Anatomy Of A Scam: Nigerian Romance Scammer Shares Secrets

Dating in the digital age opens up seemingly endless possibilities for finding romance. To avoid a catfish, you have to keep it REAL :. There might be plenty of fish in the sea, but how do you avoid catching a catfish? Catfishing often occurs in a romantic context — such as online dating platforms. Essentially, someone creates a realistic looking profile with the intent of deceiving other users. You never know who might be hiding behind a fake profile. Spotting a catfish in time can help keep you safe from this digital deception.

This Is Where You’re Most Likely to Be Catfished in the USA in 2020

To some, Alec Couros is a charismatic oil contractor from Nashville, Tennessee. To others, he’s a well-travelled civil engineer from England. After seven years and two beautiful children, his marriage ended in an amicable divorce. Or maybe his wife died. It depends on who you ask. Thousands of women, from Brazil to the United States, believe he is their one and only; star-crossed lovers brought together by fate.

A photo of Alec Couros. For more than a decade, Alec Couros has been the unwitting face of online dating scams. (Supplied: Alec Couros).

If someone claims that a photo is from a July catfish fireworks party but is dressed in a fur coat, in daylight, that might spot a dead giveaway that someone is lying. Cut and Paste Profile Alert Introductory letters on dating websites are often copied by catfish tactics. See if the same information appears in full places or has been copied from someone.

Put the copy in a web episode engine and search for it online. For example, someone claiming to be from St. Spelling and Grammar Fail Hear the words when you read their writing, and check their spelling and grammar. A line that sounds like it spot be from someone in a far-off country but portraying themselves to be in your full city will usually have a local dialect misfire.

Always create and use a unique email address that is different than your personal and full addresses when setting up a dating website profile. Too Serious, Too Soon Watch out for catfish rushing things. Ask a Lot of Questions Inquire about where they are from, and verify landmarks and spellings of cities online. Catfishers like to ask you a scammer of tactics, but seldom let you go deep into their tactics, coming up with excuses about why they are reluctant to offer more personal information about themselves.

Shut off communication immediately, and close all open doors if you have a hint that it is a sympathy scam. Although most catfishers are not after money, this one should be a wake-up catfish to a scam. How, look out for potential fake social media pages.

Year of the Catfish: 27% of Dating Site Users Scammed

Avery Haines Investigative Correspondent, W5. I played along to try to get an inside look at the shadowy world of internet scammers. My game of cat fish – and-mouse with the man calling himself Oliver would have been entertaining, except for the fact that what he does is downright evil. I really wanna know you better hope we can be really close.

Am always focused on my job.

In a catfishing scam, a person on the internet will create a fake identity and try to romance or seduce their target. The term first fell into common.

Earlier this year, 10 people located around the United States were arrested and charged in an organized money laundering scheme as they were attempting to wash the cash that they illegally obtained. What was strange about the scheme is how the money was obtained in the first place. It wasn’t through the trading or trafficking of illegal goods or drugs, but rather cash that was sent by unsuspecting women who thought they were building relationships with the scammers.

This type of thing happens more often than you might think. These types of schemes are known as romance scams, and while there is no shortage of scams online, few are more devastating. That makes it all the more painful when the rug is pulled out from under them and the scammers make off with their income or savings.

Many of these schemes to swindle vulnerable people looking for love originate in Nigeria, where there is a bustling underground economy of scammers who set up profiles on online dating sites and sweet talk unsuspecting victims out of their savings. Social Catfish , an online dating investigation service, shared an actual playbook provided by a member of a Nigerian dating scam ring and provided insight into how these scammers operate and what to watch out for. According to Social Catfish marketing manager Johnny Santiago explained that most romance scams originate on dating states like Match.

Romance scams have originated on other popular apps with communication tools like Words With Friends, for example. They rarely stay on these platforms for long, though.

Tell-tale signs your online date may be an online fraud

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.

They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction.

g is where someone uses false information to cultivate an online persona for The phenomenon known as catfishing is a uniquely modern one: a single lie, for you and wants to move your communications away from the dating website or app; sharing compromising material, which scammers can use to blackmail you;.

Catfishing is when someone sets up a fake online profile to trick people who are looking for love, usually to get money out of them. If you’re online dating, read these tips so you know how to spot a catfish. If you’ve been scammed out of your money by someone who wasn’t who they said they were, there is help and support available. Get support. One way to do this is to look them up on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or to search their name in a search engine. Of course not everyone has social media, but if someone’s on a dating app or website, they’re more likely to have some other form of social media.

Be wary of people you don’t know sending you messages through your social media accounts. They might be flirty to try and trick you, so it’s best to stick to meeting people online through dating websites. If you’ve been chatting away to someone for a while and everything seems great, but then they ask you for money, think about it for a while before you send them any. Is it very early in your relationship? Is it appropriate for them to be asking someone they’ve only known for a short time and may never have met in real life for money?

It’s common for catfish to ask you for money that appears to be for your benefit. For example, they want to come and visit you but they can’t afford the plane ticket, so they ask you for the plane fare. Another technique is to start by asking for a small amount of money, then gradually asking for more and more each time.

Dr phil dating scams

And, reluctantly, she did. At first, she just tiptoed around the many dating sites, window-shopping in this peculiar new update. The choices were overwhelming. It wasn’t until the fall that Amy was ready to dive in.

4 state for the most romance scams per capita. She is sharing her story of a fake online romance in hopes it will prevent other people from falling for a catfish.

An internet search for Mike Sency’s name immediately yields hundreds of accounts spread across social media and dating websites. Many of the profiles contain small differences, such as the photos used, the spelling of his name, even various details about his hobbies and interests. But they all share one common trait: They’re fake.

Sency is used to it. For years, pictures he posted online have been used to create fake profiles by people looking to scam others, often out of money, a practice generally known as catfishing. His problem isn’t a new one, but it is an issue that has proven nearly impossible to stop. I am worried about how this is going to affect my future and my family — even my mom gets calls from strangers claiming they know me because of these fake accounts.

Deception has been part of the internet since its earliest days as a consumer tool, but the practice of using stolen photos arose as more people began creating social media and online dating profiles in the early s. By , catfishing had become a cultural phenomenon with an MTV documentary show that year chronicling the deceptions of online dating.

Online Dating Scams, Red Flags, and What is “Catfishing”?

Catfishing is a deceptive activity where a person creates a sockpuppet presence or fake identity on a social networking service , usually targeting a specific victim for abuse or fraud. Catfishing is often employed for romance scams on dating websites. The practice may be used for financial gain, to compromise a victim in some way, or simply as forms of trolling or wish fulfillment.

Catfishing media has been produced, often featuring victims who wish to identify their catfisher.

Hundreds of Washingtonians have been taken in by a catfish, a scammer who creates a fake online profile to lure victims on social media and.

So which states have the biggest problems with catfishing—and which have the least? We looked at FBI and Census data to determine your likelihood of being scammed in romance. Catfishing usually refers to online romance scams where someone uses a fake online profile to attract victims. Still, it can also come in the form of family, friends, or business relationships. The non-western states with the highest rates of catfishing are New Hampshire, Minnesota, Florida, and Maryland.

Compared to their western counterparts, people in the Midwest and South seem better clued into the catfishing scams—or perhaps the West is better about reporting? In terms of cost per victim, the top three states could all buy a self-driving dual-motor AWD Tesla Cybertruck and still have some change left over to go on some fancy dates. Love hurts, but so does losing a bunch of money to an online scam.

What’s the nature of your enquiry?

Correspondents may cultivate the relationship for several months before asking for money, but if they are after your money, eventually they will ask for it. Before you send any money to Ghana, please take the time to do your research and inform yourself. Start by considering the fact that scams are common enough to warrant this warning. Next, look over this partial list of indicators.

Regardless, proximity was key and the dating game was relatively safe. platforms and online dating websites allows people to make connections with others at Some catfishing may be no more than an attempt from a lonely person to find catfished had experiences that turned into serious financial scams, with some.

AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! Learn more. A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable.

This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment. But he or she seems smitten and eager to get to know you better, and suggests you move your relationship to a private channel like email or a chat app. Over weeks or months you feel yourself growing closer. You make plans to meet in person, but for your new love something always comes up. Then you get an urgent request. He or she will promise to pay it back, but that will never happen.

Phony suitors also seek out targets on social media, and they are increasingly active. The Federal Trade Commission FTC received more than 25, reports about romance scams in , a nearly threefold increase since Romance scammers are smooth operators and can take their time to set their trap.

‘She was beautiful, funny – and she scammed me’

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Dr phil show online dating scams. Cut and Paste Profile Alert Introductory letters on dating websites are often copied by catfish tactics. See if the same.

The rapid development of Internet-based technologies has changed many aspects of our lives. One area of human communication that has been effected by technological advances is the opportunity for online romantic endeavors. The Internet has now made it possible for a person to date without ever leaving their home. The use of Internet dating sites, social networking sites, and dating applications has enabled humans to date 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, days a year Rege, It is estimated that one in four dating relationship begin online, making the Internet the second most common way that dating couples meet Cocalis, Popular sites such as Match.

In addition to traditional websites, there are also a number of popular online dating applications. Popular apps such as Tinder, Coffee Meet Bagel, and Zoosk that users download on their phone make it easy to browse for potential mates Windelman, Online dating is not limited to dating sites and apps only; social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter have generated a new method of connecting with others who may share similar interests Wortham, Online Dating Website : A website that enables people to find and introduce themselves to new personal connections over the internet, usually with the goal of developing personal, romantic, or sexual relationships.

Social Networking Site : An online platform that allows users to create a public profile and interact with users on their website. Grooming Phase : The phase in an online dating scam where the victim will often begin to self-disclose intimate details about themselves to the scammer, building the sense of trust felt in a relationship. Fake Marriage : A marriage of convenience entered into purely for the purpose of gaining a benefit or other advantage arising from that status.

Mail-Order Bride : A woman who lists herself in catalogs and is selected by a man for marriage.

Scammers & Catfish

Dating and romance scams are very destructive — both financially and emotionally. These scams also cause significant emotional harm, with many victims reporting a break down in relationships with friends and family. With the proliferation of online dating websites, forums and social media channels, these scams are moving increasingly into the online space.

Online Romance Scam Information. Scam examples If you feel you have been scammed by a person claiming to be a U.S. Soldier, contact the.

Catfishing is an online con where someone assumes a new identity in order to seduce a stranger on the internet. Others do it in order to trap people into handing over money or services. The only way you can really protect yourself from these tricksters is to know the signs and catch the catfish at his or her own game. In a catfishing scam, a person on the internet will create a fake identity and try to romance or seduce their target. More often, they are online criminals using proclamations of love to part innocent people from their money.

If you meet someone on a dating website or on social media, scroll to their Facebook profile right away. Most scam artists have fake profiles that are doctored to look real. Check their friends list first. Also check when they created their profile. If their internet presence began just days before you met, you should probably be seriously suspicious of their motives. In this day and age, most real people have established social media accounts with more than a few followers or friends.

At the very least, you might want to plan an online video chat to see each other in real time! A catfish will do everything they can to avoid a face-t0-face encounter, because it might expose their lies.

10 Most Horrifying Real Online Dating Scams