We all know that love can be a difficult matter and business with love is even trickier. Dating on the internet holds a risk of backfiring. There are several thousands of dating websites that advertise a big number of active members looking for love with free registration. Most of these profiles end up being employees of the company who are only there to get money out of your pocket in order to talk to them.
Everyone who is searching for a hot adventure is accepted and in the right place, is what these companies tell you. Sounds good at first, however, one of the scams of non-reputable dating websites is to use a moderated chat. The procedure with this kind of scam is the paying customer spends a lot of money for a conversation which is fake. The chat partner is an employee of the company operating under a fake profile that shows a fictitious person.
What exactly is love scamming?
Another way to rip-off love-seekers is with the lure of a subscription trap. In this case the user gets enticed by the wrong and misleading information and gets bound into a subscription where you end up paying higher costs. Along with the price scam the dating websites also use fake profiles with chatbots as well. So it’s not only that the customer pays too much for a service that can’t be canceled but also that there is no service at all. There is no satisfaction and not a single real person in the members area. Last but not least there is this thing called love scamming which, is a new bad method of ripping people off.
As it is a newly developed scam on the internet there are some questions of course. What exactly is love scamming and which signs are clear hints? Is it possible to recognize it early enough and how can you protect yourself from it? Additionally there is the question, what role does the West African country Nigeria play in it. We will explain everything you need to know in the following article.
Love scamming is the same as romance scamming
Love scamming and romance scamming are similar scams are getting more and more common on the internet. Even though the scam with a fake chat and a subscription trap is a bad game, love scamming takes the scam with emotions and love to the next level. As the name makes it very clear already the scammers are playing a significant game. Love might be the strongest feeling we have in general and can lead some people on a path to a broken heart and a big hole in their budget. The love scammers use love and emotions to switch off logical thinking and the victim ends up following every instruction. This could be a quite nice and erotic thing if there was real love on both sides and there was no harm done. In this case, however, it is used to lead the victim into a big rip-off.
The love scammer sends pictures which are fake
The goal of love-scamming is to get money. Therefore the scammers create various incentives so the love victim transfers a lot of money over and over. This can work for a very long period of time. The remarkable thing about love-scamming is that the injured people have never even seen their love in real life. In many cases they only exchanged e-mails, SMS or other messages like WhatsApp. From time to time the love scammer sends pictures of themselves which are fake. When the victims ask for a video chat or when they will finally want to meet, the scammers will always find an excuse why it won’t work out right now but maybe another day. It is a legitimate thought why someone would pay a huge amount of money for this. The answer is love and it is a despicable scam.
One fact that is the most remarkable thing about love scamming is that it not only works in the space of one country, but also worldwide. The procedure of the love scamming rip-off is in many cases identical but only the conversation, methods and lies of the scammers are different. Another thing is that usually men get ripped off by love scamming more than women. Moderated chats and subscription traps are mostly aimed at male victims, but this kind of love scamming can still happen to both genders.
At first they receive a note sent by a number that is unknown. The scammers obtain the needed information about the victim via online dating platforms and social media. The messages are usually not very different compared to other kind of messages to contact a person for a date. However, the notes are very direct, and quickly promise great love but it is not possible and certainly not free. The scam works with small talk and a quick explicit confession of love from both sides. It won’t take long until there is a cry for help.
Scammers are not lacking in creativity and audacity
There are many fictitious personas the scammers will use for the rip-off. The soldier who wants to get home or the charming doctor that is stuck in a third world country helping sick little children. There is also the extremely good-looking and extremely successful businessman. All of them are stuck in some place on the other side of the world and need money very quickly. But why do they need money if they are rich or a soldier?
The answer is that they unable to pay their bills as there was a mistake by the bank company, or someone stole everything out of their hotel room. There are many reasons for this situation. More examples are that they have to pay for a vital operation sometimes for their dog or mother, the luggage including credit cards and passport has been stolen or disappeared at the airport. Of course the scammers play the role of the victim and also claim that they had been ripped off, so someone cheated on them and now they have no money at all. The scammers are not lacking in creativity and audacity.
Why does this rip-off work out so well?
Why does the rip-off work? And does it seem so easy to convince people to transfer huge amounts of money to a person who was completely unknown until recently? Love scamming is so successful because the victims are made emotionally dependent. They feel loved and create a very strong connection to the scammer. The scammer does express the same but in their case it is all fake. The point is reached where the faker is revealed and the victim will not believe the facts but will keep the trust of the scammer.
Of course they have some concerns while transferring the money but the hope for love is stronger and remains deep inside. Their thoughts are that the money will come back, and will return in combination with the love of their life which they supported through their hardest times. But none of it will happen and the so-called love story will come to an end where there is a huge hole in the budget and even worse the emotional damage they will go through.
Scammers do long research to find potential victims
Now, the scam does not always work and is not a simple thing for the scammers as well. They do long research to find potential victims. Then the scammers specifically pick out those who are older and have been alone for a long period of time. When they have enough knowledge about the person and their life they will make the first contact. After the first messages are exchanged, and a conversation comes up there might even be some phone calls. The phone calls are made either by regular phone, a messenger app, or Skype but the conversations are mostly conducted without a video so the victim can’t see the scammer. The scammers always come up with various reasons to get out of using video. This goes on for a while and after a while the desire for a date will come up.
The idea for a date sounds amazing as the scammer mentions the desire to finally meet the love of his life. But however, there will be a problem and the only solution for it is money. The person is currently short of money and cannot afford a ticket. At this point many victims have concerns about sending money to an unknown person. Especially as it is an expensive plane ticket which can sometimes cost a small fortune.
So there are still doubts and many victims don’t want to pay. But the scammers will play the ace card and react with emotional stress. Now they will accuse the victims of callousness and put themselves in the victim role. That entices the victim to transfer the money as they don’t want to lose their loved one. The amounts vary greatly just like the arguments and scam methods. Some scammers ask for a few hundreds of dollars and some demand up to a five-figure amount.
Some similarities to marriage tricksters or grandchild tricksters
The basis of the love scam is that they will lie about everything by all means necessary. They are stuck somewhere, they have been cheated, or even captured. Even the pretended profession of the scammers is a lie to create compassion by the victim. It is the soldier who is stationed abroad and has to leave at all costs as he is in big danger and in love, the businessman who has been deceived or the empathetic employee of an aid organization. There are some similarities to marriage tricksters or grandchild tricksters. On the basis of these lies they create emotions and dependency which enable them to ask for whatever they crave.
Nigeria – #1 for love-scamming
One country which is sadly leading the love scamming is the West African country Nigeria. Nigeria is also well known for another scam method which works through a wealthy person who needs help. In this case he needs help by transferring money or moving to Europe. As he is a rich person in need he promises a big amount of money. In many cases they’ll receive the money a short time after thanks to an inheritance. In return for someone’s help high rewards are promised, but one must first send money to help the person.
Nigeria Connection is now a well-known catchword
Even though it sounds like an apparent scam as why would a rich person need money to transfer? A lot of people fall for it. Scam from this single country has become so intense in the past that it received its own name. Nigeria Connection is now a well-known catchword. The Nigeria Connection got famous for the rip-off with the Nigerian Prince who needs help and money. The scam is by far not limited to mass e-mails. Note that it is increasingly based on love and emotions.
The bad thing is that there is not a single real protection against this kind of rip off. The reason is that it could be possible that someone needs help but there is only one thing to do. You must always act with caution on the internet. If you receive messages even though you are not logged in, or you are not active on dating platforms you have to be very careful. Other signs of love-scamming are messages from abroad as well, via an unsafe platform where the scammer does not have to show an image of himself.
Never transfer money to an unknown person
A clear hint is that the scammer doesn’t want to show a picture of himself and doesn’t want to have a video chat. But the most important thing is that you should never transfer money to an unknown person under no circumstances. Think about what your best friend would say to you. Or just take some time and think about this in general. Would you transfer a lot of money to another person that you had been dating a few times or would they do the same? If there is a person asking for money you should hesitate and maybe ask for legal help.
There is no real protection to the love scam as first contact starts with a simple message. They don’t ask for money or help and just act like a nice person. This could happen to any of us. But there are some hints that can be noticed by the way the contact is made. There are some formulations where you can clearly say it is a rip-off. For example, the profile pictures of the rip-off artists often come from the internet and do not represent the real person.
The easiest way to find out if the pictures belong to someone else
There is a simple check you can do by inserting the pictures into a search engine. This is such a simple thing with copy and paste. If you should have problems with that procedure you can check out some explanation videos or articles on the internet or ask one of your friends. By inserting the image into a search engine, it will check where the picture originally comes from as there are copyrights for images. If it is a scam the picture shows another person with another name so there you have your answer. That is the easiest way to find out if the pictures actually belong to someone else.
Female scammers with erotic and lightly dressed images, male scammers usually use uniforms or suits
There are female scammers that entice their victims into the rip-off trap with erotic and lightly dressed images, male scammers usually use images of good looking, successful people and photos of men in uniforms or suits. Last but not least another clue is the distance and the country of origin of the scammers who claim to come from afar. Countries from West Africa, Russia, or Southeast Asia are named most of the time.