in love with their eyes. However one would think with age comes wisdom. Men learn all that glitters is not gold and women learn actions speak louder than words...
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on September 02, 2020:
Yes, I could not believe the story my friend was telling me. Then I looked online to research it. Apparently, it is very common.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 02, 2020:
A scammer like you described is disgusting. A man that wants to take advantage of an older woman is awful. I guess you cannot be to careful.