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I have added this page because it is important to speak out and be heard about what has happened to you. This page is not for photographs they are stolen or details, and is not meant to be a database of scams or scammers, but more the personal expression of what has happened and the impact of that. If you would like to add your story here, please email it to me and let me know you would like it published. For readers, remember, these are not my views, but the views of the victims, in their words. It took courage to share them here.

I waited for police to contact me. I did extensive study online about it So I blocked him and that was the end of the contact. Back then I was still thinking authorities can catch the scammers. A month later police called me in for filing my case officially. They even went to the address he gave me to find no one under his profile lives there. And that his email IP corresponds to Indonesia and Nigeria.

I posted all his information online and few months later a woman from where I live contacted me telling me she too was approached by the guy with same phone number of different name and she told me she called the number and few different Chinese speaking guys picked up the phone and each of them told her the person she is asking for a white guy is not there.

Few other women contacted me the same. I can tell from my experiences that you are extremely vulnerable for things you have never heard or encountered in your life. I knew about conventional scams like it happened to my friend a marriage scam but NEVER have I imagined of THIS, not perpetrated by a scam-man but by a global criminal syndicate which possibly has connections with other bigger crimes or worse terrorism and their operation is impossible for current authority to bring down.

Often the media portraits the Romance Scam victims are retired lonely women. I, in my late 30s with wide network of friends and social life, had never thought I would be the one. Scammers rarely target young people just because young people usually have no money not because old people are prone to the scams. I hate how media gets this wrong.

Truth is not the victim-centric as they want to scandalously portrait of us, the victims, but it is all about MONEY for the scammers and nothing else. Scammers target men, women, gays, young and old regardless of their profession or educational level as long as the one has MONEY. His name was Michael Stanton so he told me. I fell in love with this man and believed everything he told me even though my family and friends all told me that it was a scam.

I still have a house and a car and my pension. It finished in January and I had to change my bank account, my credit card my phone numbers, one of my sons rang him in Turkey and told him that I had committed suicide and thought that would be the end. I ruined my life really went to solicitor banks, police, everywhere but no help here in Australia.

My family are now very supportive to me and have helped me but I will never forgive myself as that was their inheritance. Something strange happened a few months ago and got a man through Facebook requesting to be my friend with a photo. I was really surprised as he looked like the same person. I never reply to these but I answered this and said that he looked liked a man that scammed me. I sent him the photo and he sent a larger one of him and with the words he said that it was a good job he had shaved off his moe and said it was a terrible thing for anyone to do.

In November I was approached by a man who was a random match on Words with Friends. The initial exchanges were polite, sweet and charming, and I was slowly drawn in to keep chatting with him. We shared details about our lives with each other and found we had a lot in common. I began to look forward to his messages more than I should have. He told me he was a marine engineer doing contract work on an offshore rig in Norway.

He said he had lost his wife to cancer 7 years ago and had a 15 year old daughter in the states with a nanny. He had been walking around with a hole in his heart, never expecting to find love again. His contract would be up soon and he planned to retire so he could travel.

At, a resource center and support group for dating fraud, you'll find scores of similar stories. In a decade, the site has collected about 60, reports, from men and women. Indeed, they're so well known that ers have adopted a more effective variation - mining dating sites for targets of romance scams. Impostor scams can flourish wherever the Internet exists (Eastern Europe and Russia are also hot spots), but most dating fraud originates in Nigeria and Ghana, or in countries such as Malaysia and the U.K. I really believe that we need to share our stories of SCAMMERS in order to warn other people. My son and his sweetheart both have accounts and play the market, buying stock and selling, you know. I was never on a web based dating site, never in my life. It's not for me.

Asked me if I would be his traveling companion and said that he wanted to treat me like a queen. We began to chat multiple times a day on Google Hangouts, which I downloaded at his request. There were daily phone calls as well, with him professing his love and his gratitude for coming into his life. All of this lasted over 2 months and my heart had been melting all the while, even against my better judgement. He knew all the right things to say and I felt wanted, needed and loved.

Was this finally my soulmate? If I backed off from this chance at true love, would I always regret it? We made plans to meet once he got back to the States next month. We were just continuing the love affair we had started then. The romance and the mystery clouded my more rational thoughts and I allowed myself to be swept away by his charming and loving words.

He tried a few more times to pull me back in, telling me I was breaking his heart and why was I doing this, my love? Have you forgotten so soon all the sweet moments we shared? I am so grateful for this forum, and my heart goes out to all of you who have been played, like me, by these smooth and charming love scammers.

The man I thought I was talking to said his name was Andre, he found me on Instagram. But not Andre, he kept pursuing me. And eventually, I weakened. He told me how beautiful I was, and that he wanted to meet me someday. We would chat everyday, I even set my notifications sound from the app we used to a certain ringtone so I knew when it was him.

Everything was going fine our chats were innocent and romantic and yes I fell for him. But I just let it slide, because I really wanted to believe that this big beautiful man wanted me. He said he was on a peace keeping mission In Kabul Afghanistan. He would tell me he was in the command room or the communications room all alone, and so he could talk to me. Then he told me their general was coming and they were having a rewards ceremony for which he got a substantial reward. And I congratulated him.

I was pleased that him and his kids would be well taken care of because of it. Everything was going well and as I said earlier our relationship was very romantic until one day out of the blue it turned sexual, he started to ask me to send pics of myself and promised to keep them for his own private use. At first I sent ones of myself in my PJs, done up in high heels make up and mini dresses or lingerie but I made sure I was covered up.

But he wanted nude ones, he sent me a pic of his. At least I thought it was his cause the dude was wearing army pants and boots? When I was ready. As you can guess I sent them my face and my breasts?

I figured it because he was In the military and it was for security reasons. Suddenly one-day he called me sobbing and crying telling me that his Nanny Judith called to tell him that his son Tristan had been rushed to hospital, I spent all day from calls to chats consoling him until he found out what was wrong with Tristan. The diagnosis was cancer. I told him I had emailed an actual doctor from the USA to see what is supposed to happen In a case such as his, as he is a single father.

I had a feeling that there had to be a way he could go home early in a case such as this, I even looked up and downloaded military criteria on early leave reasons and how you could get it. And when I tried to tell him about all of this it just fell on deaf ears. I was to tell them I was his fiance. When he did reply I was not expecting the reaction I got. I did tell them why they might receive these pics and to my amazement and surprise they all supported me and gave me love.

No one would let me feel ashamed people even told me that it happened to them even my own sister. The blackmail suddenly stopped when I told him if I had the money and I could be bothered I would hunt him down. My son and his sweetheart both have accounts and play the market, buying stock and selling, you know.

I was never on a web based dating site, never in my life. I have met a few men. And was asking me to try this app. Ok then I said. It started there. With her help, I did filter and met in person, men. After 2 weeks approx, this man came along.

He was different, very romantic. But was in Manitoba lie as an engineer to bid on a contract here, where I live. Was supposed to then go finish up a contract in Cyprus but, in between, he will stop here to meet me. Last minute he became sick, food poisoning. The area code were ok, etc. As I planned earlier in that year, I had to go to France in August to visit my best friend for her birthday. Big surprise party organized by her lovely husband.

Everyday he was texting or emailing to me. Once he asked for the phone number where I was in France. My friends agreed.

He called me. Then he asked for the address my friends said oh, why not? Couple of days later I received this beautiful bouquet of flowers, with a very nice vase. I was wow! Then, he started to call me boo, love, queen, all the bs. He never woke me up in the night, I could sleep but he was there, texting or calling, multiple times every day. I was in heaven. Plans to get together, he was from California but wife died in his arms in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, 3 years ago, teenager son living in Scotland with Granny.

were visited

She was sending me emails, very nice and sensitive emails. Poor son was working so hard since wife died. Never had another girlfriend, since he lost his soul-mate. When I called in Scotland, like 3 times, it was the answering machine So my scammer told me that her mother was in dialysis 4 times a week and needed a kidney. She was old and under much stress by the electronics she could not talk on the phone. But, she was always responding to my emails, in TALL police of characters. He owned a business, with a site, and his pictures and the employees.

One day he called me crying he was crying a lot desperate: he could not get out of Cyprus because he had to pay taxes on is million-ish dollar contract. And the government was linked to the airport, so there was no way to get out. He also had to pay his lawyer with a web siteetc. Since he is not done paying taxes to Cyprus, he could not be paid by his client.

He had no friends, Mum was poor and sick, and could not ask his employees. It was just a loan. I began to send him money through MoneyGram, and then I wired money. I was sorry he could not skype his camera was broken. Plus, I am under a depression with pills. No one knows about the money ct. Well, only the Security dept of my bank, who blocked me once.

At this time, I was out of the nightmare of breast cancer surgery and so onand seeing my best friend in France was such a boost for me, I was high. But I really believed that it was possible that I meet a man my age, educated, very kind and capable of commitment in love. I am educated, but was vulnerable, lonely, naive and idiot. She met the first scammer on OurTime. Then he sells her name and contact info on the dark web. My mom supposedly met a real person in Charlotte, NC in November, for the 2nd scam, so we can only assume that the romance scam people are hiring actors because their business is so lucrative.

reserve, neither

After that, she Skyped and used an untraceable google phone number, plus texts, to contact the man who is really a criminal organization. It seems from the texts like the organization allows less skilled people, or even a bot, to generate romantic phrases that keep her dopamine levels up.

Also they contact her at all hours so as to deprive her of sleep. My brother and I had to go to South Carolina where she lived in a remote location and rescue her. She was making a burka on her sewing machine - Mom is Catholic - and the scammer was promising a ticket to Iran. Whether she was being set up for a kidnapping because she was out of money, or if she suggested the trip and he was just playing along but the plane ticket would never really arrive, we will never know. But it is possible she was making her own funeral garment.

My brother and I took guardianship and took her back to a retirement home near me. She is bereft and cries constantly. The love of family has finally made her see that the whole thing was a scam, but she is in the first stages of dementia and goes in and out of lucidity about that fact.

She is completely bereft and I am trying to get her to grief counseling, though there are few groups for this odd type of grief.

Additionally, my brother and I had weird things happening on our computers, so we had to install VPNs, change all passwords and get the best malware protection out there.

This incident continues to put a tremendous strain on me and my family. The dating services are at fault for blithely allowing known stolen identities - the photos and identity used by the second scammer were reported stolen by the real person to the FBI - and not doing anything to stop it.

The victims of this psychological rape and the families are left to pick up the pieces for years aftewards. How can I explain what happened as anything other than a crime? We chat everyday he also sent me pictures and videos of the place he supposedly worked. One day he told me he was on the list of a few soldiers who are going to be deployed to United Arab Emirates, specifically Abu Dhabi.

The next day he told me he was verifying with the cellphones companies and told that the cost to buy a pre paid card was and asked if I can help him, swearing that once his deployment finished he pay me back, I said yes in the name of love, go to Western Union and made the first transaction of many other ahead.

Why me? Thanks for letting me share my story with you. I hope others can read it and says I never fall into a romance scam. All started on Instagram. He send me a kind request on Instagram telling me that my smile has captivate him and he would like to meet me.

At first I was not sure of wanting to meet anyone as I was aware of the scams, I replied to him after 2 weeks, one night after a couple of wines, I just replied to him asking him from which country was he from. I thought, maybe I can find the right person who could steal me and my heart and have finally that love, attention and relationship that I been looking for in my dreams. That called my attention as I know a bit of that. So he felt after 2 years he should try start dating again and he was looking for his lady to have a serious relationship.

I was honest and told him that I was married in a very unhealthy relationship and that I really wanted a divorce. He agreed that I should divorce as I deserved a gentleman and someone who really love me. He always told me not to worry as he support me. I did not know in which way. We communicated almost for a month using the messenger service of a Instagram.

The song that he dedicated to me, We talked about many things, his family, the love for his granddaughter, etc. I understood for our conversations that he was very wealthy with a big house in Carlsbad near the ocean, driving his 2 toy cars a Maserati and Lamborghini.

Our conversations were long, we laugh and seems like we knew each other from another life. I fell for him and he seems also to shared the same feelings. He was a son of god, attended his Sunday commitment and I was happy to know that we shared the same believes. I try to research the pictures that he sent me but no location was given. He was smart at that, no trace of anything. Then he asked me to use hangouts and I felt a bitter taste in my mouth, the first red flag came to me. We spent hours texting mostly during the day, he said he was looking for a contract in Europe as he has not worked in 2 years since his wife died and his piggybank was getting low, so he had to work in the evening to catch up with the time zone in Europe.

He send me many pictures of him, I found him very handsome, I also asked for pictures of his house, I wanted to know all about him or find real answers. The pictures he sent from his house looked like rooms in a hotel, I did not realized it until later looking at them with detail, so he never really sent me pictures of his home. He never really had interest in talking on the phone until I practically imposed myself so he called me up but his voiced sounded as he was from Texas or Louisiana, kind of singing English and I was wondering I asked him, I though it was a bit of his Sweden accent with English but he told me he grow up in Minnesota.

Finally we did a video call and I was able to proof that his face and voice were him. I was so happy to talk to him, I was crazy about him. His birthday was yesterday the day we broke up! A week ago, I asked him for his address to send him a card, he immediately told me that someone was calling him before he replied to my text, I found that weird, I sense he was thinking what to said or to do or looking for an address to give me. Beside the sea? I run another search in Search people and the address came out as a factory, another flag, I was confused and started to feel scare of what I was putting myself into and I still wanted to believe in him in my dream, my happinesses.

He told me that he wanted me to move to California after he was done with his job overseas and he will give me the best life ever, traveling the world.

After almost two months of looking for a contract without any luck, suddenly, he called me up so excited to tell me that he got a contract with a rich man in Ukrainehe sounded so true so real and that he have to fly to NY in 2 days to sign the contract with a representative, I was really happy for all the good things happening.

I did not heard from him much during the 3 days he was in NY. He told me he was very busy with the representative and his contract, then, he sent me a picture of him and some guy signing the contract. My heart stop! The picture he sent me was a photoshopped of him! I called up the hotel and no one with his name was registered there, wow, I felt horrible, the truth I did not wanted to find was revealed to me.

I did not believe a thing but played around. The next day another disappointment came when I woke up. I found a message from him telling me how much he misses me and a picture of him in the luxury private yet seated, I run again another picture search and found again the original picture!

My world collapsed, I was down and depressed thinking what to do, either ignore it all or to face him. I muster my courage to face it and told him he was a complete lier, he actually accused me of photoshopped the pictures to blame him claiming that his pictures were the originals and I had changed them to blame him!

His true colour came out, his anger, his words accusing me of lying. I told him, the interned is full of information. I decided to sign out of hangouts and removed the account and blocked him every where. He did not asked me for money, or he did not had the chance. There were many things that he seemed so true, could be possible he played with me all the time? Now, I have more struggle in my relationship, I have no desire, energy of nothing, I feel depressed but I promised myself to bounce back.

I repeat to myself, he was not real, he never care about me. I was asked for friendship by a guy whose alleged name was Zane Nyser.

He looked like a nice, gentle guy, interested in learning other languages. I replied to his email, and we started a close correspondence. He introduced himself saying that he was in the US Army, was a Sergeant Major, aged 50 I am 58 and he was currently deployed in a very isolated and dangerous camp in Afghanistan.

He said he was a widower with a six years old daughter who was being taken care for by a military caregiver. Because of the nature of his assignment, he was only allowed to communicate via Gmail or Hangout, Gmail instant messaging system. He was not permitted to make any phone calls, or send video messages or taking pics. The only two pictures he posted showed him with his daughter and him alone in his uniform, when he introduced himself. I swear to God I was not looking for a romance, but things quickly intensified between us.

We exchanged emails and texts, many of them. I sent him pics of myself; I wrote him things about my life I had never shared with anybody before. I was like possessed and under his spell. He was so caring and understanding and made me feel beautiful and desired. He talked of sharing a life that he would have retired from the Army to stay with me. He even sent me an official document to prove that. My heart was swelling with love and lust for this man.

When I argued that I could not get my passport ready before June, he said he would buy the house in my name and get me the residency in the US. That everything was going to be okay. He said he had only 30 days left at the camp and before heading back to the US he would spend fifteen days with me in Italy.

He asked me to start booking a house on Airbnb where we would stay and make our plans. I even put an alert on my phone for the Afghan latest news, so to be punctually informed of any incident occurring to the US soldiers in that area. I texted and emailed him endlessly for the entire day and night. The morning after, he wrote to me that he and his unit had been called to rescue the dead soldiers in a war zone with no Internet connection.

I was so relieved to hear from him and to know he was safe, that I did not question him further as I should have. One day I asked him if he had told anybody about us.

He replied that there was this buddy he confided in but was killed before we met because of a flying bullet. My love for this man and his troubled and unfortunate story grew even more. Again, in hindsight, I should have asked him why among the names of the US soldiers died in Afghanistan there was no one killed at the beginning of March because of a flying bullet. On a Saturday afternoon, he wrote that he was going to go on a special assignment with other 12 selected soldiers to take down an ISIS hide.

He told me not to worry, but be prepared to the worst, that I had to find his daughter and take care of her, he loved me so much, and blah, blah, blah. On Sunday night I got a message that he was back, mission accomplished. During his assignment, however, he had been shot in his ankle and shoulder, but he was safe back to the camp.

Then he added something that appeared unreal to me and prompted me to ask myself some questions. We saved a sheikh A Royal member who eventually gave us some huge amount of money to appreciate our efforts as he has been in hostage for sometime now. He told us to share the money among ourselves as a compensation for all the dangers we suffered in the operation.

The operation was the most dangerous military operation i have ever experienced in my entire life. I have asked the lead doctor Raymond to help me deposit it to a Delivery Agency out side of Afghanistan. He promised to deposit with a Delivery company, who have the license to deliver safely. They have already left the base, he has made the deposit and send all the details to me. This is the very good opportunity for me to retire and say good bye to this death roll kind of Job.

This is what I want you to do, I want you to contact the delivery company and let them deliver the box containing the documents and my share of the money. Then he added that I was to send an email to a shipping company in London and confirm that I would accept the box, paying them for the cost to organize a specially dedicated transport from London to my home. I did what I was asked to, but as soon as I received the immediate reply from this company it was midnight, Italian timeI started to sense that something was really off.

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This Company was supposed to be located in London, but their English was terrible. I immediately wrote him back wording my doubts about this company, but he reassured me that three other Officers who were granted the same money had used it already and everything was fine. I asked him why he could not pay this company with his Credit Card, and he replied that his credit card was in that box how convenient of him.

The day after - Monday - he was very persistent in asking me if I had done what requested. I told him that I had some difficulties in withdrawing money with my Credit Card without going clear with my husband since we had a joint account. So, I proposed an alternative plan, which involved my brother who lives in the U.

After a moment he replied that he did not feel comfortable to rely on a third party. That the contents of the box were fundamental to him and his life depended on it. And that I had to find a way to send the money to this company. Blimey, I could check each red flag signs they named. I started questioning him about his real identity, sending him links of the romance scams, including an official statement from the US Army that warned people, mostly women, not to send money to somebody known online.

Most of this people claiming to be military personels on dating sites are scammers. You find them on every dating sitesalso on instagram.

I advice you to always insist to see your alleged lover before any financial commitment. There is another Nigerian who is scamming using dating sites in China and Malaysia. I was friend by a guy called Ricky Ng. Claimed to be aviation engineer from Us gorgia. I run through google image apparently he also use insta account under different name John Wong. While i was friends with them, i actually secretly seatch what they did on fb, he apparently appear to inderstand Indonesian.

So i suspect this was another scammer gag from asia. I able to talk to him on messenger and his english is not fluent like american born chonese he claimed to be. The site they use on insta name john wong, i was able to mag him on whatsup, and the msg on whatsup seems to be answered by different person. Like a gang of people doing different type of task.

One catching in front instaother replying msg. Many tome i caught they didnt understand what i am trying to say. Perhaps they were not from english speaking background.

I confronted them that they sound different each tome perhaps they different person. They blocked me immiditely.

Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it your self? God cares for scammed women. But an experience like this that left you feeling totally vulnerable and bruised is a good place from which to start again with Your Maker. I am a recovered survivor so I know. Forgive your scam love and yourself too, see the bigger picture, both of you are on different assignments.

The scam experience is not final. Take it as a chance to let God bring His best in You. Stop blaming yourself. You have a deeper need that the scammer easily connected with. Let God embrace you with His unconditional love.

I read all posted stories and comments and thank God and Jan on this site! Texting on WhatsApp. Of course, extra payments needed, first for insurance, after that for custom seizure. Courier service is fake. Lack of funds, breaching contract, undelivered packageexcuses for money extortion and not coming to meet.

Guess, keeping me in the game just in case I shared informations on ScamWarners. Did you receive messages from people from rich countries asking them to send them some cashless ones? And so blindly I fell in love with him over a while and I never knew he was a scammer.

I was destroyed by this bastard, now I am bankrupt. I kept paying and never got the damn package. Scammers are everywhere, so we really need to be careful especially in dating sites. Tinder, Asian dating. I found out also that she even made love with a foreign guy twice as her age just because of the money. So we better have to be careful especially those person we encountered online. My heart goes out to you all who have been so hurt by this activity.

I thought I was totally scam proof having been a criminal public prosecutor for 25 years. He never directly asked me for cash but a clear shot to get me to money launder. I said no- twice! I am very cynical now and start from the premise they are all scammers until proven otherwise!

I have a story to tell. It is similar to the ones I had read in my this with the exception that I am still in contact with the scammer. I know it fills an empty place inside to be talking regularly with someone. What must be kept in mind is that their motivation is not to similarly fill that empty hole, but it is solely a business strategy to build a relationship so they can get you to part with your money.

He was full of loving caring comments never in my wildest dreams did I think it could happen to me Well it did I am hurt ,angry and very disappointed in myself. This is really sad. Scammers are everywhere especially in dating sites. So i think before getting involved with any body online, we really need to do some background check and loyalty test so that we really know who we are dealing with. We really have to be careful especially nowadays that the internet is booming and online dating is a trend.

You can go into your local police station to file a report. Take any documents you have as evidence. If you are Australian, also report it to ACORN, search on the webor just do a web search for how to report scams to find how to report scams in your country.

Unfortunately, police may not seem to do much. I am currently reading your book, Jan. I am not yet ready to tell my story, but I will eventually to help the healing. Your words are chillingly like my experience, even down to his use of some of the same expressions. Your book has profoundly impacted me. I thank you for your display of courage and resilience.

Five months of therapy has not given me near what you have given me. Thanks Connie, it is gratifying that the book is proving useful to you in moving through the next stage of your recovery process. Take care and be gentle with yourself. Wow, my heart goes out to all of you, I pray that God heal your broken hearts, and that he protect you in the future from such sickly uncaring soul.

I just got myself in a similar situation only praise to God there was no money involved. But one day the man named Danny Marco sent me an invitation through my Fitbit and so I though it was someone who was interested in running or working out.

A con man steals one woman's heart - and $, Here's how it happened.

After a few days he send me a message to go to the hangout app, because there we could talk better so I did. The first time in that app he talked about his job that he was an independent worker for Marathon Oil Company in the Gulf of Mexico.

The first texts was about how he was so in love with me by just seeing my profile picture, and that he wanted to find a wife and I was it. I was aware of all that he was saying was not real, but here is the thing the are smooth with their words.

The beautiful poetry that just melts your hear. The romance that only in the movies can be found, then you being lonely and vulnerable is where the get you. He was melting my heart with such beautiful word. Please if you have a friend or a love one telling you to be careful and that they believe its a scam PLEASE listen to them, they are not in the middle of the web and the can think better than us.

sorry, that

I blocked him from everything including my fitbit and deleted my hang out app. May God bless you all and keep you safe. I am so happy to find this site to see that others have been subjected to a romance scam just like me. I think it will be good therapy for me to tell my story and get it out there. Live in Houston, Tx.

I do not do Facebook and have never been on a dating site either. But I am a professional, so am on LinkedIn. Out of the blue, one day, a nice man contacted me, via email, stating that he had run across my profile while searching for someone else, thought I had an interesting profile, and politely asked if we might get to know each other via friendly correspondence.

My profile does list my email address, so that was not a flag for me. I was having a really stressful day at work, so this was a bit of a sidetrack from the stress, so I thought what the heck, and replied.

So began a world win on-line romance. The pictures he sent were of the most handsome Italian man I have ever seen in pictures. From email exchanges, we seemed to have enough common interests that sparked my interest. He was charming, intriguing, and romantic. He sent me many romantic music videos.

Stories from Female victims

We talked on the phone as well as emails and texts. He completely knocked me off my feet and I feel hard for him in no time. He said all the right things I needed to hear, but had not heard in a long time. I had not been in a relationship in well over 10 yrs. How could I possibly fall in love with someone before I actually met them face to face is what I kept asking myself, but I did fall in love with him.

He was able to reel me in like a big fish. And it moved very fast. Within a week we were expressing our love for each other, and talking about meeting. It was very exciting and he made me feel young, and special, and oh so happy. He also started talking about his business more.

He had been working on a huge Wine Contract for months, with a client in South Africa. The deal finally came through and he left for South Africa that following week-end to finalize the deal. It was all very exciting to me. And, we continued to email and talk the entire time. All the while, I was falling more and more in love with him. He kept saying we would have a beautiful life together after this deal, made plans for him to fly to Houston as soon as he got paid.

We even planned where we would go on our honeymoon. Yep, it went very fast. Then, on Day 18 of our romance, I got hit directly in the face with the most devastating surprise of my life. He texted me and said it was urgent and needed to talk to me. I was totally blindsided since I never thought for a second that everything he had said to me was all part of a scam. After I caught my breathe, I finally told him I did not have that kind of money to give to him.

In the end, he called or emailed me over the course of the next few days asking for the money, saying that if I truly loved him, I would help him, even if I had to get a loan on my home. Fortunately for me, I kept my wits and did not give in to sending him any money.

Even though he still swears he has been honest and truthful with me, and it was not a scam. After reading about all the stories on this site, I feel very fortunate that I did not give into him. However, I am still a wreck emotionally. I felt that I was in love with him and wanted to be with him the rest of my life. I still have the urge to call him to make sure he is O. I know, that is sick.

I guess I am still a victim too. If it makes you feel any better, I just received an email yesterday from the very same Jim Beckmann, and your post has helped to save me from a possibly similar fate.

Wine Merchant, contacted me via LinkedIn, etc etc. I noticed a few indiscrepancies with the email address so have been scouring the internet for information and am so grateful to find your post! All the best and I hope you find the real love that you truly deserve. In the meantime, stay suspicious of all online characters sad truth.

I am just curious, did he ever send you any pictures? I just wonder if he is still using the same pictures he used with me. And than you for letting me know that he is still on the prowl. Oh my word! I got an email today, 20 Feb, from Jim Beckmann. Also the whole story how I caught his attention while searching for an acquaintance on LinkedIn and would like to get to know each other more etc.

I am so Greatful to have found this website. It is just sad, and I am so sorry, that this person had to break your heart like this. At first I thought it hilarious that he thinks I am pretty, and I have to admit it is very flattering to read this.

But, something was bugging me from the start, and this got worse during the day. And more and more things did not make sense. First, he said we are connected on LinkedIn. Also, there is a spelling error in his surname for the name appearing in the email, and a few other things. Thank you too, for letting me know about your encounter with the infamous Mr. Now I know it was definitely a scam. Hi Pat A. I am afraid that I have been scammed as well. My story is very much like yours, but my romance has been going on much longer.

I would be very interested to get in touch with you to compare notes. Please look for my name at Linked In. Regards, Ingrid Hastad, living in Stockholm Sweden. My friend is being scammed. She has fallen head over heals in love with a man who wants to marry her.

She thinks they are going to get married as soon as her divorce is final. It was a cash parcel because that is how they were paid. He is a widower from UK, has a son in boarding school and is an engineer on a ship in? She has no idea where he is due to security. She is supposed to pick him up at LAX along with his son, after the cash is delivered by a diplomat. She has been receiving emails from the diplomat and the cash is supposed to be delivered on Thursday.

As hard as I try to convince her that this is a scam, she is still texting him and accepting all the emails from the so called diplomat.

Sebastian Howard was his name. He must really believe women are stupid. I decided to play with him a bit. I asked him when he went to the War College in Jacksonville, Fl. He said a long time ago. I asked him how he like Jacksonville and did he get a chance to enjoy the mountains. He said that he was originally from an area that had no mountains so he loved them.

By this time I was about ready to wet my pants I was laughing so hard. First, the War College is in Montgomery, Alabama. Jacksonville, Florida has NO mountains-they have beaches. And the best.

You are an Admiral. I finally told him, look goof.

opinion you are

If you want to scaam someone atleast get your info correct. I happen to be the wife of a Naval Aviator so I do know a bit about how the military works.

The second guy sends me a message saying that I am the most elegant, beautiful woman he has ever seen and he wants to have a relationship with me. I was too tired to play around with him but the next one will get my full attention. We do constantly get the phone calls supoosedly from the IRS saying we will be arrested at once if wwe do not comply with them.

I just tell them to come get me. Watch the terminology. Do they speak like the area they are supposed to be from. The first guy that contacted, I knew at once that English was not his first language.

Do anything you can to trip them up. Ona positive note though. My sister did meet a man on the internet that did turn out to be a millionaire.

They married about 3 years ago and he has given her the most wonderful life. She was married before to such a jerk. Men should always offer to help you, not the other way around. Good luck! My story is not all that unlike others. I am a male I was scammed by a woman posing to be an army sergeant to come home soon.

She sent pictures of her young beautiful self and yes I am a year-old typical mail. I have been to a recent break up or is recovering from that 15 year relationship. Already been treated for depression taking meds and going to group therapy weekly.

But successfully employed for over 20 years, homeowner wear some savings and retirement and everything I own paid for. So when this luscious sweet talking affectionate woman proposes to me I guess I went into some sort of zone. She presented a certificate that looked official to me and I looked up the company online and they did exist. I am beside myself and she acts as if she is to although still declaring her deep love and blah blah blah for me.

She says she will talk to her army commander and ask him if he can help. Her and Army commanders plan after talking to a banker friend is having me run around buying iPhones and Mac Pro book charging them to credit cards 5 of which after I gave over my identity this Commanders friend created. I am to ship them overseas for sales with the proceeds going back on credit cards to wire money to get this shipment to me so my love and money then come home.

Well my last wire went out Nov. Most of which is credit card. I cry everyday.

Dating scams stories

Some days it is very hard to focus. I live in Texas and from what I can tell unless the credit cards companies come at me real real hard I can keep my homesteader homemost of my things but will have to make a No credit for 10 years. And if I get real lucky the credit card debit would be released. Not sure on any of this but from reading and talking to people this is what I gather.

It would be very difficult. So I go to my group therapy weekly, take my meds, attend church weekly. Pray and write letters to God. I try to hope for some sort of do able future without so much suffering and isolation. Hope is not easy to have in the midst of this. Most days I go around with a big knot in my stomach until I can cry it all out. Then I feel better for a while until the fear, anger and shame return. If your a praying person reading thisI ask that you stop for 30 seconds and ask God to send me relief and help for as long as I need it to get through this horrible ordeal.

I believe my roommate is being scammed. He contacted her on either Facebook or POF. He is in Dubai as an engineer. He flew there after sweeping her off her feet in less than 10 days.

They talk on the phone all hours. She sent sexy pics and he sent flowery poetry. She has fallen in love. She could have come up with it in time but he needed it then. He yelled and berrated her horribly.

Then he threatened to blackmail her to her son as well as on Facebook. She was heart broken. Not angry just so hurt. They broke up but he is contacting her again. Apologizing for everything and again proclaiming his love.

I made a copy of this site and I plan to show it to her. Hi Cristin, yes a familiar story. Please show her my site and my book. All the details of what happened to me are there let me know how it goes. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day, I wonder how was it possible? I was a victim too. Nowadays i just told him off bluntly that i know the truth and he is just an evil scammer.

He kept saying he is a good person and love me bla bla. This has been SUCH an enlightening blog! This guy was good, knew all the jargon and terminology, had a website until recentlytragic family story and all of that. He agreed to talk on the condition that he would not be identified by name. Typically, scams are advance-fee frauds - variations of the age-old "Spanish prisoner" gambit, which promises riches to unsuspecting strangers in exchange for a modest payment.

Sent first as printed letters, then as faxes and emails purporting to be from Nigerian officials, these offers are now part of Internet lore. Indeed, they're so well known that ers have adopted a more effective variation - mining dating sites for targets of romance scams. Impostor scams can flourish wherever the Internet exists Eastern Europe and Russia are also hot spotsbut most dating fraud originates in Nigeria and Ghana, or in countries such as Malaysia and the U.

In fast-developing parts of the world with high unemployment, a large percentage of English-speaking young men, and a postcolonial legacy of political instability and corruption, playing the game can be a tempting way out. That's when he drifted in with the legions of other young Nigerian men known as Yahoo Boys, named for their preference for free Yahoo.

He learned the con from an older mentor, and he, in turn, passed on his skills to younger friends. Enitan describes a three-stage model. Using stolen credit card numbers, the scammer would flood dating sites with fake profiles. Victims can be found anywhere - scammers also forage for connections on social media - but dating services provide the most fertile territory.

Profile photos are pirated from social media or other dating sites. To snare women, he'd pose as older men, financially secure and often in the military or in engineering professions. For male victims, he just needed a photo of an alluring younger woman: "Guys are easier to convince - they're a bit desperate for beautiful girls. All his victims, Enitan says, described themselves as divorced or widowed.

Ideally, the prospective victim makes the first move. Grooming the victim begins in the second stage. After learning everything he can about his target, he would launch a campaign of love notes and gifts. It feels like the universe is manifesting my perfect partner right before my very eyes.

Prayers answered and yes it does seem like we have known each other a long time. Amy wrote that seven days after receiving the first message from Dwayne.

They were on the phone for hours every day at this point. His was the first voice she heard in the morning, and the last before bed. Typically, Amy would talk and text with him until about 11 a. Around 8 p. In their emails, they filled pages with minutiae about their lives - her upcoming holiday trip to Sarasota, Florida, with a girlfriend; his visit to a textile museum in Kuala Lumpur.

Mixed amid this were Dwayne's increasingly ardent declarations of affection:. Last night, in my dreams, I saw you on the pier. The wind was blowing through your hair, and your eyes held the fading sunlight. Florid passages like that did not spring from Dwayne's imagination. He cribbed them from the Internet. Still, on Amy those words cast a powerful spell.

That's how she thinks of it now - it was like a switch flicked in her head. She'd been in love before. But this was different, a kind of manic euphoria. Are you real? Will you appear someday. Or are you just a beautiful, exotic dream if you are I don't want to wake up! At the core of every romance scam is the relationship itself, a fiction so improbable that most of us initially marvel in disbelief: How do you fall in love - really fall in love - with someone you never meet?

Until the term "catfishing" crept into the vernacular, love affairs with digital impostors were little-known phenomena. The term comes from the documentary film Catfishabout a man with a girlfriend who, we learn, does not exist; it later inspired an MTV series. Pretending to be someone else online is a social media parlor game among some young people. But Amy had never seen the show or heard the term; she had no idea the practice was so common.

rather valuable

Computer-mediated relationships, she says, can be "hyperpersonal - more strong and intimate than physical relationships. Research has shown that certain personality types are particularly vulnerable to romance scams. Unsurprisingly, age is a factor: Not only are older victims more likely to lose larger sums of money, there's evidence that our ability to detect deception declines with age.

But when she surveyed scam victims in the U. These people tended to describe themselves as romantics and risk takers, believers in fate and destiny.

Many, like Amy, were survivors of abusive relationships. Women were actually slightly less likely to be scammed than men - but were far more likely to report and talk about it. The other term that Amy would later learn is "love bombing.

In both situations, the victim's defenses are broken down by exhaustion, social isolation and an overwhelming amount of attention. Amy would later describe the feeling as akin to being brainwashed. This is the painstaking grooming process that Enitan calls "taking the brain. When she came home from her trip to Florida over the holidays, Amy found a bouquet of flowers waiting for her, and a note:.

Not long after this, slightly less than a month since his first contact, Dwayne brought up his money troubles. But some components he purchased from Hong Kong were stuck in customs. He didn't need money, he assured her - he had a hefty trust fund in the U.

But he couldn't use his funds to cover the customs fees. And he couldn't come back to Virginia until he finished the job. He was stuck. So, if there was any way Amy could help him out, he'd pay her back when he returned to the States. When Amy asked for proof of his identity, Dwayne sent copies of his passport and financial documents. All were fake. Finally, Dwayne set a day for his flight home and emailed his itinerary.

He'd be there January Amy even bought tickets for their first real date - a Latin dance concert in a nearby city that night. And she told her brothers and her friends that they would finally get to meet this mystery boyfriend.

But first, another problem came up: He had to pay his workers. She had the money. And Dwayne knew it. Not exactly how much, perhaps. But he knew she owned her home and two other properties. He knew that her mother and husband had recently died. And he knew she was in love. January 25 came and went. A new problem delayed him; Amy took one of her friends to the concert.

Dwayne apologized profusely and sent her more flowers, again with the promise to pay her back. Soon, he needed more money. This part of the con follows a familiar pattern. The scammer promises a payoff - a face-to-face meeting - that forever recedes as crises and logistical barriers intervene.

As February wore on, Amy was still telling friends that Dwayne was coming in a matter of days or weeks. But she never mentioned the money she was lending him. It's not that she was intentionally misleading anyone. You know me better than that. She'd get it back as soon as he came, of course. When doubt started to creep into her mind, she would look at his pictures or read his messages. Still, almost in spite of herself, she wondered.

Little things seemed odd. Sometimes, out of the blue, he'd fire off a series of rapid-fire instant messages-"oh baby i love you" and so forth. It felt almost like she was talking to someone else. Another time, she asked what he had for dinner and was surprised to hear his answer-stir-fried chicken. To her relief, she got a photo moments later. There he was, sitting on a bench in the sun on the other side of the world. Psychologists call this "confirmation bias" - if you love someone, you look for reasons they are telling the truth, not reasons they are lying.

We tend to find what we are looking for.

thank you for

And Amy was looking, desperately, for reasons to trust Dwayne, because the money was really adding up. Besides, he'd be there on February She planned to make dinner for him that first night.

She bought all his favorite foods - fresh salmon, sourdough bread, a nice Merlot. The trip would take more than a day: He had to fly to Beijing, then Chicago, and finally connect to Virginia.

He'd call her as soon as he got to Chicago. His last message was a brief text that he said he sent from the airport in Kuala Lumpur. Then, when the day finally came, Amy's phone remained silent, despite her efforts to get in touch.

Something must have gone wrong. Why hadn't he called or texted her back? He always called.

Real scam victims have shared their experiences to help warn others about scams. In these stories we ask you to find the signs that it was a scam, and consider how similar scams could be avoided. Dating & romance scam: Georgina's Facebook fiance leaves her flat broke. If you've only ever met online, you need to take extra precautions to. In , almost 15, complaints categorized as romance scams or confidence fraud were reported to IC3 (nearly 2, more than the previous .

She tried to tamp down the picbeebies-games.comicks of panic. When she collapsed into bed that night, she thought about how this had been the first day in almost three months that they hadn't spoken. Dwayne finally contacted Amy three days later.

He sent a single text. Something about being held up by immigration at the airport in Kuala Lumpur and needing money to bribe the officials. This was the third time that Dwayne had failed to show, the third last-minute catastrophe.

Still, she wired him the money. Amy's sister-in-law was the first to figure it out. Phil show, in which the TV therapist confronted two women who claimed to be engaged to men they'd met online. Amy watched in growing horror. This was the same Beijing-bound route Dwayne had planned to be on earlier.

pity, that now

As the story of the vanished airliner filled the airwaves, Amy couldn't help but worry that Dwayne had been aboard - maybe he'd managed to take a later flight? Finally, he called her. But the call went to her home landline, not the mobile phone she'd been using.

They spoke for only a few moments before it broke up. She was relieved but also disturbed - and curious. Something was different. The daily siege of calls and emails and messages had ended. Suddenly, she wasn't tied up for hours every day.

Alone with her thoughts for the first time in months, everything about their relationship seemed to blur. One by one, she started feeding the photos Dwayne had sent her into Google's image search, trying to trace where else they might have come from. Eventually, up popped the LinkedIn page of a man with a name she'd never heard. Whoever Dwayne was, this wasn't him. She Googled "romance scam" and started reading. Even as she discovered the truth, part of her held out hope that her case was somehow different - that she was the lucky one.

But the spell had broken. It was like waking up from a deep sleep - those strange moments when the dream dissolves and the real world comes rushing back. Oh, God. How much? Looking at the numbers, the figure seemed unreal.

If you peruse the archives of Romancescams. In a decade, the site has collected about 60, reports, from men and women, young and old. There's no way. Some of the most aggressive efforts to track down scammers have come from Australia. Brian Hay, head of the fraud unit of the Queensland Police Service in Brisbane, has orchestrated sting operations that have led to the arrest of about 30 scammers based in Malaysia or Nigeria.

But so dim are the chances of successfully finding offenders that, he admits, he rarely tells victims about these prosecutions: "I don't want to get their hopes up.

Hay has also built a close relationship with Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCCwhich was established inin part to rein in the country's rampant culture. He's inspected the computer logs of scam operations, where teams of Yahoo Boys cooperate to systematically exploit victims, using playbooks that script out conversations months in advance.

Some scammers specialize in phone work; others, in writing or computer hacking. Still others work the late phases of the scam, impersonating bank officials or law enforcement in an effort to con victims who are trying to get their money back. Think romance fraud on an industrial scale. And they're brilliant at it.

not take

Where does all the money go? Investigators fret about West Africa's terrorism links - northern Nigeria is home to the notorious insurgent group Boko Haram - and its role in international drug trafficking. While the EFCC has made some high-profile arrests, only a relative handful of fraudsters are brought to justice.

And, as Amy discovered, victims in the U. The psychological toll is harder to quantify. The trauma is twofold: Besides the financial loss, scam victims endure the destruction of a serious relationship. People have to go through a grieving process. In Australia, Hay has found that face-to-face victim support groups are helpful.

But Whitty notes that, for many, denial is the easier path: A surprising number of victims end up getting scammed again. Other victims fall into the risky practice of scam baiting, a kind of digital vigilantism: They attempt to turn the tables and lead scammers on with promises of future riches.

Her hope was that she'd be able to lure him into giving up something incriminating. She found the neighborhood in Kuala Lumpur that he said he lived in, and she prowled its streets using the Street View feature on Google Maps, looking for some landmark he might have mentioned.

Sometimes, he'd still call her in the middle of the night, and she'd hear that familiar voice for a few moments. Finally, Amy accepted that Dwayne - whoever and wherever he was - would never show his true face, never give her the confession she yearned to hear. She abandoned her hunt. She made up a story about how she was being investigated for money laundering - this was a real possibility, given the amount of money she'd wired overseas - and even typed it up on a fake government letterhead.

On New Year's Eveone year after he had sent that first bouquet of flowers, she emailed it to Dwayne, with a note telling him not to contact her. They were done. Members can take a free confidential hearing test by phone.

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  1. Kalkree

    Excuse, that I interfere, there is an offer to go on other way.


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