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By fabricating an illusion of their own wealth, scammers may be able to convince you that you're simply "loaning" them money that, for some weird reason, they can't immediately access.Where do the scammers get photos of themselves in these exotic locations and with these costly products? They troll other sites and steal other people's photos. Many are operating out of foreign countries, despite profiles saying they live nearby. When she declined, the messages got more desperate.
He found out when he discovered his photos were on a romance scam site warning about the same Nigerian crook who had stolen his photos. If a profile indicates your match has a college degree, but he or she can't string a sentence together, you have reason to be suspicious. Commonly, when the victim proposes an in-person meeting, they'll come up with some excuse for why it can't happen: They're traveling, stationed overseas or have some long-distance emergency. Uncertain of whether she should believe the man, Kipps Googled "photos of sick children." And of course, the photographs she'd been getting via text message were public images posted online.These web site links are listed as a convenience to our visitors.If you use these links, we take no responsibility and give no guarantees, warranties or representations, implied or otherwise, for the content or accuracy of these third-party sites."But I hung on and kept communicating because I wanted to see the end of the movie." The ending came as no surprise to experts on romance scams.Morrison's erstwhile Romeo claimed he needed her to "lend" him $18,000 to deal with one of the many crises he had fabricated.Then the daughter became ill and had to be hospitalized.
When Morrison suggested that her suitor put his daughter on a plane to get better medical attention at home -- and even offered to pick the girl up at the airport -- a new crisis struck.
"I probably hear from five scammers a night," says Marko Budgyk, a Los Angeles financier who has frequented several online dating sites over the past 10 years.
"After a while, it becomes really easy to spot them." Here are six red flags to help detect and sidestep romance scams.
"He said he was going to pay me back double," she laughs.
Though the amounts and details of the scam vary from victim to victim, when it comes to romance scams, the con is almost always the same: The crook wants to get a besotted victim to wire money or provide access to a credit card.
Morrison says she realizes that photos posted by her one-time suitor were also fakes. Linguistic anomalies: Bad grammar, strange word choices and linguistic gymnastics are other signs of a foreign scammer, experts say. Kipps says her worst experience was with a man who claimed to be a widower raising his five-year-old daughter. Says Kipps: "What kind of horrible person does something like that?